I was recently thinking about the lessons I’ve learned in my experience as a credit manager, and I thought I’d share them with you. This is the advice I’d give to both a new and veteran credit manager.

You can avoid many mistakes by following these guidelines:

  • Admit when you make errors, correct them as quickly as possible, and learn from them.
  • Always complete assignments on time.
  • Arrive early for meetings, or at the very least be on time.
  • Don’t be a know-it-all.
  • Don’t embarrass your manager in meetings or in writing, and never go behind your manager’s back.
  • Focus on adding value.  Doing only what is required is rarely a good long-term job strategy.
  • If you disagree with your boss, before sharing your POV, ask if they want your opinion.  If the answer is No, follow the instructions you received doing so is illegal, immoral, improper or potentially harmful to you or others.
  • Invest in your continuing professional education.
  • Keep your commitments.
  • Know how much authority and autonomy you have.
  • Make sure your communications are clear and concise.
  • Never complain about your manager at work.
  • Recognize the importance of adapting to and adopting the cultural norms in your workplace.
  • Remember that what others say is not always what they mean. For example, and depending on who is saying it, the phrase: “Please try to complete this assignment as soon as possible” may actually mean “Do it now!”
  • Shore up weaknesses before they hurt your future prospects, or your reputation.  For example, consider whether your presentation or public speaking skills need improvement.

You’ve heard my list. What would you add?

Michael is the author of the Encyclopedia of Credit (www.encyclopediaofcredit.com), a free, fast, internet resource for credit and collection professionals.  He is a consultant, and the author of “Credit and Collection Forms and Procedures Manual” as well as a frequent instructor at CMA-sponsored educational events.  He can be contacted at 949-584-9685.

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