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Manage Your Career Like An Entrepreneur

This is an interesting insight that reflects the new reality on how to develop and manage a career plan.

Thomas Friedman had an editorial in the recent July 17, 2011 NY Times on career management. In the editorial he quotes Reid Garrett Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn. Hoffman has an upcoming book titled "The Start-Up of You".

Hoffman argues that professionals need an entirely new mind-set and skill set to compete. “The old paradigm of climb up a stable career ladder is dead and gone,” he said to me. “No career is a sure thing anymore. The uncertain, rapidly changing conditions in which entrepreneurs start companies is what it’s now like for all of us fashioning a career. Therefore you should approach career strategy the same way an entrepreneur approaches starting a business.”

I am the President at The Frontier Group, a career coaching and consulting practice in Atlanta, GA that develops career marketing plans for mid and senior level professionals across every industry and profession. We have seen the paradigm shift that Hoffman references first hand play out in front of us over the past 25 years that we have been in business.

In today's new world of work you need to consider the following in order to succeed:

  • Have a flexible/adaptive career plan that can successfully address the shift changes that impact your career, company and industry sector.
  • Have a real time knowledge of your value in terms of what your past achievements and accomplishments have delivered to your current and past employers.
  • Determine what will make you unique and different in order to stand out in the crowd. Marketing teaches us that segmentation and positioning are the cornerstones of a successful marketing strategy. Apply these principles to your own career.

Be resilient in your career search. Thomas Freidman goes on to quote from Hoffman that “You may have seen the news that [the] online radio service Pandora went public the other week,” Hoffman said. “What’s lesser known is that in the early days [the founder] pitched his idea more than 300 times to V.C.’s with no luck.” This teaches us that success is a combination of good fortune and hard work.