7 TOOLS TO TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR CAREER
1. Job Exploration Summary
Broaden your perspective about development and career options by focusing on what you are willing to explore.
2. Constructive Questions
Uncover the employer perspective to evaluate the fit between the role and your experience, knowledge, and skills; identify areas for development.
3. Mapping Your Experience
Turn resume accomplishments into transferable experience and skills to communicate your talents more effectively and facilitate career transitions.
4. Networking Quadrant
Create a blueprint for networking you will actually enjoy, and produce the results you want.
5. Leadership Preferences Survey
Identify your leadership style and better communicate he value you bring to an organization or team.
6. Spheres of Influence
Craft the image you want and develop the connections you need to achieve your long-term career goals.
7. Development Plan
Create a simple but effective plan for learning both inside and outside your job and identify the one thing that would position your for a greater role.
THE 7 TOOLS
Job Exploration Summary: Sharpen Your Own Perspective
If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else.
Development is an important aspect of your career path, but you may not have a clear idea of what it is—or how you do it.
Let's get started by understanding the components of development and why each is important.
Development (x) = Experience + Time + Mastery
Development is a function of three interrelated components: experience, time, and mastery. You need all three to have meaningful and lasting development. It starts with experience.
I define experience as any endeavor where you see the full arc of setting an intention, doing a behavior, and observing its impact. Whether we call it a strategy, goal, purpose, plan, or reason, we want something to happen or occur. Then we choose a set of actions, behaviors, or approaches to achieve our goal. Finally, we see the results, consequences, outcomes, or effectiveness of our behavior.
Often, we will label an experience as "positive" if our behavior leads to the desired impact and "negative" if our intention is not met. Viewing experience through this lens is often a mistake.
When I owned a consulting company, I participated in a peer-to-peer group in which business owners got together to discuss ways to grow revenue and improve our sales techniques. One exercise that had a great impact on my outlook was the Feeling Journal. At the end of every day, I rated that day on a scale of one to ten, with one being a terrible day and ten a great day. Next to the rating I wrote a short sentence explaining why I felt that way. Typical entries for me would be: "two—did not get the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) sale today, just talked about products." Or "eight—got a signed contract to run a seminar in Connecticut." Then, "ten—sold a six-month engagement to the MBTA."
After sixty days of keeping this journal, the facilitator for our group asked us to share and review our journal entries. He said, "Ted, I see you rated that day in May a ten because you signed a long-term contract with your client, the MBTA. But I also see that two months earlier, you rated your day a two because you met with the leadership team at the MBTA but did not get a sale. So, would you have gotten your sale in May without that meeting two months earlier?"
Of course, the answer to that question was no, that meeting laid the foundation for getting the sale. So, the facilitator said, "I guess that day two months ago was not really a two, and May was a ten because of that day. The point is you don't know how one experience leads you to success, so always think of every day as a ten."
That is how I want everyone to think of experience, the largest component of development. Every experience in your life has led you to this point, this moment of reading or listening to these words.