Searching Or Planning Your Career Journey

1 Jan
2008

Anne Zelenka at Web Worker Daily conjures up a nice bit of integrative thinking by linking the process of securing international aid to the process of navigating our career journey. She writes of the differences between a top-down strategy (planning) which is fine if you know exactly where you’re going and a bottom-up strategy (searching) if you’re less sure of your direction. It’s a cool leap and one that resonates with the WorkPlay philosophy of playful career experimentation.

To use a search strategy to move forward in your career, take small steps towards what you think you might like to do (and what might reward you financially), stopping and checking often to see if you’re getting the results you want. When you search, you’ll spend relatively more time acting and checking results and relatively less time setting goals and trying to predict an uncertain future.

This bears resemblance to advice offered in Herminia Ibarra’s book, Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career, in which she advocates taking short leaps to test possible career avenues rather than planning one big leap.

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