Be the Boss Over Cancer

In my book Climbing the Corporate Ladder, I list seven steps to creating a successful career:

1. Clarify the purpose and direction for your life and career.
2. Commit to taking personal responsibility for your life and career success.
3. Build unshakeable self-confidence.
4. Become an outstanding performer.
5. Create positive personal impact.
6. Become a dynamic communicator.
7. Build strong, lasting mutually beneficial relationships.

Here is a brief overview of each of these steps:

Clarity - Develop your personal definition of life and career success. What works for you is what’s right for you. Create a vivid mental image of what your success will look like - this image will keep you going when things get tough. Finally, work to clarify your personal values, as they are your rudder. They will keep you on course and help you make decisions in ambiguous and difficult situations, such as a cancer diagnosis.

Commitment - You have to commit to your success. Do this by setting high goals and then doing whatever it takes to achieve them. Stuff will happen as you go about building a successful career – some of it negative. Choose to respond positively to negative people and events and you’ll move forward at a steady pace.

Confidence - Choose optimism; it is powerful. My optimistic attitude helped me get through my cancer surgery and subsequent treatments. It will help you build your confidence. Then face your fears and act. Don’t let your fear of failure derail your career success plans.

Outstanding Performance - Become an expert in your area of technical expertise and stay current by becoming a lifelong learner. Make the most of your recovery time after treatment – take online courses, volunteer in your field and read up on recent developments.

Personal Impact - Build your unique personal brand by figuring out how you want people to see you, then consistently acting in a like manner. Being a cancer survivor shows your toughness, so find a way to incorporate it into your brand.

Dynamic Communication - Three things here. Become an excellent conversationalist. Write in a clear, succinct manner that gets your ideas across. Develop your presentation skills. Many a career has been made on the strength of one great presentation.

Relationships - Get to know yourself. Use this knowledge to better understand others. Pay it forward. Do for others without expecting anything in return. Good things will come back to you.

This is a quick overview of the ideas in Climbing the Corporate Ladder. If you would like an electronic copy of the book, please send Bud an email at with the words “Climbing the Corporate Ladder” in the subject line. 

Bud Bilanich is a career success coach, leadership consultant, motivational speaker, bestselling author, influential blogger and cancer survivor. Follow him at and on Twitter @BudBilanich.


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