Wednesday, 25 February 2009
Monday, 23 February 2009
Thursday, 19 February 2009
Monday, 16 February 2009
Friday, 13 February 2009
Wednesday, 11 February 2009
Monday, 9 February 2009
“It was a risk but I decided to talk with my boss about where my career was going.”
James tells the story of his most recent career move that began - maybe a little unconventionally - with an approach to his boss this time last year.
“We had a really open conversation and agreed that I could look at career opportunities outside the company while exploring internal possibilities at the same time. As you can imagine, there was to be no effect on my performance in the meantime [cheeky smile].”
James continues, “I did the usual rounds of meetings and chats with recruiters and a few opportunities started to come my way. One conversation [with a potential employer] continued over several months. There were plenty of interviews and meetings but - in the end - this was the conversation that turned into my new job!”
So far so good for James but how was he helped by having the career conversation up front with his employer first?
James answers, “It’s funny because there is no way I would have got this job if my boss and I had not made our agreement in the first place. I could never have kept such a long process hidden from view. Something would have given under the strain.”
To sum up James says, “I moved my career on with support from my employer and it helped them too because I could stick around to hire and train my replacement. I can now look forward with absolutely no hang-ups about the past and nothing but goodwill behind me. Yes, it did feel like I was taking a risk approaching my boss at the outset but now, I am really glad that I did!”
***Career Health Warning***
James approached his boss about his career future and both sides did benefit from this progressive approach. Talking to your boss in this way is only something you should do if you are absolutely prepared for every eventuality [including the potential for your boss to take offence and dismiss you on the spot!].
A situation like this should be handled with extreme care and any action you take should be based on the history & health of your relationship with your employer [ahead of any external or 'expert' recommendation]. If you are in any way unsure, explore your doubts before doing anything that can not be undone!
***End of Career Health Warning***
In your opinion, is James’s situation unusual or is it something that is becoming more commonplace? Was James thoughtful, brave or even reckless in his actions? Here is some additional material that might help you decide:
Friday, 6 February 2009
The label we give something affects our attitude towards it. If this wasn’t true, the trillions of dollars spent each year on branding would be completely wasted.
(Related Geek Stat: In 2008, the combined value of the 100 most powerful brands in the world was $1.94 trillion. Source: BrandZ Top 100 2008 Report, Millward Brown).
Job Search, Job Seeking, Looking for Work - it doesn’t matter which label you choose, they all speak of a necessary evil, not a positive process.
Thinking about ‘Research’ instead of ‘Job Search’ isn’t an act of spin or re-branding. Research is simply a better label for the tasks we need to undertake in order to achieve the most successful career outcome when we are looking for work.
[A corny image of the road ahead often represents career planning & job search. Gimme a break!]
Here’s a quick like-for-like comparison:
- Research is a skill you can learn. Job Search lacks professional structure & discipline.
- Research aims to understand & resolve complex problems. Job Search lumps all of the issues together and expects them to be solved in one hit.
- Research ensures every event, encounter, success & failure shapes its conclusion. Job Search dismisses most of our experiences as failures.
- Research can be an ongoing process that delivers continuous value. Job Search we can’t wait to get over.
It is Research not Job Search that is more likely to deliver success in your next career move. Perhaps Job Search is something we can avoid after all!
Have a great weekend wherever you are!
Here are some more posts on the role research plays in career management:
Wednesday, 4 February 2009
I read some ‘expert’ career advice on the web today in an article called ‘Keep your job’.
Here are the 4 headlines this article said all of us need to be aware of in order to safeguard our jobs & careers:
1. Self-improve (acquire new, relevant skills)
2. Get noticed (businesses need innovation to pull through difficult times)
3. Don’t get noticed (don’t get caught looking for a new job)
4. Make a backup plan (be aware of alternatives in case your job comes under threat)
My problem with this article is that it makes some interesting points but doesn't go on to explain how we might progress them.
I liken it to my car breaking down at the roadside and a mechanic pulling over in a recovery truck. He offers to help but does so by making suggestions like, “Cars don’t tend to break down so often when they are regularly serviced” or “You could fix your car easily if you understood computerised engine management systems”. You get the idea.
When an expert offers their help you need it to get you somewhere not point out what you already know - or worse - offer ideas that suggest help but go no further.
The individual who wrote this career article is an expert and their expertise could help any number of us looking to safeguard our jobs & develop our careers in the challenging market we are working in today.
Maybe it is time for our experts to move beyond their ideas and get into practical areas (such as evidence, detail and testimony) and enable genuine career progress to be made.
Agree or disagree? Your comments are welcomed as always!
Here are some links focusing on career management, decision-making & job search beyond just the suggestion of ideas:
Monday, 2 February 2009
The ability to make intelligent career choices is open to us all.
This may seem like an obvious statement but I am not convinced that everyone would agree with it.
Some might argue that you can only make intelligent choices if you yourself are intelligent. Others might go on to say that because intelligence is shared out unequally, not everyone can make intelligent choices.
Personally, I do not subscribe to either view because I am convinced that intelligent choice is open to us all (I also don't believe that intelligence is unequal but that is another story).
Regardless how clever others say we are - or how clever we believe ourselves to be - we can all make intelligent choices. Just as it is also true that the very cleverest of people make foolish choices too.
Intelligent career choice relies - among other things - on our individual ability to understand our relationship with work. It also depends how we are judging or defining career success to ourselves, as well as to those around us.
Intelligent career choice is therefore something that we can learn more about and - another thing that levels the playing field - there is no barrier to entry other than our own motivation to better understand our relationship with work.
Anyone with the will to spend a little time on this subject will begin to make more intelligent choices and make progress in their career along the way.