Home > Personal branding, Self-promotion > Back to the four principles

Back to the four principles

As promised, I’m going to go back a couple of posts and address the four principles of career success according to Williams Arruda and just give my take on his video.

I’m just going to deal with two of these in this post:  be your own boss and forget the ladder.

Be your own boss.  Get used to the idea now that the days of looking for work in the traditionally sense are done.  You now must take ownership of your career.

You can no longer trust that a company is gong to take care of you.  They can’t and they shouldn’t.

They own the job, but you own the career.  And a career goes on even if the job ends.

Like it or not you have to treat it like a business.  You have to show fiscal restraint.  You have to show initiative.  You have to show tenacity and discipline.

Are you saving?  Are you putting money away to get additional training?   What skills are you developing on your own to get better at your job and the next job you want to have?  And, finally, are you setting aside time daily or weekly to read about your field?  What books have you read?  Are you up-to-date?

Sit down and have a frank discussion with yourself.  Do you know where you want to be in 1 year, 5 years or 10 years?

Finally, have you got a mentor?  You know, someone who can show you the ropes and is interested in your success.  Someone you can talk to.  Don’t wait for someone to show up.   Find someone you’d like to emulate and go ask for advice.

Being the boss is hard.  But if you don’t want to wind up depending on someone else for your career, then you need to step up and own it.

Forget the ladder.  In the video post Mr.Arruda talks about the mistake of managing your career only when we are trying to get to the next rung.  Then we update our resume; then we finally get around to updating Linkedin, Monster or Careerbuilder; then we finally make contact with recruiters.  All in the attempt to get to the next rung on the ladder or get the next notch on our belt.

The problem with all of that is we’re trying to get to the next rung on “their” corporate ladder.  We care that the resume shows the “right” progression, the requisite responsibilities, and the right buzz words.  Did we job hop?  Did we stay too long in a position (homesteading)?  Why weren’t we promoted sooner?  We want to demonstrate that we fit in the “box.”

And if that is what you want then that’s fine.  But if you’ve taken control of your career then “their” ladder doesn’t matter. What matters is that you are moving in the direction you want to go.  The ladder becomes irrelevant.

And when the ladder becomes irrelevant you are now on your schedule.  You can relax and concentrate on doing the job and not worry about what others think of your career.  You’re on your timetable, not theirs.

Long post, but it’s my take.  Next time we’ll deal with the last two principles:  Stand out and Build your brand.

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