'Dilbert' Creator Scott Adams: How to Fail Your Way to Success

As the famous cartoonist knows, multiple career misadventures can help in the long run.

Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams
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[See: 15 Essential Tips for Job Success.]

Not everyone has world-class talent. Why should employees with mediocre and/or good skills still feel encouraged?

If you combine several "good enough" skills, it can make you surprisingly valuable. In my case, I'm not a world-class artist or writer. I'm a mediocre businessman, and I'm often not the funniest person in the room. But the combination of those "good enough" skills was sufficient to create "Dilbert."

On a smaller scale, learning a second language or honing your public speaking skills to "good enough" can make you the obvious choice to manage folks who have fewer skills.

In "Dilbert," many of the employees verbally unload on their terrible boss. But in the real world, how should someone deal with a rotten manager?

Find another job. I have never heard of anyone leaving a job with a bad boss and later regretting it. The other method I have seen work is bad-mouthing your boss to his boss. If you do it convincingly, and you enlist allies to do the same, it becomes someone else's problem to solve. But you have to be direct and recommend that your boss be fired. Don't simply complain and hope it helps.

Rotten bosses don't get better. Any strategy that assumes they can is doomed.

[See: 10 Things Only Bad Bosses Say.]

Dilbert is a pretty awkward character in social settings. How can having a strong social life benefit your career?

Many, if not most, career opportunities come to you through people you know. So the more people you know, the more opportunities you have. Improving your social network is a great example of a system for moving from lower odds to better odds without having a specific goal.