Monday, August 08, 2005

What are you building in your career?

In Post 162, I wrote about the "scariest career question of all."

What are you building in your career?

It's a scary question because most people simply don't have an answer, or a clear answer, to that question.

Most of us just do what our job description says we should do, and we pick up the paycheck. No questions asked.

Very few people actually think about what they are trying to build in their career. Here are some of the things people are trying to build:
  • expertise (e.g. a lawyer will try to specialize in a field, like intellectual property)
  • experience (e.g. a surgeon will try various patient cases in order to broaden his/her experience)
  • reputation (e.g. a consultant will give presentations and seminars to build his reputation)
  • credibility and credentials (e.g. a project manager will progressively seek bigger and bigger projects)

In general, it is fair to say that if you produce an important document every now and then, then you can say that you are building a career. For example, if you produce:

  • marketing plans
  • business plans
  • procedures
  • methodologies
  • quality assurance systems
  • new product process documentation
  • workflow systems
  • databases (Oracle, Access, etc.)
  • speeches
  • brochures
  • websites

Obviously, all these documents should be posted on your career blog, the URL of which should appear on your LinkedIn profile.