I have always been interested in career and professional/personal development. While in consulting I led campus recruiting teams, actively mentored new hires and have tried to learn and share actively w/ a broad range of people. I have been fortunate to have had several mentors invest time in me, for which I am very grateful.
I am self admittedly a collector of management ideas and books, but you may find it interesting that I have never put much stake in career management books. In all honesty I don’t own many and couldn’t tell you what principles I’ve gained from them. In addition, so many are tactical and narrow. They cover interviewing or office politics and fail to paint the “big picture”.
Personal Reasons for Blog
The first is self-involved. Simply, I’ve always wanted to write a book. I lack the creativity and stick-to-itiveness to write an artful piece of prose or historical non-fiction. I have, however spent a great deal of time working in roles that required me to think about how to manage your career. So to me it seemed “easy” to try and put my thoughts on the subject in print. As the process turned out, it was not at all “easy”.
In addition, I have found that for a variety of reasons I have become someone friends and colleagues seek out for advice. I believe these reasons boil down to several factors. I never try to tell people what to do, but rather help them discover what they probably already know. I find many of us need a push to reach conclusions that are often clear when spoken out loud to another. Next, I have though this out quite a bit myself and have some frameworks to offer them. I try not to offer “advice” so much as a sounding board that also has some tools to help clarify your thinking.
Third, I like talking about this. It’s important to me personally that as many of us as possible find good fits for ourselves in our careers. Note that I said FIT…you’ll find me circling back on this theme again and again.
Fourth, I have had numerous colleagues refer to my observations as practical. My wife Michele takes great amusement in this as she would not, I think, describe me as practical. However, in the context of work and career others see my advice this way. I believe this comes from trying to help them explore likely outcomes from taking certain actions. Think of it as scenario building or role-playing. Many of us are naïve when it comes to how others will react to our actions. I try to help people explore how certain steps will play out psychologically and politically. Whether this is “Machiavellian” or merely pragmatic I’ll leave to you to decide.