Most of us change careers several times, and jobs even more often. Some of these changes are involuntary. All of these changes can be difficult.
Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu wrote,
Because the sage always confronts difficulties, he never experiences them.
(The nerve of that guy! What the heck is he trying to say?)
Confronting the difficult realities of 21st century business means realizing that although our current gig (if any) may be XYZ Inc., our real, lifetime employer is “Me Inc.,” and we need to manage that enterprise. There is more security to be had from a well-managed career than from any individual job.
This advice is nothing new, but since it’s part of a paradigm shift – a change in our mindset – we need to be reminded of it.
Managing “Me, Inc.” means attending to:
- Product Research & Development – You and your skills are the product.
- Strategic Planning – Assess your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats: be prepared for highly likely risks such as recessions and layoffs.
- Accounting & Finance – Manage your money as if you can’t depend on your income always being the same.
- Marketing Communications and Sales – Follow best practices in your networking, LinkedIn profile, resume, bio, cover letters and so on.
Decide that your career is worth investing in. It’s up to you and it’s your life.
This post was originally published in 2012 and has been updated.