Friday, February 09, 2007

Your Career

Responding to David Maister:

My experience is that if you leave your career in the hands of others, they will actively damage your career. So I think some of the points should be even more strongly worded.

For example:

You write, "No one will tell you what experience you should be obtaining, let alone help you get it." Strictly speaking, this isn't true. They will recommend al sorts of experiences - company training courses, for example. But they will be the wrong experiences.

And you write: "Manage your own career. No one else will." Again, someone else will. They will tell you what you should do, what you are allowed to do, and what you should not do. In so doing, they will manage your career into the ground.

The point here, too, is that you should do more than what you were simply hired to do. But not necessarily more for the company. When you are at work, working on your career, you should understand that you are working, first, for your own benefit. Any benefit the employer gets out of it is an exchange of mutual value. And the employer should never get everything.

As they used to say to people climbing around the rigging on the high seas: one hand for the ship, one hand for yourself.

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