Seek Out Problems At A New Job To Advance Your Career

Seek Out Problems At A New Job To Advance Your Career

When you start out at a new job, your first instinct might be to blend into the woodwork and not rock the boat. Instead, actively seek out problems you can solve and you’ll get better work projects.

Photo by Kevin Dooley

JetBlue chairman Joel Peterson tells Business Insider that being known as a problem solver is key early on at a job:

Be a “heat-seeking missile” for problems. “If you can become obsessive about identifying and preemptively solving problems, you’ll soon find yourself being picked for key assignments,” Peterson explains. “Your trouble-shooting can run the gamut from meticulously proofreading a boss’s PowerPoint slides, to keeping an eye on competitors’ moves, to dealing with unhappy customers.” The ability to foresee and resolve problems is rare and valuable — and will always lead you to new opportunities.

Check the link for other tips to get noticed and move ahead at a new job.

How to Make the Most of Your First Job [Business Insider]


  • “…and will always lead you to new opportunities.” – including finding a new job, if you have particularly untalented upper management ( especially in family-run businesses ) who do not want their sinecure of tending to those problems forevah as they aren’t bright enough to do anything else.

    • Indeed. It’s probably not a bad piece of advice, if rather nieve, but you’d want to tread carefully.

      It’s not just small businesses that have entrenched expectations – plenty of larger organisations are full of mid-to-upper-level management that tentatively grasp their positions and don’t want to be shown-up by someone with with an actual functioning intellect.

      • I’ve hit that also – large corporations with departmental fiefdoms, where the presiding lord or lady is quite comfortable and really doesn’t want systemic problems with the organisation or its running aired.

  • if you identify a solution to a problem that is the result of someone’s incompetencey,
    get out of there ASAP, especially if you’ve been brought in to fix it.
    It’s not worth the stress of an uphill battle that you’ll lose, because once you’ve proved your point – you’re not a superstar, you now have the wrath of the person you just upset– and 99% of those are only interested in their job security and will do anything to ensure it (at your expense)

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