If you look out on the blogosphere — or your library, bookstore, or your corporate career management website — you’ll see a lot of people claiming to be experts in career management.
You’d be skeptical, right? I know I would.
The big problem with experts is that they often can eloquently express a particular point of view. Not necessarily your point of view, of course, but a point of view.
Because we are skeptical, where do we often turn for advice on career management? Our cubemates. Our friends. Our family members. The corporate web site.
Yes, we turn to people who often have little insight into what is really needed for career management — or, as a corporation, have a completely different set of objectives for what is “right” for us as employees.
People read my articles that I’ve published here on Cube Rules and believe that I’m an “expert” on career management. I’m not. I’m merely more than a disinterested observer willing to learn what it takes to succeed in Planet Corporation.
But since I’m willing to try and define a Cubicle Warrior who wants to thrive in corporations, willing to read about the latest trends like video job descriptions and resumes, willing to check out the latest career management tools, and try to fit all of those things into some coherent whole for the person working in a cube, I have a bit more knowledge than many about what it takes to manage a career today.
An expert, in my view, is a person who is willing to learn with a beginner’s mind.
So my suggestion is this: build a framework for your career management by reading what the “experts” say you should do for managing your career. Test that framework and add real life examples to validate the framework by discussing it with your co-workers, friends, family, and checking out web sites. Synthesize all of this into what you need to do to effectively manage your career.
When you get to the point where you have too much information from too many sources and are being forced to synthesize what you researched into something that makes sense for you…you’ll become an expert as well. For your own career.
Be skeptical of experts — yet, be your own expert in career management.