Taking the Long View of Careers and Jobs

January 24, 2008

Jason Alba always knows how to get me up on my soap box. In a recent comment on this post, he says:

The big question, for me, is “how can we be more concerned about our careers than our jobs?”

And it’s a great question. Because most of the time, we spend our lives working on our jobs rather than our careers. With the exception of the few days around New Year’s, we rarely stop to take stock of where things are headed and what our next steps are.

Yet, it’s exactly that introspection that leads us to happiness and out of the “Monday” type world that Dan Miller talks about in his latest book and on his blog.

The problem is, most of us are focused on the tactical, without taking time out for the strategic. It’s a problem that I see in business a lot, and even more in life management – we really need to take time out to ask ourselves the important questions around career. It’s much like what Gerber said about the difference between working “in our business” (i.e. doing our jobs) and working “on our business” (i.e. focusing on structures that keep us moving forward).

So, what have you done to work on your career lately instead of just in your career? What are your next steps for growth and the next challenges you want to take on? What conversations do you need to have with peers, bosses, clients, mentors, etc. to take yourself to the next step of your career?

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