Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

My jobs and careers guide at 167 postings – and thoughts on what I will be posting here next

Posted in job search and career development by Timothy Platt on March 17, 2011

This is my 167th posting to date in my Guide to Effective Job Search and Career Development and when I scroll down its directory page I see what has become a fairly lengthy flow of verbiage. I have been systematically organizing much of it into series that I have labeled and numbered for installments, and I have partitioned off supplemental postings as a separate group in an attempt to help keep the series listings flow more smoothly. But this has gotten a bit complex.

I decided this might be a good time to share some thoughts on the Guide as a whole and on how it is organized, and I also want to at least briefly mention a number of upcoming series that will be added here and how this all fits together.

As I have noted in earlier postings, my initial focus was on job search and on getting into the job market. Partly this was because that was the area where most people saw need for career development information but I add I had a second reason as well. I have had an ongoing goal of systematically exploring careers as a process and on writing about them in an order that in some sense meshes with the flow of an ongoing career experience. So I wrote about searching for and landing a job, and with a career-building focus. I then turned to the issues of starting that job and working at it through your first performance review, marking the end of your probationary period. I wrote of working on teams and on making a transition from peer to supervisor. Yes, I reversed the order in this accounting, of my series on working on a team and transitioning into management here and simply add the order I posted them in was a bit arbitrary and I had reasons why I could have posted either of them first.

I am now working my way through a series on transitioning into middle management. And I note here that I am something of a table of organization renegade. I use the terms of a business hierarchy, with for example lower level, mid-level and senior managers but I do not generally think of or develop businesses in terms of a rigid authoritarian hierarchy and I note here that there are few business contexts where that approach would effectively work, let alone be optimal. After I finish this series I will, in order, post series on:

• Finding a work/life balance and keep career in context.
• Working at and managing a business in a ubiquitous computing, everywhere all the time context where your teams will and must include everyone from baby boomers to Generation Y and beyond.
• Transitioning into senior management – and I note here that middle managers get there by rising through the ranks but lower level managers and senior managers can and do get there with little if any management experience. Think startups when you read senior management there, and I note that gaps in management and strategic organizational skills that a startup team can bring to the table can be their greatest single challenge. I will delve into this, as well as through-the-ranks transition into senior management in this series – unless I divide this larger topic area into two series. I am still making up my mind on that.

I have more to add after this but will stop my list of upcoming series here with this set of three or four (depending on how I organize the fleshing out of my third bullet point in this listing.) I add that I do respond to feedback and I do add series in, in response to needs and interests expressed by readers. Let me know where you see gaps and share your ideas with me. That can include circling back to what might seem to be earlier career stage issues and I note in that context that careers are rarely linear and issues and challenges do recur for most of us. My overarching goal here is to provide timely, effective information resources and to prompt you to think through the issues of your jobs and careers.

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