Leverage Your Passions, Create Opportunities, Get a Life

In Get a Life, Not a Job 'Self-Directed Career Acts and the Future of Careers' her Change This manifesto (April 7), Paula Caligiuri looks at the dim state of things as far as conventional careers are concerned and offers a few remedies.


Her choice of medicine besides helping your bottom line, might also improve our health, sense of self and quality of life.

She starts by looking at today's reality:

"With the downturn in the economy, the elimination of jobs, and the increased desire for work-life
balance, people are looking for more stability, greater fulfillment, and increased satisfaction
from work. Unfortunately, most people are still operating with an old set of career rules that no
longer apply to today’s employment reality."

Then highlights how "these changes in the employment reality have created the need for you
to own your career destiny":

#1. You own your career but not your job. Your employer owns the work and will configure
competencies to remain competitive.
#2. Your professional stability and financial security will likely come from your overall
career, not any given job.
#3. Your professional fulfillment and satisfaction will come from the career you build,
not the job promotions you receive.

Paula reminds us of the risk of putting all our chips in one basket:

"Just as the riskiest financial investment strategy is to have all of your money in one place, the riskiest career management strategy is to have all of your income be derived from one organization, unless, of course, you are certain your job is secure."

She then tells us how to reassess some control with career acts:

"Career acts are simultaneous and stimulating, profitable activities comprising of what people (who enjoy what they do) engage in for a living. Multiple career acts are liberating because they enable you to allocate your time across those career acts you enjoy and shed those career acts you don’t enjoy. Multiple career acts are also financially rewarding, given that your total income is derived from multiple sources. Having multiple sources of income—and not solely relying on any one company or employment situation—is mentally liberating, especially when organizations are going through downsizing and layoffs."

In many aspects Paula's approach echoes what Marci Alboher describes as Slash Careers. I call it a 5 leg stool. If one breaks you don't fall.

Not everyone will feel comfortable climbing in that boat but it might be a necessity more than a choice.

Paula Caligiuri also wrote Get a Life, Not a Job (the book) published by FT Press in March 2010.

I am still building my 5 leg stool.

The wild world of work for Monday Work Etiquette # 137

Previously: Serve a Big Helping of Humor on Blue Days

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