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You should plan your career advancement like a 50 mile hike

Boys will be boys, and so will a lot of middle-aged men. (Kin Hubbard)

Boys on a 50 mile hike

2 1/2 pounds of trail mix per boy each day for a total of 90 pounds.  3 packages of hamburger helper for one meal for 6 boys.  Oatmeal every day for breakfast for 6 days on the trail.  Coyotes, raccoons, elk and a 20 acre meadow of ripe blueberries. It was a great adventure.  By the end the boys learned they had taken way too much trail mix and hamburger helper.  They also stopped liking banana flavored oatmeal.  They planned, saw, did and learned things they would never have known about without that 50 mile hike. Later most of the boys did 70 and 100 mile hikes. On the later hikes they carried less weight and had even more fun.

Job hunting

If you want to constantly move up you have to stop looking at your job search as an occasional sprint.  It has to become a planned excursion.  It may become a safari.

Job hunting does not get any easier at the next level up. When you get better at what you do, it takes longer.  The number of jobs decrease and the number of good people looking for the great jobs increases as you move up.  Moving laterally isn’t hard.  Moving up is hard.  Getting a promotion is tough.  Beating the 20 other people who want to be raised to Executive Vice President or be the highest paid technician in the company is very hard.

It takes one month of job searching for every $15,000 of salary in today’s market. That’s how hard it is to advance.  That is how much harder it gets later.

If you start now and decide to LEARN while you search for a job, you’ll do better next time.  You need to study and try different ideas.  Find out what works for you and what flops.  Everyone is different.  There is no reason for you to do things exactly the same as someone else.

My boys started out with 2 mile, 10 mile and then 20 mile hikes.  They got better, but kept learning.  The 50 and 100 mile hikes were a lot of work, but not as painful as the 20 mile hikes.  Your job searches may get longer, but they don’t have to be as difficult as your current one if you keep on learning.

Something to do today

Go to your job journal.  List your employment dates so far.  Also list your promotions.  You will probably see a pattern.  If the new jobs or promotions stopped, was it really your idea or did you just stop advancing?  Write down how quickly you really can earn that next 3 raises, promotions or jobs.  You may want to set up a personal progress program.

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Later:                         Was that bear scat?

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