Monday, June 17, 2024

David Specht: Pull Up Your C.H.A.I.R.

by David Specht

Career success is attainable for those willing to do the work

Editor’s Note: David Specht’s column highlights his podcast, Keep This In Mind, available on all podcasting platforms and YouTube.

Are you feeling stuck in your career? Are you looking for a roadmap to get from where you are to where you want to be? If so, you’re not alone. In this episode of the Keep This In Mind podcast, he interviews Cicely Simpson, a 25-year veteran of leadership in business, public policy, and political and legal affairs. Cicely shares her insights on career development and personal growth, emphasizing the importance of understanding one’s value and separating it from their job.

The pandemic has made many people reevaluate their lives and prioritize different values. As Dave Specht pointed out, many people know what they want to achieve, but don’t know how to achieve it. Dave coaches people from all walks of life and helps them create a roadmap to accomplish their goals. He suggested that people should not wait for big monumental moments to make changes, but start now. 

The word “entrepreneur” has become sexy, but it’s not the answer for everyone. Dave encourages people to be a person of impact, not influence, and to lean into their current role if they can have an impact there. He suggests that people do some soul searching before deciding to start a business.

Cicely Simpson had a client who was at their lowest point after losing their job in January. By July, the client had a new job making a higher salary, started a second business, and had a third organization reach out to them about consulting. Cicely believes that when people begin to get traction in their career trajectory, it spills over into other areas of their life. 

Cicely has written a book to help people find their voice and champion themselves in order to stay at the table. Her book outlines a structure for speaking to thousands of lives, based on a quote by Shirley Chisholm: “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” Cicely has also created an online career resource hub to provide people with the tools and resources they need to take initiative and not wait to be invited to opportunities.

Cicely also shared the top reasons why people are dissatisfied in their careers and tips to mitigate those feelings. Fear can lead to paralysis analysis, and people need to turn fear into action. The person taking action is the X factor in achieving success. Health is a key factor in achieving success in other areas of life.

Cicely Simpson’s core industry has taken a huge hit due to the pandemic. Despite the challenges, Cicely has received a phenomenal reception for her book and is now expanding her services to include an online career resource hub. She encourages people to reach out to her on her website, social media, or for one-on-one conversations. The website is location at

So, if you’re feeling stuck in your career, take a page from Cicely Simpson’s book and take initiative to get to where you want to be. Don’t wait to be invited to opportunities, and don’t be afraid to bring a folding chair. With the right roadmap, you can make the changes you need to have a successful career and life.

David A. Specht Jr. is publisher and editor of BIZ. and President of Specht Newspapers, Inc.

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