Career Compass

Career Compass is a monthly column from ICMA focused on career issues for local government professional staff.

Dr. Frank Benest is ICMA’s senior advisor for Next Generation Initiatives and resides in Palo Alto, California. If you have a career question you would like addressed in a future Career Compass, e-mail careers@icma.org or contact Frank directly at frank@frankbenest.com.


Career Compass No. 60: I Don’t Like My Mid-Manager Job!

Career Compass 59–Perform the Job Before You Get It

Career Compass No. 58: Overcoming Deep-Seated Fears

Career Compass No. 57: Leading by Living Your Values

Career Compass No. 56: The Paradoxes of Leadership

Career Compass No. 55: I’m not ready!

Career Compass No. 54: How Do I Position Myself for Advancement?

Career Compass No. 53: How Do I Hold People Accountable?

Career Compass No. 52: Recasting My Rep

Career Compass No. 51: Building a World Class Culture

Career Compass No. 50: Storytelling–A Powerful Way to Lead and Communicate

Career Compass No. 49: Building High-Performance Teams—What’s the Magic?

Career Compass No. 48: How Do I Benefit from a Coach?

Career Compass No. 47: Leadership Myths Debunked 

Career Compass No. 46: Leading By Letting Go

Career Compass No. 45: City Managers Need Coaches Too

Career Compass No. 44: Rookie Mistakes of a First-Time Department Head

Career Compass No. 43: My Team is Overwhelmed (and so am I)!

Career Compass No. 42: Trust Me!

Career Compass No. 41: The Post-Heroic Leader

Career Compass No. 40: “Why Can’t We Just Get Along?”

Career Compass No. 39: The Courage to Do the Right Thing

Career Compass No. 38: Your Staff Meetings Don’t Have To Be Dreary

Career Compass No. 37: Engaging Employees for Success

Career Compass No. 36: Creating a Leadership Presence

Career Compass No. 35: Leadership Lessons from My Teenage Daughter 

Career Compass No. 34: Making Presentations Like a Pro

Career Compass No. 33: Making the Move Up and Out—What’s the Fit?

Career Compass No. 32: The Power of Vulnerability

Career Compass No. 31: Political Savviness

Career Compass No. 30: Building a Powerful Network

Career Compass No. 29: Forget Work-Life Balance…Re-Energize at Work and at Home!

Career Compass No. 28: My Team Member Is a Slacker!

Career Compass No. 27: Creating a Safe Environment for a Courageous Conversation

Career Compass No. 26: The Art of the Interview

COLUMNS 1-25

Check out the Career Compass Anthology: Volume I – a compilation of the first 25 columns in one handy-formatted PDF.

Career Compass No. 25: Winning Office Politics, the Right Way

Career Compass No. 24: Asking Powerful Questions

Career Compass No. 23: Building Your Personal Brand

Career Compass No. 22: Overcoming Your Blind-spots

Career Compass No. 21: My Micromanaging Boss Is Driving Me Crazy!

Career Compass No. 20: They’ve Oversized My Job!

Career Compass No. 19: Why Should Anyone Follow Me?

Career Compass No. 18: Taking Smart Risks

Career Compass No. 17: The Subtle Art of Promoting Your Value

Career Compass No. 16: Should I Consider a Lateral Move?

Career Compass No. 15: Dealing with Angry Crowds

Career Compass No. 14: Selling Your Ideas

Career Compass No. 13: Developing a Finance IQ

Career Compass No. 12: Communicating with Your Boss

Career Compass No. 11: Frank’s Rules for Resume Writing

Career Compass No. 10: Personal Learning—The Key to Adapting and Advancing

Career Compass No. 9: Bouncing Back From Defeat

Career Compass No. 8: Leading From the Middle

Career Compass No. 7: How Do I Create a “Dream Team” of Advisors?

Career Compass No. 6: The Multi-generational Workplace

Career Compass No. 5: Developing Leadership Skills When You Have No Formal Authority

Career Compass No. 4: Spot That Opening, and Take It!

Career Compass No. 3: Getting Ready for the Next Opportunity

Career Compass No. 2: Defining Your Value In Uncertain Times

Career Compass No. 1: What Skills Are Most Important for a Manager (And How Do I Develop Them)?