The #1 Way to Get Ahead in Your Career

by Debra Bednar-Clark
Debra Bednar-Clark Career Coach

You already have access to the #1 way to get ahead in your career, and you may not even know it yet. I’ll let you in on the secret, though: It’s you! YOU are your greatest asset. Yes, you. But there’s one caveat: When I say you, I mean your whole self.

Wait. Who is your whole self exactly?

Overall, your whole self is the idea of uniting your personal self and professional self. This may sound easy, but trust me, it’s a process. Each of us is multi-faceted and embody so many juxtapositions that combining your personal and professional lives can be more complicated than it sounds. (I mean, it took me 20 years to figure it out, which is why I want to help you now!) But through my experience of building high-performing and happy teams and now coaching clients, I’ve actually developed a new way to bring your whole self forward with my unique method of The Works.


The Works is based on the idea that your whole self is made of three distinct dimensions. First, your Intellect encompasses the values, beliefs, experiences and history of who you are, which is what sets you apart. Then, your Emotional Intelligence is your inner knowing, passion and purpose, it’s what drives you and motivates you to keep pushing yourself further. Finally, your Personal Style is the part that addresses how you look, act, communicate and lead in your own authentic way. All three of these need to work together and be valued equally in order truly get what you want out of your career, and to a larger extent, your life.

If you’re wondering if you’re already bringing your whole self forward (and you may already be in touch with her or need to dig deep to find her!), here are some thought-starters to help you figure it out:

  1. Do you feel innately like something is missing? And that you’re capable of things beyond what you’re doing right now?
  2. Do you compartmentalize who you are at work and who you are at home (e.g. do you act one way with your colleagues and another way with your family and friends)?
  3. Do you subscribe to the idea that your passions are your passions outside of work, and your job is your job to pay for your passions?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you need to get reacquainted with your whole self. Because when you do end up bringing your whole self forward, you’re not going to feel like something’s missing. You’re not going to be exhausted from compartmentalizing who you are. You’re not going to separate the passions that excite you from what you do on a daily basis.

Instead, your own unique combination of intellect, emotional intelligence and personal style will give you confidence to excel. Learn how to use The Works and combine these three dimensions daily, and success and fulfillment — and getting ahead in your career — will inevitably follow.

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