I read an article from my Arizona State University Alumni magazine for Spring 2021. The article was titled, “Build an Antifragile Career”, by May Busch. I want to share my interpretation of some of the key elements:
- A compass versus a map – When you have a destination, a compass gives you a general direction with choices and flexible paths to get there, while a map gives you a specific road or route to make your way to your destination. With major change possibilities and road blocks, a more adaptable compass approach will serve you better than a rigid plan.
- Time and timing – The one thing you cannot create more of, is time. How you choose to use your time productively is an individual choice. Use your professional time on the things that will increase and enhance your knowledge, skills and ability. Equalize it with personal time to keep in balance and harmony. All job functions have an upturn and downturn as the economy and trends change. Time your career moves with the economy and the surge of your function within it.
- Position yourself through others – How you present yourself within the work-world will help determine how the work-world perceives you: Are you a team mate or competitor, a credit sharer or credit taker. Always try to find a mentor or coach within your field of expertise. Help subordinates achieve their highest performance and career goals as they will support your move up the career ladder.
- Evolve your Approach – As you move up the career ladder, two things happen: You shift from a “do it yourself” mode to a “do it through others” practice. You will also move from the implementation of plans, to the development of plans, and ultimately to creating the vision from which longer term strategies are developed. You must evolve your skill sets from a “doing” role, to supervising, managing, directing, and someday framing the direction of an organization.
- Embrace change – You can fight change, influence it, create it, or embrace it, but you can’t stop it. Inflexible people, conditions or organizations will always fall behind the rest of the pack. Those who are adaptable, keep up with the changes around them and can adjust to new standards or environments will come out ahead. This is most true in the field of technology with its ability to change the nature of work itself.
- Create your future – If you don’t take hold of your destiny, someone else will. The future has always been in your hands. Invest in your own development, create opportunities to learn new skills, expand and nurture a network of supporters, and keep your eye on the ultimate goal. Decisions you make early in your career will affect the trajectory and outcome of your career.
Determine your ultimate career destination as early as possible. Next, develop a compass direction with alternative paths to get there. Lastly, define a flexible road map that can adapt to the vagaries of the marketplace.
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