Here is your weekly dose of clarity in the confusing world of career and professional growth.
1 RECENT ARTICLE
I see clients generally making three common mistakes when crafting their career non-negotiables:
- Mistake #1: They make make exceptions for the non-negotiables (effectively making it a negotiable)
- Mistake #2: Everything is non-negotiable
- Mistake #3: Nothing is non-negotiable
As you might expect, the right answer for constructing your non-negotiables falls somewhere in between nothing and everything.
What might surprise you, however, is just how easy it is to get this framework right — and consequently avoid lots of pain down the road.
2 INSIGHTS FROM MY OBSERVATIONS
I. Practice inversion to help you get unstuck in your career transition.
If you’re doing a lot of interviews, the most helpful question may not be, “how do I get the job offer?”
Instead, it is: “how do I avoid not getting the job offer?”
There’s always luck involved in a job search, but you can prepare up to the point where you’re well within reach of an offer. Just like climbing Everest involves some luck, but getting to base camp gives you a much better chance to summitting.
By identifying hypotheses for where you’re getting stuck, you can start testing them and removing the obstacles that are blocking you from where you want to go.
II. Making career decisions is like biodiversity and finance — take a portfolio approach.
During a recent trip to the Galapagos Islands, we witnessed how endemic species of plants brought over by humans — like guava trees — wiped out a wide range native species, making the whole ecosystem more fragile and dependent on fewer species.
In an ecosystem with primarily guava trees, one guava tree getting infected with a virus would quickly spread to all the other trees. That leaves a small number of plants left to support life in the area.
In economics classes, we were taught to create diverse portfolios of a variety of assets so that one underperforming asset doesn’t drag down the entire portfolio.
Believe it or not, careers also benefit from this portfolio approach. In your job search, you get the best risk-reward ratio when you apply to a mix of job postings based on their value to you and the difficulty to secure offers. In your current work, thinking in a probabilistic lens helps with prioritizing which area you spend your time and which skills to work towards.
3 RESOURCES WORTH VISITING
I. WTF is Strategy? (HackerNoon)
Tech companies love to talk about strategy. This article is one of the best explanations I’ve read of what actually is strategy and how it fits in with everything else going on in a business.
Strategy can be a powerful weapon. Watch out where you point that thing!
II. 8 not-so-obvious signs you’re in a toxic workplace and need to make a change (Business Insider)
The first sign hit home for me: “You find out people’s true thoughts in the meeting after the meeting.”
If you’re feeling stuck in your job but haven’t decided to make the leap yet in 2020, then read this article. It might just push you over the ledge.
III. How to Conduct Your Own Annual Review (Chris Guillebeau)
With 2020 coming up soon, I’m feeling excited about doing my annual review. I know, I’m a nerd.
Hint: My next article will focus on my own annual review process, but Chris Guilleabeau’s format is the OG. Take a look and start warming up your reflection muscles for my process next week 😉
As always, thanks for reading.
Career Coach and Writer