5.0 out of 5 stars
prepare for the future, expand your network
Reviewed in the United States on August 21, 2014
Reid Hoffmann is the cofounder of LinkedIn, and Ben Casnocha is a much in demand public speaker.
When we were in caves we were all self employed entrepreneurs and now we adapt to the challenges of today's professional life, we need to rediscover our entrepreneurial instincts to find the start-up mind-sets and skills-sets needed to adapt to the future.
Like written in The Alliance of the same writers, they state that the traditional career path is gone, and employees have to take action in their own development, and to invest in themselves. They're hired on a performance based, short term contract that's perpetually up for renewal on both sides.
Three puzzle pieces inform your direction and competitive advantage, your assets, your aspirations and values and the market realities.
Plan A is your current work, plan B is new work when it is time to pivot, to change either your goal or your route when plan A isn't working - or a new opportunity arrives, or when the pivot isn't voluntarily - and plan Z is the fallback position.
In my career I always invested in myself, I learned by doing, and took up education in the evening and weekends when I wanted to be a manager, then I earned an MBA and became a senior advisor. Organizational change made me pivot involuntarily and bankruptcy of my next employer due to the financial crises, brought my plans to a temporary hold. I'm back to square one redesigning my competitive advantage and aspirations against today's market realities.
I started a personal blog and began developing a public reputation and public e-portfolio of work that's not tied to my former employers.
The one thing I hardly did, was to build a professional network to help me navigate the world, as a solo game player I loose out to the team. I will need the help and support of others to accelerate my career, or I my case getting it back on steam. Research shows that "weak ties", people you don't see or speak to very much, may have information you don't have access to, and therefore the breadth and reach of your network is also valuable to you. In today's world it's all about the second- and third-degree connections.
Reid explains the sense behind his LinkedIn, easy to connect, easy to find someone or have yourself introduced just one or two steps away, join groups of interest, but beware of the etiquette. Give before asking, try to add value with information or be interested in the person behind the contact, keep in touch - with birthdays, job celebrations, updates, likes and comments - if they have something to give back they think of their most recent contacts. Look for quality contacts, meet-up with friends of friends, and serendipitous events can lead to opportunities that can excel your career.
Accurately assess the level of risk both personal and situational like entrepreneurs do on a daily basis. I wasn't prepared after seventeen years in a steady job, to get the pink slip, and five years later again up against a volatile market that had changed dramatically, but I will survive. If it doesn't end up in my favor then I go to plan B with plan Z as fallback. For me the risks are not so high, I have no spouse, children or a mortgage, yet with some money in the bank, I can say yes to many opportunities, and expand my network.
My next step is to expand my network.
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