Accelerating in a Zig-Zag Career

Posted on: September 3rd, 2013 by
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SITUATION:  Susan is the Chief Learning Officer of a high technology company on a fast growth trajectory.  How did she get there?  Through high performance, niche skills that are in high demand, and accumulating a connection with people built over time.  Her career follows a zigzag path:  Degree in business/computer science, customer service director servicing small then large corporations for a major telecommunications company, picked up an MBA at night, became the Director of Strategic Growth then Director of Sales Relationships for a national field organization, helped a church with a high growth strategy, and led the development of a master’s degree program integrating the strategies of technology with business strategies. She’s also heavily engaged in community activities, boards and committees with community leaders, gives speeches and presentations along with some consulting engagements.

STRATEGY:  Susan’s career seems to be all over the place, but look carefully and you’ll see a very clear pattern:  She was always a creative high performer continually being promoted; her relationship skills are finely tuned so once you meet Susan you’re connected for life; because of her past jobs of interfacing with business and community leaders her connections and relationships are extensive; her computer/systems background along with her sales & marketing experiences are prerequisites for her current role;  her education, past training roles and work at the university has given her the insights into the learning process coupled with understanding the needs of corporations.  As the Chief Learning Officer for a high growth technology company, Susan’s cumulative experiences are a near perfect match.

CONSIDERATIONS:  Sometimes the shortest distance from point A to point B is not a straight line.  In Susan’s case, the achievements of her past, the kinds of diverse experiences rather than the accumulation of skills in only one functional area, and the network of relationship built over 20 years all provided for her path to success.  Could a person with a low energy level, a passive profile, who is more numbers oriented than people oriented, with limited exposure to different industries achieve the same job as Susan?  It’s very doubtful.   However, there’s no reason why they can’t achieve equal success in a different setting.  It’s a question of assessing the qualities of the individual with the needs of the business.

Each individual has qualities, experiences and characteristics that make them unique.  Those points of differentiation are the tools to design a tailored job search strategy.  No two strategies are the same.  Each variable of education, personality, experiences, interests, performance, past jobs, industries, geography, operating style, expectations, age, family status, and other such elements determine the strategy and tactics that will provide the ultimate outcome. That’s why a generic resume with a standard approach has a low probability of success.  Don’t try to outsmart the marketplace.  Get a high return-on-investment through a coach.

Susan’s quote:  “Bill saw my future before I did. I’m currently achieving my dream!”

Prepare for the surge of jobs in 2013 and 2014.  Contact Bill Kaufmann for more information at:   Send for a copy of Bill’s “How To Find A Job:  Successful Job Search Strategies”  Go to:

FREE Resume Evaluation!


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