Startups have a clear vision, objectives, plans to achieve them and metrics to monitor the evolution.
However, at a personal level, we rarely do the same.
Freelances, consultants or authors do it. They depend on themselves to have an income every month.
But for the rest of us, most of the times we don't have a clear plan with clear milestones, and we just go with the flow, especially in tech, where money is not the problem.
The problem is that we can end up in any place without our control. True, we can make a living, earn decent money, and work with amazing talents. Yet, you can regret not fulfilling your own purpose or mission. Or just not getting the most out of the journey, call it growth, call it money.
So, own your career 100% and make it succeed! Don't expect your company to own it. Treat your life as a startup and start managing properly every area:
⚙️ Strategy: Work on your personal strategy, long-term vision, objectives, plan. It's time to define your path that will allow you to fulfill your personal goals and achieve the lifestyle you dream of.
🧩 Product: In this case, you are the product. It's all about your value proposition, is what you are selling in the market, is what you excel at!
💫 HR: You need to grow over time and prepare your own career plan without depending on a recruiter or even a company. Assess your skills over time, and prepare a plan to develop those that you need the most, as well as sharpening those that makes you stand out, your differentiator.
💰 Sales: Chances are you only earn money by providing your time to your employer. What about preparing the ground for other sources? I recommend you start doing it for free, but later it can be a new source of income: professional mentoring, teaching, speaking. You can also generate passive income with a tiny product, a book, or a sponsored newsletter.
🛠 Operations: Now you make it all happen! Work on your habits, routines, tools and processes.
💸 Finance: We all have personal finance! How are you managing your money so far? How predictable are the expenses? How diversified is the investment strategy? How much have you planned on your short, medium and long-term investments that will allow you to reach your personal and professional goals (car, house, kids, learning)?
🚀 Marketing: Work on your personal brand, grow your network, create content, do research. You want to be memorable, but more than that, you want to be found.
As a final exercise, reflect what could happen if you treat your professional life as a startup:
- Would you grow in a more accelerated way?
- Would you have more professional opportunities that don't necessarily rely on your employer?
- Would it give you more chances to "survive" if something great hits your industry i.e. COVID-19?
What do you think?
If you answered "yes" to the 3 questions, it may be time to rethink your career and put a bit more effort in some (or all) of the different areas described.
Whether if the path is on management or not, you will find a development framework and lots of free resources in Lidr's Community, especially in our Leadership Path