Cubicle to the Corner Office


Cubicle to the Corner Office. In this Short Talk episode Judith Germain speaks to Michael Halpert about going from the cubicle to the corner office – starting in that first job. Mike emphasises the importance of understanding one’s role and goals, building relationships, and developing a growth mindset from the start of one’s career. He advises asking questions of one’s manager to gain clarity.

Key Takeaways

  • Build relationships and get to know people outside of work contexts
  • Take inventory of your skills and create a plan to develop soft skills
  • Have a growth mindset and think deliberately about your career development


Advice for First Jobs

  • Understand your role and goals, ask questions to determine how you contribute
  • Build work relationships through networking, lunch, happy hours
  • Take inventory of your skills and create a development plan
  • Have a growth mindset focused on developing soft skills

Developing a Legacy

  • Your personal brand and reputation matter, even early in your career
  • Be known for reliability, dedication, and a positive attitude

Importance of Relationships

  • Get to know people personally outside of work
  • Remote work makes relationships more transactional
  • Must be deliberate about relationship building without office interactions

In this conversation Mike encourages employees to regularly self-assess progress across hard and soft skills using a fulfillment matrix to plan next steps and ensure continuous growth toward new opportunities. He also stresses the criticality of relationships for career success, advising spending time learning from others outside of meetings through lunches and casual conversations to understand people fully.

Mike Halpert is a Product Management executive with over 20 years of experience at leading companies such as Walmert Ecommerce, Google and Thrasio. His new book Cubicle to Corner Office is a guide to help todays new talent enter the workforce with more confidence and effectiveness.

Maverick leadership is all about thinking outside the box and challenging the status quo. It’s about having the courage to take risks and the confidence to lead in a way that is authentic and genuine.

But amplifying your influence as a leader isn’t just about having a strong vision or a big personality. It’s also about having the right leadership capability and being able to execute on your ideas and plans.

The consequences of not having the right level of influence as a leader can be significant. Without the ability to inspire and motivate others, you may struggle to achieve your goals and make a real impact.

How Influential Are you? Take the scorecard at and see. 

Mike Halpert can be found on LinkedIn here. His website is here.

You can listen to Episode 391 on any of the popular podcast platforms or apps (including Spotify, and Audible). If you prefer to listen to your browser you can do that below. Enjoy!

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Maverick Paradox Media is for the pathologically curious who seek to learn from lateral thinkers, including how to execute maverick thinking. We provide a Maverick perspective on the world arounds us. 💢 I am the leading authority on 𝗠𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗸 𝗟𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗽 and Founder of Maverick Paradox Media. It is because I am passionate about demonstrating that Maverick Leadership exists everywhere and understand that we can all learn from diverse and differing voices that I founded Maverick Paradox Media. Maverick Paradox reaches thousands of leaders and business owners, empowering and inspiring them to think differently, challenge often and increase their leadership capability. 💢 Maverick Paradox Media consists of: ✅ The Maverick Paradox Podcast (on all popular podcast platforms/apps – available episodes here: ✅ The Maverick Paradox Magazine I also write for The Maverick Paradox Magazine and you can find those articles under my name Judith Germain.