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Career development as an exercise in strategy

I've mentioned before that I tend to look at most problems through the eyes of a strategist. A short while ago, someone asked me for some career advice. This is what I told them.

Start by imaging the strategic questions your firm typically asks - let's keep it as simple as is possible:
  1. Who are our customers?
  2. What do they want?
  3. What's the best way we can deliver it to them (taking into account your strengths, weaknesses, and any opportunities and threats you can see)?
  4. How do we know how satisfied they are with that?
  5. What can we do to improve? (This cycles round to 2)
  6. What else could we offer them?
  7. To who else could we offer the same things?
Now imagine you're not an employee, but you're a one-person business. The answer to the first questions is: your boss (and also the firms management and your colleagues). Now answer the rest of the questions as they relate to you and your role.

Before you know it, you have a pretty robust career development plan. Of course, you could apply a much more complex strategic reasoning process, but that probably wouldn't be necessary.
photo credit: via photopin cc

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