Do you manage your career or manage your strategies?

Do you manage your career or manage your strategies?

Career transition

Which direction should I go?

For years, I’ve contemplated why “career management” doesn’t happen. I’ve thought most people believe that they should manage their career, but few of us do that. It’s like saving for retirement: we all know we should do it and then we hit 60-years old and discover there isn’t much time left to save!

Why don’t we “manage” our careers? Over the last several months on blog hiatus, I’ve thought a lot about that. Most people — or pundits, I should say — think you should be managing your career every single day. Some even every hour of every single day.

But that’s not how work works.

We go into work every day, figure out what tasks need to get completed that day, and if we’re really good, we try and do a few things to hit some goal we want to achieve. I’ve had this rule that I made up about how much you can get done: max of three things a day at work if you are lucky and one thing when you come home. Anything more than that is pure gravy and rarely happens.

And 99% of the time, none of those things have much to do with “career management.”

Yet, career advice is desperately needed — just look at how hard it is to find a new job. Building resumes, doing job interviews, researching companies, trying to look for a job when you already have a job.

Or look at making the decision to move to another city to take a promotion with your company. Worth it?

Or making a decision to leave a job and start looking for a new one. Right decision?

When I laid out what happens during a career, I finally had the paradigm shift: it’s not career management that should be the focus of helping someone in their career. No, it is career transitions where people need the help.

Sure, there are office politics and there is work around goal setting and performance reviews (important work…), but most of the need for advice centers around career transitions. That brief time — two weeks to two months — where major decisions are made that impact your work and livelihood for many months to come. Decisions that can start you down a completely different trail in your life and work.

When you look back on your work so far, what were the most difficult times? What were the hardest decisions to make? How did you make those decisions? Chances are, those times were when you had to make some choice that was going to make a big impact on your life and work. Decisions that would impact your income, your family, and even your circle of friends.

It is those times of transition where you would like the help. And that’s the place I’d like to help you.

Career management, after all, is a lot like the definition of management: executing strategy decisions that have already been made into something real and tangible. Important stuff, but a lot of that stuff is the grind of execution, the continuous work to complete the tasks in a plan.

Career transitions, though, are the strategy decisions that are made to go in a new direction. It’s the making the decision to pass a car, pulling into the passing lane on a two-lane highway where all of a sudden your whole perspective changes. You are breaking rules by driving on the “wrong” side of the road. There is the uncertainty around if the decision to pass was the correct one — especially when you see that car coming down the road right at you. It’s deciding where the point of no return lies, where you can still go back to where you were with the risk not taken. Or when you decide you must press on, but change tactics to pass that car safely.

Career management is making it to the other side of the car, getting set up on your lane all over again, and doing the things you wanted to do after you passed that car. Good things to do, of course, but nowhere near the risky strategy of deciding and then the passing of the car.

Most of us are not in that situation now, the need to pass the car, that place of deciding to make a career transition. But if you are, I can help through products for DIY approaches to making a transition to personal, one-on-one coaching.

When that transition time comes, you’ll need that Cubicle Warrior mentality. And a great coach and mentor to help you in your transition.

Cube Rules Links — June 6, 2014

Cube Rules Links — June 6, 2014

Cube Rules Links

photo: ClawzCTR

Here’s what I’ve plucked out of the Internet (not all this week, since it has been a while….) for your Friday and weekend enjoyment.

5 predictions on the future of the resume

This is really predictions about LinkedIn, so you should read it as such. Quote:

As happens in the circle of forward thinkers and futurists, predicting the next trend is inevitable. In the careers environment, many experts feel that LinkedIn is surpassing the resume in value, and in some cases, replacing it altogether.

This likely will never happen. For one thing, the groundwork to create a career story “foundation” is always going to require much digging, unearthing and investigating before the first line is actually etched onto the page or the screen. Where people get distracted is that they think it’s about the form of the career story (or, actually, what you “call it”; i.e., resume, LinkedIn profile, Career Story, Career Portfolio) versus the actual function.

Fear Choice vs. Love Choice

I’m really trying to do more of the love choices — worth the story on the click through. Quote:

I splutter out four words I rarely utter: “Can you repeat that?”

Because every decision on the horizon just got twenty times simpler. Like boom.

Job interviews are getting weirder

Like these questions are actually related to success on the job. I doubt it. But it makes good reading. Quote:

The post-interview stories are becoming increasingly bizarre, she says. “People can be asked to sing a jingle,” she says. Her advice to job seekers in 2014: “Have one ready that’s relevant to your industry. It shows that you’ve done your homework and react well under pressure.”

Please, don’t sing me a song relating to your job skills. I might die. And creating a jingle relating to your industry is considered career advice? Really?

Enjoy your weekend, Cubicle Warriors.

5 ways to improve your resume

5 ways to improve your resume

photo: Ethan Hein The most important point to remember when creating or modifying your resume is this: Your resume gets you the first interview for a job. It doesn’t get you past the first interview, it doesn’t get you to the hiring manager, and it doesn’t get you hired. It just gets you the firstContinue Reading

Multiple reminders put you in productive purgatory

Multiple reminders put you in productive purgatory

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Bait the interviewer to ask great questions

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Cube Rules Links — February 28, 2014

Cube Rules Links — February 28, 2014

Here’s what I’ve been saving for you from the Internet this week. These are posts that don’t necessarily match up to my mission of supporting transitions in your career, but are about the career path. The best investment advice you’ll never get This is long, but if you read nothing else, read this one. AsContinue Reading

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3 sources to get business results on your resume

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You are interview ready — how about the hiring manager?

You are interview ready — how about the hiring manager?

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Cube Rules Links — February 21, 2014

Cube Rules Links — February 21, 2014

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4 critical review areas for updating your resume

4 critical review areas for updating your resume

Reviewing a resume is an important process for a job applicant. Without a good resume – meaning one in which the person or machine reading it wants to learn more about you through an interview – you won’t get a shot at that interview and the job you applied to get. But, what, exactly, shouldContinue Reading