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Avoiding Shiny Object Syndrome for amazing professional success

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shiny round objects that attract



Have you ever experienced the pain and frustration associated with following new trends, ideas or techniques because you found out that others were using them and you managed to justify the need to jump in with the rest assuming that it would make you more efficient or keep you in the competition, whether for a career progression or in your business?

There is a good reason why I’m asking this.

Last week I wrote my post about supporting our reporting colleagues at the office and shared 3 tips on how to help bring out their best when they need a champion like true leaders. Here’s the link in case you haven’t seen the blog post.

How to bring out the best in reporting colleagues


Call it a matter of coincidence, but a few days later; I got a request via Quora for an answer from a young lady who wanted to know what certifications she could get to boost her resume.  From her question and details of her present education, I am gathering that she is either at the early stages of her career or about to enter the job market and is struggling to get a placement.

There were already a couple of answers which guided her to create her CV and tons of helpful tips which was the best that professionals whom she had approached could answer for a generic question. One of the other answers had spoken about passion and yes, that is important as is inherent ability, talent and inclinations.

Yet strangely, no one asked her what she wanted to do for her career and then guide her about her choice of certifications to her existing college degree. Typical of me, I asked and made it clear that it all depended upon the kind of job or industry that she wished to pursue for a career.

You can acquire many certificates for courses that you do, whether online or offline but if it isn’t relevant to the prospective employer, you won’t get an invitation to a job interview leave alone land the job. Since she hadn’t provided any specific information it was difficult to make any solid suggestions for her to research. The best advice I could give was that she first decide upon what she intended to do and then consult a professional career counselor for guidance on further studies to make her CV attractive to a  prospective employer or recruiter which would also build on her Bachelor’s degree in Commerce foundation.

A bigger coincidence is that the topic of my teleclass for March is avoiding shiny object syndrome for business success and here is someone who is on the verge of heading off to indulge in the same activity for her career but has taken the time to consult Quora members for some guidance which if not provided with due care could send her off in search of El Dorado without improving her job prospects but a CV laden with diplomas and certificates which would then create the problem of being overqualified for a job that might just be the right fit for her.


How can career professionals avoid falling into the Shiny Object Syndrome trap?


woman charting end goal


I’ll be discussing the Shiny Object Syndrome for business owners during the teleclass but here are 2 tips for the career professionals.

Firstly, be careful about following your passion and getting more certifications in that area unless it is one where there is an active job market.  Prospective employers won’t hire you for your passion unless it is aligned with their passion and you have skills to match it. A better way out is to do volunteer work in your spare time to find a creative expression and use that experience to spruce up your CV for skills that you have learned and which can be useful in your job.

For more details on how to do it, read my post Putting Unpaid and Volunteer work in your Resume

Secondly instead of joining every new course that you see on the internet or in the newspapers, think before you jump. Create a professional development plan and explore learning skills that help bridge any competency gap that you might have that can act as a barrier to your career progression.

Read about how I enhanced my own professional development plan and more tips in my post Did you know that a competency gap can affect your career prospects?


Business Owners too can catch flu like symptoms when faced with shiny objects

I’ve seen a lot of this in new business owners or self-employed professionals who have taken the decision to follow their dream. When a whole new world opens up to us and the scenarios are different to the ones that we have been used to back in the job world, it is but natural to want to experiment as part of our own learning process.

The problem starts when we continue learning without implementing or even stopping to think whether the learning or activity is relevant to our business.

We experience FOMO – Fear of Missing Out.

I’ll be honest with you – once upon a time I was immune to shiny objects and then when I started my own business and had to learn about new ways of marketing that was different to the accounting profession and tons of other things, I found myself ensnared by the charms of the bright shiny object. So, it’s safe to admit that I’ve been there and done that and I want to share my finger burnt knowledge with you through my Kindle ebook Cure Shiny Object Syndrome.

This book not only  discusses our biggest enemy – the Bright Shiny Object,  but also shows you practical steps that will get you demolishing the bane of your business– the Bright Shiny Object.

If you feel that you need to take stock of your version of Shiny Object Syndrome, then I invite you to purchase your copy of Cure Shiny Object Syndrome today by clicking on the book image below or here to be taken to the page where I have all the details of the ebook.



Your turn. Have you ever experienced shiny object syndrome, whether in your personal life, career or business? How did you tackle this time and money wasting monster?


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6 Responses to “Avoiding Shiny Object Syndrome for amazing professional success”

  1. Tamuria says:

    I have known a few eternal students who care constantly taking courses to gain those bright, shiny certificates, but never seem to be able to convert them to paid work. With all the hype on the net about following your dreams, it is good to hear the voice of reason making sure you know what you need to achieve that dream and not getting sucked into all the latest trends, which could sidetrack you from your ultimate goal.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thank you for the compliment, Tamuria. I know quite a few eternal students too who then struggle to get a job because they appear over qualified, especially in a recessionary economy where jobs are difficult to find anyhow. What is more important is to look at the certification and see if it is fitting in with the bigger picture of what we finally want to achieve. I’m hoping to help fellow professionals who have become self-employed or new business owners with my teleclass later this month.

  2. It seems there are so many courses, on-line as well as in the field that it can be overwhelming. I thought the way to learn a new business marketing was to buy programs, take webinar after webinar & got caught up in the trap of not knowing even how to implement the info the experts provided. Fortunately I caught myself.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      I hear you loud and clear, Roslyn. So many of us have been down that road. I put a stop to it all sometime last year when I decided that I would first complete all the courses that I had purchased on Udemy and implement them first. My wallet has been thanking me ever since! 🙂

  3. Delia says:

    I think we’re all guilty of the shiny object syndrome at some point, one way or another. The explosion of social media, applications and platforms, as well as all sorts of devices aren’t making things any easier.

    However, it’s up to us to always take 2 steps back and ask ourselves: Is this really what I need right now? I notice I am more grounded when I make a conscious decision to stop trying to keep up with things.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Mindful and informed decision making is key to avoiding shiny object syndrome, Delia. Well pointed out! With the advent of online marketing, there are tons of tools and methods to get our message out but as is always the danger with social media, we need to know when we are engaging for business and when we are wasting time thinking we are marketing our business or ourselves.

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I believe the world would be a better place if high achieving professionals accepted setbacks and challenges to their careers as Wake Up Calls to embark on a Journey where their empowered course correcting actions create a New World Order that encompasses achieving their career aspirations & potential with authentic life balance.

I work with driven, passionate, talented and ambitious professionals who’ve hit a speed breaker in their business or career create their desired breakthrough reclaiming control of their situation with customized strategies and tactics that deliver results.

When my clients first reach out to me, they are not in a very happy place, needing clarity about themselves, their desires, chosen vocation and what will give them peace of mind. They are drawn to me for the very reasons that I highlight in Who Is Karmic Ally Coaching.

Their professional problems are playing havoc with other areas of their life. They know they need to take radical steps to change the status quo but they also know they need support and accountability to get them their desired result.

I really get it, because I’ve experienced that dark night of the Soul. I know firsthand the outcome of getting lost in my work rationalizing decisions that were detrimental to other aspects of my life.

I’ve struggled with and won battles of stress management, corporate politics, life balance and career decisions to emerge in a place where I can confidently say that I live my desired life according to my personal Manifesto and have created a business that provides me with a platform for my desired lifestyle and self-expression for myself. I want that for you too!

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