Forums

:idea: What are some good resources for pre-managers? I am still a full-time undergrad and not a manager. I have loved the advice I have gotten from this site and the podcasts even though I have no direct reports.

What tools or advice do you have in regards to: career planning, experience(if it is possiblefinding a career, education or making myself more marketable?

A word from the newly married. Sometimes the feedback model works with your spouse. Just don't abuse it...or let them know that you're using it.

Mark's picture

Tim-

Regarding marital feedback... step lightly there. ;-) [We do have a cast about family feedback.. but it's fairly subtle and I'm not ready to release it yet.]

And regarding careers... you do know we have high school seniors here?

We have hundreds of casts in our future about those topics. I have one book recommendation and one suggestion.

Book: What Color is Your Parachute. (Bolles). It's old, but it asks a lot of darn good questions.

Suggestion: Do something you love, even if you make very little money. Warren Buffett once said that he worries about young people who say they're going to do something they don't like for 10 years, to be able to do what they love. "That's a little like saving up sex for old age. Not a very good idea."

My thought on that is that if you're not happy when you're 20, it doesn't matter how happy you are when you are 30... you'll never have been happy when you were 20. AND... you may not make it to 30.

I am making A LOT less money than I could right now...and I'm as professionally happy as anyone has any right to be. I'm...giddy.

Stick around.

Mark

timnewhard's picture

Thanks for the reply Mark. Not sure if you're from Texas, but they are some of the coolest people after Californians :wink:

I like Organizational Behavior. Check that... I love it. I especially like studying corporate culture. Does anyone out there have an OB background? and would you mind posting about how much fun OB is/ or isn't?

Thanks for the book recommendation Mark.

Mark's picture

Lucky me. Raised in California, now a Texan. :wink:

Mark

smurawski's picture

Let me second the recommendation of "What Color is Your Parachute". Bolles is very engaging in his coverage of finding a career and/or vocation. I received that book as a gift from an aunt who was not quite taken with my choice of careers. Reading that book started me on a search for a new career, a vocation. The path has taken me a few years, but I am now in a position which matches my likes, interests, and personality. I have a great boss, flexible work environment, and challenge and responsiblity.

Now that I have found Manager Tools, I am starting to implement these ideas to continue to further my career.

Steve

Gareth's picture

[quote="timnewhard"]I am still a full-time undergrad and not a manager. I have loved the advice I have gotten from this site and the podcasts even though I have no direct reports.[/quote]

Hi Tim

I'm in a similar position as yourself, I've found the information on here very helpful even without being a 'manager'.

I do sometimes feel distant from the conversation on the forum. I do however make an effort where I can and where I can't just sit back and soak it all up!

mikemac's picture

Tim, I don't have any direct reports either, heck I work at a helpdesk right now of all things! But I do find one area, aside from learning how to become the manager I hope to be one day, that I get a lot out of the casts is in providing quite a bit of insight into what my manager is looking for and dealing with on a day to day basis, and what our internal customers are looking for when it comes to dealing with their IT support staff.

One other area I've found quite helpful in terms of networking, and job search strategies is reading some of the career blogs like Career Hub, or Occupational Adventures, as well as blogs and podcasts specific to your career choice. There's nothing like reading the experiences of someone already working in your field to help prepare you for it!

trandell's picture

[quote="mahorstman"]My thought on that is that if you're not happy when you're 20, it doesn't matter how happy you are when you are 30... you'll never have been happy when you were 20. AND... you may not make it to 30.

I am making A LOT less money than I could right now...and I'm as professionally happy as anyone has any right to be. I'm...giddy.[/quote]

Mark is right. I never took the time to really figure out what I love early on in life. Before I knew it I was 25 and about to start a PhD in Physics, when I realized I did not want to do that the rest of my life and in fact I didn't even enjoy the past several years of my education.

I bailed out and took a job for $12/hour with no benefits working on web design and teaching myself system administration. That was 1995, when the web was new and I was as happy as could be. Sure, I wanted more money in my pocket, but I distinctly remember the joy of doing what I really wanted to do.

With the benefit of hindsight, I strongly recommend you develop your self-awareness and ability to reflect on what you see early in life. I rambled on for quite a while before I truly "got" that it was me that determines my future, not so much the people or circumstances around me.

NorthwestPassage's picture

One other book I would highly recommend would be "The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success". by Nicholas Lore.

Many years ago I read everything from What Color is Your Parachute to What Should I do with My Life? by Po Bronson.

He makes you think through many written exercises and tasks.

Early in the book he lliterally asks, "Are you ready?" with choices of 1. Yes 2. Yes, but later 3. No.

He asks that you put the book down if you are not ready and what to do from there.

fcch_mngtools's picture

Gareth,

[quote] ... where I can and where I can't just sit back and soak it all up!
[/quote] ... and imho, ... that is an excellent strategy to learn quite a bit.

As Mark has mentionned, if you end up doing something you Love, ... Learning to do it well will be much more easy and enjoyable.

I actually envy you (and Timnewhard) as the ideas and counsel that we find here and in M&M's podcasts could have helped me when I started out (it does NOW, ... imagine a few years ago).

Timnewhard,

A good ressource you can start building NOW is your "network". I live and work 3,000 miles away from where I went to school, but I still use contacts that I forged over 20 years ago.

Communication skills are also essenitial (I wonder when M&M will do a Listening skills cast?) :-)

XOLegato's picture

I second the "sit back and soak it all up" strategy (or third it, I guess). I'm in the exact same situation, Tim. I actually started listening to this show as a high school senior, and now I'm doing the whole undergrad thing.

*WARNING: Anecdote* M&M's advice has already helped me out, even just in business school. A professor in one of my classes last semester was discussing common interview quesions. He was trying to make the general point about how difficult it is to answer behavioral questions if you are unprepared, and sprung one on me as an example. He said "tell me about a time when you ran into a problem and how you solved it." I'm sure he was expecting an "uhm, I don't know..." But as I had recently been working to make good accomplishment bullets for my resume, per M&M's guidelines, I was able to spout off a 1 minute synopsis of an attendance issue I had dealt with as a student director in high school. The next words out of his mouth were "I swear to God, I did not coach this guy before class." *End Anecdote*

The way I see it, the fact that we're pre-managers just means more time to improve our management skills, even before we get a chance to start.

Mark's picture

I'm sorry this has taken me so long. I regret my absence.

Man, do I love anecdotes! Particularly ones that make our members look good (to a professor, no less).

WEL DONE!

Again, my apologies.

Mark