The Brent Venables Rules of Career Movement

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On December 6, 2021, Oklahoma university announced that they were hiring Brent Venables to be their next head football coach. Venables had been an outstanding defensive coordinator at Clemson, and before that at Oklahoma.

If you want to move up in your career, you can learn a lot about what to do by observing Brent Venables example. Here are five Brent Venables rules of career movement.

Rule 1: Doing excellent work is the best way to increase your odds of moving up.

During his ten years at Clemson, Venables was one of the best, if not the best, defensive coordinator in college football. His excellent work was rewarded with dozens of offers to become a head coach somewhere.

If you want opportunities to move up, the best thing you can do is an excellent job where you are right now. People notice. Word gets around.

Rule 2: Wait for the right opportunity.

Venables had dozens of offers over the years, but he held out for the right one. That’s a good example for you.

Don’t just take the first offer that comes along. Don’t take a new position just because it pays more or has better benefits. Wait for an opportunity where you expect to like the work and the people you’ll work with. Seize that opportunity when it comes.

Rule 3: You need a little luck.

Brent Venables would never have gotten the offer from Oklahoma if their previous coach, Lincoln Riley, hadn’t decided to move to the University of Southern California. Most of the time, things you can’t control will have to happen before you get that right opportunity.

Rule 4: Your new job will be different from your old job.

Your excellence in your current job may get you an opportunity, but your new job will be different. You will need to master new skills. You must stop doing some things that you like and that you’re good at. Not only that, you must also prove yourself all over again.

Rule 5: Success isn’t guaranteed.

Not every right opportunity works out. The job might not turn out to be what you thought. You may not be able to make the adjustments you need to make. And there’s “objective ignorance.” Those are things no one can foresee that will affect your job and your future.

That’s not a reason not to seize that opportunity. Fortune favors the bold.


Doing excellent work is the best way to increase your odds of moving up.

Wait for the right opportunity.

You need a little luck.

Your new job will be different from your old job.

Success isn’t guaranteed.

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Chad Long   |   10 Dec 2021   |   Reply

good leadership read