Who makes the rules? Why breaking the rules is the new ‘rule’ for career success…

27 May Who makes the rules? Why breaking the rules is the new ‘rule’ for career success…

I have always been one to break the rules…. Test the boundaries…. Do things differently…. Challenge the status quo. BREAK THE BOXES!!!

It consistently gets me what I want. It sure works faster and gets more engagement than being a beige, box person.

Recently, have become very frustrated by people’s perception of the so called ‘rules’ of traditional recruitment, career advice, resume and personal marketing and HR. I have been challenged on my non beige-ness by beige people who believe in a set of made up non existent rules. It got me thinking….


There are a million pieces of advice out there on what you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to your career.  How many pages a resume should be. What font you should use. What size font. What colours, or no colour at all. How you should apply for a job….what you should do, what you shouldn’t do. What you should say, what you shouldn’t. What is acceptable, what is not. BLA BLA.

People are confused and overwhelmed because the advice is often conflicting and contradictory.

Nearly every recruitment agency, training organisation, employment provider, career advisor and career coach will likely have developed their own set of limiting and outdated ‘rules’ – and some of the rules are so out of touch it is an embarrassment to their brand. Who is making up these rules? There are no rules.
Seriously….who made up the rule that the font on a resume must be no bigger than a size 16, as I read somewhere recently? Who actually decided that!?

Who decided that you shouldn’t put colour on your resume? Have you heard that one? Here is my thoughts on that one….

“If someone tells you ‘Don’t use colour on your resume, it should be black and white” – look them in the eyes…observe all their wrinkles….and ignore this outdated, irrelevant old school ‘rule’. It is 2016! Career management is like small business management. Personal branding is about marketing. Can you name one big company that only uses black and white for their marketing documents? No?….because it doesn’t work! Choose a colour, make it part of your brand! Or use the logo colour of the company you are applying to – It psychologically links your brand with theirs….”

But hey, I don’t want to make colour a rule. Do what you want. Just don’t be boring…unless that’s your thing, beigey!

I must admit, I spent time myself trying to work out the rules, so I could help my clients to follow them. Then I quickly realised……this is madness and its beige and not who I am! There are no rules if you want to stand out. If you follow all the rules…..you just reduced your chances of success. So if you want to make things harder for yourself…..keep following these so called rules.

But knowing the rules is the only way you can consciously break them. You need to know what everyone else is doing, so you can do it differently and stand out….

Think of all the successful people you know…..did they follow all the rules….or did they take some risks?

Exactly. They broke them….because successful people are not beige!

There are no rules when it comes to marketing yourself, deciding your path and chasing down your goals. Indeed, if you do follow all the rules, it shows no initiative, no creativity and no guts. Its copying a formula that no longer works!

I am going to make up a “rule”….since it appears anyone can. If it is on the internet…people apparently just believe it…..so here is my new ‘internet verified’ rule!…..


Breaking the rules is the new rule.

Note – Clearly, I am talking about ‘career rules’, some rules are obviously needed…like laws, manners and society rules etc. 🙂

I am a box breaker, ….a revolutionary leader and I know it is my purpose to be here to help break down our broken systems and shake things up. Our children depend on it and the emerging next generation and the rest of us too……we are constantly being loaded up with misinformation, out dated advice on what you should do to market yourself!

The best and most successful businesses in the world…are the ones that broke the rules and did it differently!!! Uber, Apple, AirbnB etc

You are a small business of one. You are a Careerpreneur.  Career success is dependent on your ability to sell and market yourself. Using your personality and charm is the best way to get anything you want.

So, as someone who is marketing yourself  continuously (on your resume, LinkedIn profile, how you speak about yourself, in meetings, networking etc)…..don’t you think you will have more success if you broke some rules?

You will be remembered for the rules you break and what you create….not the rules you followed.


Authenticity prevails every time.  Write like you speak. Speak like you believe it. Drop your overly polished corporate language and speak to peoples hearts, from your own.

Do it differently. Innovate. Make up your own rules. DO WHAT FEELS RIGHT. Follow your gut. Listen to your heart…..not your head (your head is where you subconsciously store all the millions of ‘rules’ you have been taught over your lifetime).

Know your audience. Who are you marketing yourself to? What companies? What do they do? Take their lead…..if their motto is ‘old school tradition’ then do it the boring way to align with their boring brand. But if the company motto is ‘innovation in action’….then show them you are innovative and taking action!

The key to success is to be you, be different and be an innovator. Creativity and innovation are what businesses need (even though some do not yet value or appreciate how important it is). Businesses cant and won’t survive in this modern era with a team of rule followers. The world is changing…..the labour market is changing. The rule breakers will triumph. Be yourself. Be revolutionary..

Still not convinced?

Try this…and see which strategy wins.

 Do an A / B Split test on your career marketing / job search strategy.


Strategy A – do it by the rules – the same way everyone else applies – the old school, traditional, boring, cookie cutter way.

Strategy B – break the rules and do it differently – be innovative, think creatively and  step outside your comfort zone. Do something you have never done.

Which one resulted in greater engagement?

Thought so! It works.

Keep it up. Lets break those rules and watch what happens!

To your unlimited success,

Seona Craig

I am the CEO and Founder of YOU Unlimited and the leader of The ‘CareerPreneur’ Revolution. I am on a mission to change the way that people view and manage their careers! I want to show you how to do be yourself, use your personality, do it differently. It works. STAND UP AND BE YOU!

 Book in for a free 10 min consultation with me NOW to work out how we can market your personal brand and break some rules to get noticed. Call 0423171234. Or email seona@youunlimited.com.au