Four Tips to Career Success

sizzle  not fizzle

Coming in as the new “kid” on the team can feel daunting. Liz Darnell author of Sizzle, Not Fizzle: How to Decline Average & Embrace Exceptional offers graduates entering the workforce, four practical tips to career success.


Moving from Fast Food Server to Executive Assistant to Chief Operating Officer in less than 10 years, Darnell’s career demonstrates that when you decline average and embrace exceptional, your career (and life) can sizzle.


Darnell shares insight from personal experience in how to become known as the office miracle-maker and sizzling member of the team.


Always get noticed—in a good way.

Dirty dishes in the sink? Trash overflowing? Coffee pot empty? You’re the VP’s assistant. You know this is the receptionist’s job. You have two choices: roll your eyes and cram one more takeout box into the trash and huff off without the coffee you came to get. Or you can take the trash out, clean the dishes, and make a fresh pot of coffee and let people know there’s new brew in the kitchen.


Which is sizzling and which is fizzling? When you’re trying to prove you’re exceptional, every chance you get to roll up your sleeves is a chance to shine.


Never accept no. No is not an (acceptable) answer.

I was once told by three customer service agents and a customer service supervisor that a cruise deposit could not be refunded to my boss. I was told that contractually the travel agent who had booked it now “owned” that particular reservation, not the cruise line. Remember, there is always a supervisor over that agent on the phone.

It turned out that the cruise line was the party actually charging the deposit which led me to continue pushing until I reached a top-tier supervisor. This supervisor checked and informed me I was right. Because the travel agent had not drafted the deposit, the cruise line still had oversight on the reservation and could release the refund back to

my boss.


This was a “Miracle-maker moment,” a $6,000 miracle. What if I had said “okay, oh well” to the first rep? The second?


Never accept defeat. Never give up trying to figure it out.

There’s always an answer on Google. ”I don’t know” is average and reeks of fizzle. “But I will find out,” is xceptional sizzle in action. Yes, I used Google to develop a business plan. Yes, I used Google to learn Excel formulas. There is no shame in not knowing something and admitting it. The shame is in not knowing being the final result. Fizzlers say, “I don’t know how.” Sizzlers say, “I don’t know how, but I will find out.”


Be self-motivated.

Don’t let yourself depend on outside forces for motivation. There will not always be someone encouraging you or a motivational poster on the wall saying “you can do it!” Daily encourage yourself and learn to depend on “you” to get where you want to be