What comes with the gravy?

I mentioned a week ago that I was giving a talk on career tips called “Ride the Gravy Train”. I gave the talk today (which had a remarkably large turnout), and think it’s a talk I’ll deliver again (with some tweaks).

Without going into details, here are the tips:

  • do the right thing
  • try different
  • speak up
  • learn your A-C-B’s
  • know that you don’t
  • know who you don’t
  • follow the leader – lead the follower
  • don‘t flip the bozo bit
  • …and don’t burn bridges either
  • find a mentor
  • ride the gravy train
  • find the steepest learning curve
  • the three p’s
  • be happy
  • a career is a journey, not a sprint
  • there’s nothing wrong with self-promotion

As  you can tell, there’s nothing Microsoft specific here (and probably nothing controversial either). As usual, of course, I use few words on my slides (this is the sum of all of the text), and the words I use are too obscure for most people to provide context.

Given that it’s my product now, I’m considering doing a live meeting version of this talk (and if that goes well, others). I thought about doing something like this before, but as soon as I suggested it, I got very, very busy. I’m still busy, but at least I can say I’m testing (and I promise to anyone who wants to listen to the talk that I will take every bit of feedback you give me on your experience with the product and get it to the proper people). Not sure when yet, but probably in  a few weeks. I’ll post something here and frequently on twitter when I get things squared away.


  1. Great summary, Alan.

    about “self promotion” – any tips for those who down play – either becasue of cultural background or due to their personality – that not often talk about this.

    I have heard this comment from a lot of people that – there are people who play gr8 roles behind the scenes and help a great deal to get the projects delivered – often quietly in crunch mode – but obviously get un-noticed since they don’t talk about it.


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