Saturday, July 16, 2005

Objection, your Honour!

"You can't manage what you don't measure."

Management consultants have been saying this for years, yet most people still think they're "managing" their career.

I'm the first to admit I'm guilty of believing I was managing my career before.

Indeed, before the advent of LinkedIn, it was hard to measure one's career progress. How would you do that? Which numbers would reveal your career status? Some numbers could have been:
  1. Your annual salary or hourly wage
  2. How many career-related books you read per month
  3. How many career-related magazines you subscribe to or read per month
  4. etc.

Now, LinkedIn enables you to track additional (critical?) career metrics:

  1. Number of first-degree connections
  2. Number of endorsements
  3. Number of second-degree connections

(All this first-degree and second-degree terminology sounds like a criminal trial: "Mister Witness, you were connected to the victim in the first degree, were you not?"

"Objection, your Honour! The witness joined LinkedIn to manage his career and mind his own business. He's not related to the victim in any way, shape or form.")

Actually, your LinkedIn profile in particular, and the career game in general, is slowly but surely becoming a trial.

That's right! Just as skilled lawyers master the "art of evidence" in order to show to the members of the jury ONLY what will support, prove, corroborate their case, smart career people must also ONLY show information that will unequivocally support their case (or their Unique Value Proposition).

"I have nothing to add, your Honour."

"The witness may step down."