Tag Archives: card punched

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lifelong learning

Lifelong Learning and the Card Punch Myth

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Are you a product of lifelong learning? Many successful people will tell you that you are, or that you should be. Are you going for a new job? Is your card punched?

Card Punch Myth

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Get your card punched.” It is a catch-all phrase, designed to suggest that without a high school diploma, a two-year, four-year, masters, or doctoral degree you cannot succeed.

Certainly, it is unlikely that many would argue with the high school diploma. As the degrees get bigger and the requirements more intense the population with each degree gets smaller.

There are some occupations that require specific degrees or certifications. Medical doctors are an easy example. In these cases, there is a minimum requirement for entry.

Is your card punched? Does it need to be?

Falsely, many people believe that a degree (or not having one) is what is limiting their success. Yet, everyday someone gets a job without the certificate, without the degree, and without their card punched.

The argument is that, “they knew someone,” or “they got lucky.” Both are potentially true, so perhaps balancing degree pursuit with relationship building is a requirement.

Ask Bill Gates or Michael Dell about the card punch.

Lifelong Learning

Lifelong learning is an important idea. Anyone who wants to be progressive in their career should have the fundamental understanding that continuous and lifelong learning is a requirement.

What does lifelong learning mean? It means you’re continuing to grow. It may be through formal education. Perhaps through a mentor, coach, or professional training. It could also be through reading, video watching, and individualized study that is self-designed.

You can never stop expanding. Most people are not born into a specific career. They make their career. Some of that is based on formal education and some of it on relationships, hard work, and yes, even luck.

If you want change and advancement you’re going to have to learn more.

Evidence of degrees earned appearing on the wall, an acronym following your name, or a professional salutation are great. Keep in mind they represent evidence, not a ticket to the show.

What you can really do is so much more important.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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Your Best Work

Doing Your Best Work and Getting Your Card Punched

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Chances are good that the job market in your area is very competitive. It may also be a possibility that opportunities for advancement within your organization are highly competitive. Are you doing your best work?

Career minded individuals certainly believe that they are.

Honing Your Skills

You work hard to hone your presentation skills. You intentionally put effort into networking and building relationships. In many cases you are continuing your education either formally or informally.

Simply put, you are career conscious and focused on growing.

All of this work. All of this effort seems like the right thing. You get your card punched every step of the way. You have the mechanics of career improvement covered, you’re positioned.

What often happens next is that you start worrying about the wrong things. You worry if you said something wrong at the luncheon. Perhaps you didn’t give enough kudos to the boss, or when the CEO asked a question you jumped in to answer but later felt that you gave a silly response.

Your Mission Objective

Your mission has been to build all the key ingredients and then get visible. It is a good plan. The only problem may be that it is the plan of many. So many that now you just blend in. You aren’t exceptionally special, unique, or the perfect fit. You are the same fit as everyone else.

As a result, you are not standing out. You are blending in.

Maybe it isn’t that hard. Maybe the card punch isn’t as important as you once believed.

Your Best Work

You might get hired without the degree, without the certification, or even without the perfect resume.

Sometimes getting the card punched is not as important as doing the work that you do. It is probably always a good idea, but it doesn’t make you stand out.

Great work on the other hand, usually does.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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