Tag Archives: job advancement

Why career plans don’t work

Career plans often fail because people don’t know what they really want.  Do you want security?  Challenges?  Thrill rides?

The hottest technology today is the Amazon Kindle Fire.  It is simply a small computer. Its rise was carefully planned.  The most significant pieces of the plan included a snazzy look, rugged portability, and simple secure paid download of books, movies and music. Amazon, the creator, has a plan to continue making money forever.

Now is the perfect time for Amazon’s hottest talent to abandon their jobs with the Kindle division.  Now is the time for Amazon’s best job-security conscious talent to move in and take over. Why?  Because the market will be saturated with Kindles.  The Kindle is becoming a commodity.  Prices are dropping.  Even the music distribution system has stronger competitors like Apple.  Kindle is no longer innovative genius.  It is now a cash cow. Cash cows are less exciting, but fairly secure for employment.

Kindle and other once hot products like Apple’s  iPod, iPad and iPhone are no longer what the bold innovators want to be working on.  They need a new challenge.  Kindle is now the perfect product for the long term managers. Of these 4 products, only some aspects of the software are cutting edge now.  All the rest is in maintenance mode.

Your career plan will be a rousing success if you focus on your personal growth curve.  Do you want to innovate and take outrageous chances for outrageous reward?  Do you really want technical challenge?  Is your goal to make enough money, but have a lot of free time for your skiing?

When you know what you want, you can plan your career successfully.  However, what you want will change time and time again.  So you need to be prepared to change your career plan as you see changes beginning in yourself. Your personal growth curve will tell you how fast you are getting to where you want to be in your career.

Career plans work.  They work when they are reviewed every year or more often.  They work when you review your real personal desires at the same time.  Career plans absolutely fail when you think you want what someone else has.  You have to want what you really want.

Useful career plans (unlike yours)

Most career plans don’t include the most important element in job advancement.  Let me show it to you.

An usher at the movie theater I worked at wanted to become the lead usher.  After the movie started he would always be the first to grab a broom and start sweeping the lobby.  Once he even told me I was sweeping too early so that 30 seconds later he could grab a broom and be seen by our boss as the boy with the most initiative.  He got the job.  I got laid off.  He had a career plan at the tender age of 14. (He was also a little deceitful, which he didn’t need to be.)

A useful career plan needs to have long term goals, as well as much shorter term tactical objectives.  If your 1 year goal is to get promoted to team leader, you have to work every day at short term plans to get there.  If you want to become a partner in your firm, you have to do something different from the crowd every day.

The biggest secret to daily, weekly and monthly career plans is to set yourself up to act like you already have the job you want.  Start acting like a senior technician by getting certifications and asking your boss to allow you into design meetings. Pretty soon you’ll get the promotion.  A partner in most firms is required to be either a leader/manager or a rainmaker/salesman.  If you want to be a partner, act like one.

To start taking over the job you want, you have to have a clear idea of what the job entails.  Your first career plan should be, “I will find out what the job I want entails.”  Make sure you find out what the most successful inhabitants of your target job do. What makes the most successful people different? You should generate a weekly and monthly written plan of how you will find out more about the job you want. Put it in your job journal.

Now write a weekly and monthly plan of how to educate yourself for the job.  List the courses you can take, certifications you can get and books you can read.  Ask the people you admire for advice. The list should go in your job journal where you can add to it later.

Finally, write that weekly and monthly plan on how you will take over the job.  90% of authority is seized, 10% is granted.  Go out and take over some responsibilities.  Even if you are reprimanded for over reaching, your initiative will be noticed.  A plan written in your job journal will focus your efforts.

Remember that boy who wanted to be lead usher.  He was always the first person out in the lobby cleaning up. He wanted to show initiative.  To advance in a technical, managerial or sales position you need to show the same initiative.  You need to be the first person seen doing important jobs.  Make a plan and do it.
Something To Do Today

Just today, seize authority.  Find some important job and make yourself the custodian of that job.  Be the first to start doing it, direct how it is to be done, or ask one of your subordinates to do it.