Who is managing your career?

I heard a story the other day about a woman who hired a career coach to help her manage her career. She had a decent job at a company she liked, but she wanted to move up. So she hired a coach to help her secure a promotion. Many months and thousands of dollars later, she got her promotion. She was elated, and threw herself into her new job. Then, without warning, she got laid off. Now she is struggling to find her next job. She felt like she had been sucker punched. What had happened?

When I heard this story, I asked myself the same question, how could this happen? And could she have prevented it?

 

Here are three principles I believe would have helped this woman land on her feet.

1. Avoid tunnel vision.

Your career extends beyond your current place of employment. This woman was completely focused on getting a promotion at her current job. Since she was struggling to find a job once she was on her own, I suspect she had a bit of tunnel vision. She forgot to make sure she was not just qualified for the internal promotion, but was also marketable outside her current company. As you take on projects, and build your skills and portfolio of experiences, also consider how that adds to your marketability outside your company.

 

2. Stay open to options.

Once you realize your career extends beyond your current job and current employer, it is easier to see options. Even while pursuing a promotion internally, it would have been wise to look for options in other places. Do some research, see what’s out there, maybe even apply for a few jobs that look interesting. Stay aware of your real options at all times, not just when you need a new job.

 

3. Manage your own career.

It can be tempting to rely on an expert’s advice, like the career coach in the story, or on a company to do right by you, or on the forces of nature to provide for you. If you want to have a career that you love, it is important to remember it is up to you to manage it. You must make specific choices and take actions. A company has priorities that have nothing to do with taking care of you. They might wish they could, but you are not their top priority. A career coach may care about you, but he doesn’t have access to all the facts of your situation. He is there to serve you, to help you achieve your goals. You are the one who cares about what happens to you and are experiencing your situation. You are the one who must observe what’s happening, and take the appropriate action.

 

It is up to you to stay on top of your career, and make the choices and take the actions to move it in the direction you want. When you do that, even if you are unexpectedly laid off, you will land on your feet.

Who is managing your career? What steps can you take today to make sure it’s you?  I invite you to share your thoughts on my blog.

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Client Stories

What did you need at the time you hired Lori?


I wanted to work in my industry and didn't know how to progress any further than I was. I knew I had much experience that could be put in the industry of my choice but not how to parlay that experience. I needed guidance.

What did you and Lori do together?


Many, many things. Overall, to get clear in my mind what I offered and really what I wanted in a work environment. Every week was another epiphany after another. One of my favorites was the "knowing your core values". Having had some experience on this subject I was all ready to dive-in. Core Values is key. Knowing your core values. 

Lori makes it so easy to pinpoint. One time we were speaking about something else and we both realized...OMG...that is a core value for me. I hadn't written it down before, but discovered later that if ever a core value fit me...it was the one I mentioned at that time.  Knowing that piece of information also answered a long standing question in my head.  One of the "why's" as to my constant upset with other places I had worked.

What were the results from working with Lori?


Many things. One is a great looking resume. I thought, wow, I look good and it was all from work I had already done elsewhere but didn't know how to say it or present it. Another is the clarity of knowing where I will feel good when I do work. What I really want and with the kind of people I really want to work with on a daily basis. This entire process is so valuable. The best money I ever spent and I am not kidding or exaggerating. I was only hoping it would be valuable and it really was valuable.< I know stuff and it has value and is marketable. Lori showed me those things and it gives me confidence.

Anything else you’d like to add?


Lori delivers above and beyond. The highest quality of exchange, 'more than you expected.' I told my friends this over and over: 'I wish I had her 10-20-even 30 years ago.' Every one, and I mean EVERYONE, needs a Lori. Her understanding,patience, how she problem solves, putting things in simple terms, was mind blowing. I wish I could that well. I present a problem and she could turn it around and yes...another epiphany.

Lori, is worth every penny. It isn't about a title. It is about enjoying everyday doing work you love with people you like and are like minded. You'll know what you are looking for when you interview.  I never say this, but I will say it here. Lori is a major key into the rest of my life doing what I always wanted to do. That is: Being happy doing what I do, everyday. Something I have been saying for years. Allowing Sherlock...to be Sherlock.  Finding my people. They are out there and now I know what I am looking for in that respect.

LORI ROCKS!!!!!!

Sherlock Ganz, Los Angeles, CA