Steve Schumer as a 40 year IBM leader is indeed “Super-IBM-Man”
One of the joys of my 31-year career at IBM was the many wonderful friends I made, several of whom I still keep in touch with. People often marvel over my tremendous 31-year stint at IBM, but you believe my good friend Steve Schumer has been there 40 years and is still growing strong?
Steve has had an illustrious career with “Big Blue,” but it did not come without some struggles and roadblocks. Yet Steve remains an outstanding professional with an undying positive attitude.
Recently, Steve presented his “4 Lessons from (almost) 40 Years” at the Hillsdale, New Jersey Career Networking Group. Steve sent me the link to the presentation on Youtube, and since career development programs for companies and organizations is one of my consulting offerings and since I consider Steve a close friend, I took a listen.
It truly was an excellent and very useful session! I will summarize his 4 lessons below and also include a link to the video which I strongly encourage you to listen to. And Steve shared so much about his own personal journey will so many cool stories, the time watching the video flew by very quickly
Not only is Steve passionate about his IBM career, he is also a 2015 inductee into the Green Bay Packers Fan Hall of Fame!
Lesson 1: Pursue something you’re passionate about. Absolutely, you are going to do your best work and progress in your career if you do something you truly love. When I do career mapping modules for my clients, often I discover that their most successful people are truly passionate about their work and their field. I once mentored a young man who was miserable in a high paying job that he cared nothing about, but when he went into a lower paying field he really loved, vocational joy returned to his life.
Lesson 2: Differentiate yourself by your questions and points made. With hundreds of people applying for and competing for every job, how will you differentiate yourself from the masses? Steve shared the importance of really researching the company, the industry and the job well so that you shine in the interview by asking intelligent and relevant questions. He shared some great stories of how he did this in his early job search.
Lesson 3: Don’t take no for an answer. Steve shares that one of the top 10 qualities for long-term selling success, including selling yourself, is tenacity; the strength to not give up, even against opposition. Steve is not advocating being argumentative here, but does share several examples of standing strong and not giving up, including a cool story about his son interviewing for a job.
Lesson 4: Personalize your network. In terms of connecting with others during a career search, never send out mass standard letters or emails. Instead, take the time to add a unique personal touch to your networking with each person. Steve shared how he utilized personalized networking during a very dark period of his career when he was being laid off, but managed to defy all odds and stay at IBM. What is cool is, after I listened to the recorded session and emailed Steve, he was able to retrieve the personal email he sent to me 11 years ago when he was going through this tough challenge.
Whether you are early, mid, or late career, do take the time to watch this insightful presentation (link) by Steve Schumer.
2020 saw a renewal of the Black Lives Matter movement superimposed with the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Every Year for the past several around New Year’s, I share my top 7 most read blogs of the year. It is really fun to go back and pull my website stats to see what people read the most. And interestingly enough, once again a few blogs I wrote several years even ago made it into the current “Top 7” List.
Quick stats about his year’s list:
• Four of the top 7 were published this year, and 3 are from previous years
• Six of the 7 dealt with some kind of diversity topic and one was around career development
• Three of the 4 blog published this year had a connection to Black Lives Matter
Here are the seven most read of 2020, starting with number 7 and working up to number one.
7) This year’s number 7 was last year’s number 3 – a blog published way back in 2011 on using career mapping as a tool for career development. This performance of a 9-year old blog certainly signals an ongoing focus on the importance of investing in skills and career development as a way to recruit and retain the best employees. You may also want to check out my 11-question Skills Development and Career Road Mapping organizational self-assessment.
6) Published in late September, Trump cancels federal racial sensitivity training – Five reasons why this is so wrong discusses Executive Order 13950, which basically attempts to curtail any discussion of the USA’s historic systemic racism.
5) Published this past June given the intersection of June being LGBTQ Pride Month and the recent protests around racism and police brutality following the killings of George Floyd and other Black and Brown Americans; Five Intersections – LGBTQ Pride Month and Black Lives Matter.
4) Also published in June, yet another example of blatant racism and sexism in American life and politics. Black Lives Matter and the $20 Bill – An Awful American Travesty. What happened to the plans to place African – American abolitionist Harriett Tubmam on our $20 bill? This story is a slap in the face to “Black Lives Matter” and women’s rights.
3) And published in July, another blog that deals with our nation’s racism and connection to our monetary currency. In “A Black Lives Matter and an American Coinage Travesty – blog 2,” I recount the sad story of a Ku Klux Klan-inspired coin.
2) With the growing number and visibility of Hispanic Americans, Number 2 for the third year in a row was “Seven Misconceptions or Stereotypes of Hispanic People”, a guest piece written in 2016 by my part-time bilingual consultant on staff, Elsa Maria Jimenez Salgado.
1) And finally, With over 5,500 hits across the two blogs were 2018’s Seven More Fabulous Out Gay Men of Figure Skating (and One Bisexual Woman) and my 2016 personal labor of love which included several personal photos that I took, “Seven Fabulous Out Gay Men of Figure Skating.”
I wish all of my faithful readers a happy 2021 and hopefully a return to normalcy both with a new more inclusive President and with multiple vaccines leading to an end to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
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