I’ve been doing a lot of video watching and reading recently (“sheltering-in-place”). One of the books I just completed is “Secret Service” by Tom Brady, published in 2019. There was a passage that got me thinking that became the theme of this article: “You can pick a destination, but you can never predict the journey.” The corollary is: “You can’t change the past, you can only try to enhance, diminish or modify your actions going forward.”
Your ultimate career goal is your destination. The strategy to get there is your journey. How you prepare for your journey will determine your success. Preparation means having the right experiences, skills, education, strategy and some good fortune. Without a well-managed plan and irrepressible determination, you’ll fall short of your destination. Anticipate and plan for the positives and negatives.
Four factors of your past may determine the results of your job search strategy. The four factors are your experiences, reputation, long memories and the internet.
Experiences – In creating a career path, look at the long-term experiences you’ll need to reach your ultimate goal. In the short-term look at the requirements needed for the next step up toward a new and more responsible job. My point: Without the right experiences built into your past, your future is diminished toward your ultimate goal. Your past experiences are a prolog to your success.
Reputation – Your reputation is a composite of what others think about you. It’s primarily based on their interaction with you and opinions of your character, performance and results. Reputations are very fragile and must be enhanced and protected over time. My point: Your reputation is one of the factors that drives your career, whether it’s based on your past bosses view of your contributions, the results you’ve achieved, or the contacts and references needed when you apply for a higher-level job.
Long Memories – People in general have long memories. Maybe not in the details, but they remember the tone or “feeling” of an event or encounter. The more positive people’s memory of you, the greater support or accolades they have for you. The less positive the memory, the less support. My point: Everyone you meet has a memory of you. Make them all count in a positive way.
The internet – Everything on the internet is forever, unless you take action to diminish or eliminate it. Many job opportunities have been determined by what a hiring manager found on the internet. Simply “Google” your name to see what’s there. Over 35% of hiring managers say they’ve eliminated a candidate for something on their social media. Over 40% say social media helped a candidate by their internet persona. My point: Don’t’ let the internet dictate your future by either having false or misleading information about you. Clean it up.
Your past career and achievements control your future. Create a plan, develop alternatives, manage the strategy and optimize the opportunities that come your way.
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