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Submitted by sbockh01 on


Does anyone have a recomendation on a book , tool, or process to start with that will help work through career planning. MT has helped me in so many other areas I am guessing the community has some advise her as well.


MattJBeckwith's picture
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Hi Scott. I can't offer any advice on a book or resource like that but I will share my thoughts on career planning.

For me, having some (quasi-)mentors in the past meant everything to me. It is through those people that I learned what I enjoy doing and how to find those things at work. It was also through these wonderful people that I learned how to plan my career and manage myself through the steps in my career.

The greatest tool I've ever found to help me manage my own career has been Manager Tools. The podcasts on mentoring, building a network, job hunting as examples all have gone a long way in helping me decide my next career goals and how to get there.

jhack's picture

I recommend "In Transition" by Mary Burton. It has a number of great introspective exercises and formal methods that allow you understand your skills and priorities, and construct a career path that makes sense for you.

Let me know if you want more detail.


HMac's picture

I want to second Dave's comments about the value of M-T in this regard.

Because Mike and Mark are SO focused on the actionable, their advice is a great counterpoint to the typical career planning advice you find out there, which tends to be several steps removed from the "OK, so what do I DO about it?" level...

One perspective I heard recently from Jack Welch:

Become an expert.

The gist of his advice was that if you're an expert, you'll never have to retire until you want to. But if you're a manager, you owe it to your employer to eventually step aside so the next generations can rise.

This struck me as really wise advice.


jhack's picture

M-T is a great set of tools for becoming a strong, maybe great, manager...

M-T won't tell you [i]what[/i] you should do with your career. What size company is a best fit? What industry excites me? Should I move to the west coast? Is more money or more time with my partner a higher priority in the short run?

So yes, M-T is great. It's just not the whole story.


tomdoepker's picture

In the interest of providing some suggested reading, with regards to career planning:

I have really found that the different levels of focus (one-two year, three-five year, etc) in the “Getting Things Done” methodology has been great at clarifying focus for what I want to do. David Covey talks about creating a personal mission statement in “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” and Marshall Goldsmith suggests the practice of envisioning what knowledge your 95-year-old self would tell you now in “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There”.

This process can really put focus on what is really important to you.

kklogic's picture

I have always thought of career planning as a game of chess. I think of what my end goal is - and then what the next step is. Sometimes it feels like a small step - but as long as it gets me closer, it's the right one for me.

Oftentimes, opportunities and challenges will come your way you didn't anticipate - so have a plan for those too - or at least keep an open mind.

But I'm not so sure there's a book out there that would work for this sort of thing - I really think each person has their own unique situation due to experience, job market, current job, etc.

kklogic's picture

Rah. I think I found a book for you.
Rites of Passage is listed as one of M&M's favorite books.