Get Your “Trump Card” Ready

Which came first the chicken or the egg?

Which came first “the Donald” or the “Trump Card?”

I can’t answer the first, but I can answer the second. Urban dictionary (obvi the most reliable source on the WWW) defines “Trump Card” as “The final resort, but often the easiest way out. You’re most powerful option in succeeding at anything in life.  Unfortunately, once used, the trump card can rarely be used on the same person again. If reused it will rarely be as powerful.” The origin of the word trump however, dates back to even before “the Donald” and refers to “playing a card of a suit ranking above the others.”

Cool, Trace, but where are you going with this?


My peers and I are at the point in our careers where we are teetering on the cusp. My friends and I, we’ve been at our jobs 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 years and it’s time to make some big decisions. Should I stay or should I go? [huge Clash fan by the way]. Am I getting the promotions and the raises I deserve? How am I performing against the common benchmark? Am I keeping up with the market or am I falling behind?

I too often here grumblings around the water cooler or amongst my group of friends that people are dissatisfied with their annual reviews, career path and advancements. There are two characteristics and two types of people who define such a predicament:

Characteristics (of which you need both):

1. Not knowing when to ask. As Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook says, “no one ever got the corner office from not sitting at the table.” Your manager and the executive team is much more likely to give to those who ask rather than to those who wait for opportunities (money, promotions, etc.) to be presented to them.

2. The ones that don’t have a “Trump Card.” You do everything right, you do everything that’s expected of you, you show up on time… so what’s the problem? What is your get of jail free card? Your Golden Ticket? What’s the one thing that you have done that sets you apart from your peer group? I frequently blog about building your personal brand and how important it is for career development and this is a prime example. I often hear people at higher levels say that in order to be promoted you must already be performing at the next level. It only takes one thing to set yourself apart, to make you irreplaceable, so that no one can say no. What is your thing going to be?


1. The person lacking #1 above.

This is the person that goes above and beyond. They perform at a higher level and are results oriented. They have 1 or more “Trump Cards” in their back pocket just waiting to be played. This person however, is afraid to ask.

2. The person lacking #2 above.

This is the person who asks time and time again. When? How? Why? But they are lacking the closer… it’s the bottom of the 9th, bases are loaded and you don’t have a “Trump Card” to play.

I’ll leave you with those thoughts.

Happy Friday! Is it just me or did this week drag?




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