Repeat after me…I will stop waiting for other people to help
me out of my career problems and address them myself, every day, in
every way possible. That was easy, wasn’t it. I am sure you are
wondering just what I am talking about, though. What I am describing
is the way many high-tech careerists, myself included, allow the world,
the computer industry and the marketplace to push them around from
job to job, instead of “taking the bull by the horns” and
directing their own career. It is a simple fact of life that it is
much easier to let fate dictate your job choices, but it is no way
to develop the career and the life you want.
Throughout my personal and professional life I often hear the same
refrain from people, “I am just hanging out in this job until
my friend/relative/partner gets financing for their new venture/becomes
CEO/opens their new gallery, etc.” You can fill in the blanks
in a thousand different ways, but what they are really saying is, “Don’t
make we think about what I have to do to enhance my career, just make
it happen.” Perhaps it is because of the industry we are in,
but we begin thinking in If/Then constructs, as if the world could
be distilled down to simple code.
The truth is, none of us are lazy people. I am reasonably certain
that all of you want more out of your career and your life and
needs to be done to achieve it. It is just too easy to succumb to
inertia. Building a career is tiring and, sometimes, frustrating
around waiting for that special phone call or email is so much easier.
Unfortunately, it is also a pipe dream. While your network of contacts
is certainly important, most of your network will simply lack the
necessary connections to get you your next job. No matter how much
we might wish
it were true, each job, each step of our career, depends on our own
initiative and drive. Sure, there might be people who can lend
The most important step in breaking the hold of career inertia is pure
volume. You need to start as many balls in the air as you can, then
you need to forget about them. You need to have so many projects, phone
calls, emails in process that you don’t dwell on any one issue.
I learned this lesson when I started writing. If you only have one
article or book proposal that you are shopping around, you begin to
focus on it entirely, to the detriment of everything else. Then, when
the rejection letter arrives, it can feel like a crushing blow because
you don’t have any other projects to which you can turn.
If you have a host of possible projects in the works, one rejection
holds less importance because it is simply one project of many. Your
entire sense of success or failure isn’t tied up in that one
project. You simply move on to the next project and the next and the
next. Then you bundle up the rejected project and send it out to the
next person who might be interested. This helps to focus on the many
possible successes rather than one individual failure.
You can apply this idea to your next job search, an attempt to start
your own business or even dating. It makes sense in so many areas of
your life. Your goal is to constantly be on the lookout for new opportunities
without betting everything on any particular one. This allows you to
maintain perspective about your career and your life and avoid the
Getting your career rolling can be extremely difficult when things
aren’t turning out like you would wish. I can guarantee you,
though, that simply taking one step, then another, then another can
build the momentum you need. Taking action is always the surest way
to ease your mind and get you thinking. These are two sure fire ways
to keep building your high-tech career.
Comments, Questions, Reviews?