September 14, 2007

Managing Your Career Progression

Career ProgressionIf you ever get complacent in your current job, it would be a wise time investment to review an article by Ram Charan - When to Grow, When to Go. The article raises some interesting points about career growth and in my view boils down to the following

Get out of your comfort zone
It takes substantial time and effort investment before we get comfortable in a job. Ironically, by the time we get comfortable we also stop or reduce the professional growth associated with that assignment. It's human nature to resist change but in this ever-changing global IT environment - change is inevitable. If you stay in your comfort zone for too long you risk becoming obsolete.

It's eventually your career, your life - We can blame the company, the environment, project politics, management structure ... but ultimately it's your career. No one if more concerned about your career than you are. Your manager and company have an obligation to support you in my career endeavors but eventually you are responsible. You have to take responsibility for fixing the situation, changing it and moving on.

Invest in yourself - Putting in 40hr at work may not be enough to move in the right direction. We live in changing times, where we need to constantly review and upgrade our marketability. You make yourself marketable by investing in yourself - training, certification, relationships, accomplishments, experiences etc. You have to look at the context, where we are, where we are headed in terms of technology, current trends, demographics and then define personal investment goals. It's work above and beyond the routine 40hrs but that what it takes to get ahead.

Choice - Ultimately, many of us fortunate to live in an environment where we have the freedom to choose. There are constraints and limitations to consider but often we use them as a convenient excuse to not make the hard choices in life. We have to keep in mind that the choices we make today have implications that may last a lifetime. It's your life; your career and you are in charge - make the right and sometimes hard choices and enjoy a fulfilling career.

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