9 Tips to take your Career to the next level

Career planning is something everyone wants to do some time. But if we have our necks full with work there is no way we can allocate the time to plan this out. There are a lot of career books and the latest one I came across is “Born for This” by Chris Guillebeau. This is a good read and has some good actionable steps as outlined below.
 Flip the Script – The main thesis is there is not one way to manage your career. If you follow the crowd you won’t find what you really want to do. There are some non-traditional ways to get your dream career.
 Joy/Money/Flow – This is the crux of the book and basically you need to have a job you love, you should be able to make money doing it and you should lose yourself when you do it. While this seems like a pipe dream if we do love our job we will do better. I would suggest is to love what you have as that would result in greater joy. This is not easy but can be done.
Always Bet on Yourself - In order to win the career lottery you need to view yourself as self-employed. You need to keep upgrade your skills regularly, you should network relentlessly and be absolutely confident in your skills.
Identify skills to master - This section talks about identifying the skills you should master. You should make a list of things that you do well, things that you hate doing, and then improve both your technical skills, and your soft skills.
The Answer in Your Inbox - The suggestion here is to keep your eyes and ears open to what other people need from you. Or put another way find out what other people think your strengths are. What do people always ask you for help with? Another suggestion is to figure out what problems you’ve been able to solve for someone, provide 15 minute consulting sessions to 100 people, and use that to figure out how you can help people and turn it into a business.
Life Coaching from Jay-Z - The author provides Jay-Z as an example here. Jay-Z as a teenager had 2 career paths, drug dealer, or entertainer. Lucky for us, he chose music. The advice for us is to constantly narrow the options and choose the right path. Here is some great advice from Warren Buffet which is to make a list of the top 25 tings you want to do in life. Then circle the top 5 things and discard the other 20.
Maintain touch with Weak Ties - It has been well established that you get most of your job opportunities from weak ties which includes acquaintances, coworkers, and not too close friends. The point is to not ignore any of your connections as that maybe the gateway to a lucrative offer.
The Self-Employed Employee - You are the CEO of your career. View yourself as self-employed and keep preparing yourself to be relevant in today’s vibrant marketplace.
Winners give up all the time - This has been well established by Seth Godin in Dip. The point is winners quit all the time but they persist beyond the dip in the areas where they are going to win. This is a key distinction. If you are learning the piano and feel like quitting to me that’s not a big deal. It doesn’t have any direct impact on your career. However if there is a critical skill for your work that does help you then do persist beyond the dip.
 In summary, this is a wonderful read and has actionable insights to take your career to the next level.
The views expressed here are my own and do not represent my organization.


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