The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career
Do you want to proactively manage your high tech career?
Then we highly recommend an excellent resource for your career growth – The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career.
Co-authored by Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, the book offers an authoritative blueprint for moving up in your current job and accelerating your career.
Apply Entrepreneurial Strategies to Accelerate Your Career
To be successful in today’s job market, all professionals need to apply the valuable lessons of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to their careers, Hoffman says.
You are working in a new world. Technology and globalization have permanently changed it. Unemployment is high. Even many of the highly educated are stuck at the bottom, underemployed, or jobless.
He recommends that you adapt a new mind set and develop a new skill set to compete successfully in today’s job market.
The Career Ladder is Jammed
Those of you who are lucky to have jobs can no longer rely on your employers to provide essential training and development opportunities.
Now you and your professional colleagues have to arrive on the job with skills adequate to do the job or be able to develop the skills in a short period of time.
And you are all now responsible for your own training and professional development.
Treat Your Career as a Start-Up
Hoffman suggests that you need to manage your career as if it were a start-up. That is, you need to apply entrepreneurial strategies to get ahead.
These entrepreneurial strategies include:
Taking a certain amount of risk to advance your career.
Adapting constantly to a changing environment where competition is fierce with few safety nets.
Creating networks of relationships for business intelligence.
Aggressively pursuing new opportunities.
Know Your Competitive Advantage
In addition to adopting an entrepreneurial mind set, Hoffman argues that you need to develop such key skills as identifying your competitive advantage, using ABZ planning, and, again, building powerful networks of relationships.
Competitive advantage is about being different from and better than your competition. What makes you rare and valuable? Your answers determine your career strategy by helping you choose which opportunities to pursue.
Competitive advantage is grounded in the interplay of your assets, aspirations, and market realities.
Your assets include knowledge, skills, and professional connections.
Aspirations include your values, vision, and goals for the future.
Market realities relate to whether your particular skills, knowledge, and experiences are wanted. Do you have the assets a potential employer is willing to pay for?
A good career plan emerges when these three elements—competitive advantage, assets, and market realities—are aligned with and complement each other.
Use ABZ Planning
ABZ planning involves developing a plan, being persistent in implementing it, and being flexible when conditions change.
Plan A is your current job and career path. It’s what you are doing now, your current implementation of your competitive advantage. With Plan A your make minor adjustments as you learn and adapt.
Plan B is what you pivot to when you need to change your goal or your path to this goal. Plan B focuses on the same general area as Plan A.
Plan Z is your safety net plan. It allows you to survive if your other plans fall apart. With a Plan Z, you are able to take risks with your Plan A and Plan B.
Build Networks of Allies
Finally, Hoffman believes that to succeed you must build deep networks of allies. You mine these networks for information about what’s happening in the world that can affect your career.
Networks are the source of key resources, opportunities, and Information.
Like entrepreneurs, you must constantly and consistently invest in your professional network to grow your career.
Hoffman provides a valuable overview of strategies and insights you should consider when developing your network. These include the importance of building genuine relationships, evaluating the structure and strength of your network, and the importance of weak ties as a source of new information in your network.
Now is the Time to Create Your Career Success Blueprint
The Start-up of You contains extraordinary insights and strategies to help you to invest in yourself and your career.