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Being In Permanent Beta

In several of my previous blogs I have mentioned the great new book “The Start-Up of You” by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha.

In the book they mention why everyone needs to have the “permanent beta” mindset in terms of not just managing their careers but also managing their lives. Without being too cliché ridden I do have to stress how everyone needs a lifelong commitment to continuous personal growth. This commitment will pay big dividends to those in job search, career transition or career reignition.

The guidelines to being in permanent beta – as Hoffman and Casnocha describe in their book – are outlined below.

Develop your competitive advantage that combines your assets, aspirations and market realities.

The key to unlocking your market value is to objectively determine what makes you different, unique and the logical hiring choice over other candidates. We work with our career coaching clients extensively on this is a critical factor that will determine their marketing and interviewing success.

Use ABZ planning that focuses on Plans A (primary), B (secondary) and Z (fall back plan).

As my Dad advised me “Life is about options”. In developing career plans you want to explore all options. This includes not just the “dream job” but also the “fallback position”.

Build lasting relationships that create a powerful professional network.

Effective networking is about establishing real relationships – not how many first degree LinkedIn connections you have. The path towards building these relationships is being genuine in your intent when starting them and giving some time and attention to nurturing and maintaining the contacts.

Find and create opportunities for yourself by networking, being resourceful and staying in motion.

You want to be visible and accessible. This does not mean that you need to become an extrovert. It does mean that you do make some effort to reach out to others and also be approachable when others come to you.

Take intelligent risks as you pursue professional opportunities.

Taking risks can be rewarding. Risk can be intelligently managed so that the downside is minimized. For some people quitting a job before they have a new offer is far too risky where other are very comfortable with the transition period. The key is to identify your risk comfort level and then manage it optimally.

Reach out to your network to tap their insights.

Knowledge is power and the insights that others can provide will exponentially grow your knowledge base. Reaching out to others for insights also helps develop your networking skills

Remember to think of your career as an ongoing work in process – permanent beta.