A. Seven – Q. Ways to measure progress ?

Some how I should have guessed that as soon as I restarted my blog a load of opportunities to comment would come up, that wouldn’t have been there if I didn’t have the blog….

I’ve just been catching up with Brian Peacocks IBM Internal blog, its great to see Brian still blogging, he is currently theme-posting, blogging on single themes. This weeks theme is careers. In his introductory(internal) post Brian muses that he thinks it would be good if “one of the Execs (VPs) wrote articles explaining the career path that ends up with an Exec position, something that many of us would find fascinating.”

I don’t think I can offer that but I can offer my “Seven Ways for a technical person to measure their career progress.”
ca-reer
v. To move or run at full speed; rush
[MC. often downhill out of control.] [From Old French carriere, Racecourse]

ca-reer
n. 1. A chosen pursuit; profession or occupation; 2.The general progress in one’s working or professional life.

1. You are what you do and how you do it!

  • if you don’t enjoy it…
  • don’t know why you are doing it…
  • what it contributes…
  • Don’t do it!

NOTHING IS WORK UNLESS YOU’D RATHER BE DOING SOMETHING ELSE! THIS WILL SHOW THROUGH IN THE QUALITY, QUANTITY AND CREATIVITY OF YOUR WORK!

2. Your profession counts

  • It’s how others measure you
  • Link aspirations to Profession
  • Be proactive about Certification

SUCCESS IN PROFESSION DOESN’T GUARANTEE SUCCESS IN PROMOTION/SALARY – BUT IT CAN’T HURT

3. Your Career

MAKE SURE CHANGE IS SOMETHING THAT HAPPENS FOR YOU, NOT TO YOU!

4. Your Band/Level

  • Less important than you think
  • Take care of Profession and Career
  • Don’t become fixated on Band

YOU’LL MISS A WORLD OF OPPORTUNITY!

5. Your Salary

  • Make up your own mind on this
  • Importance will ebb/flow, especially in light of work/home life balance and major events in your family.

ITEMS 1-4 ARE MORE IMPORTANT!

6. Your Manager

  • Understand your relationship
  • Always be honest about what you want; Don’t be naive
  • Manages you for the company and the company for you!

INCREASINGLY NEED AN EXECUTIVE SPONSOR! YOU SHOULD BE LOOKING BEYOND YOUR MANAGER FOR THIS!

7. Your Job

  • What the company pays you for
  • Jobs come and go – as technology comes and goes
  • What you do, and how well you do it; Progress in Profession; Interest in your career; Realistic expectations
  • All Outweigh the job you do

GET EVERYTHING ELSE RIGHT,
YOU CAN SURVIVE A BAD JOB!

Leverage processes(ok, thats not really eight as this is a how, not a what!)

  • PBC: Comment on what you really did; What you want to do next!
  • Skill plan(IDP): Push for new skills; What you have to do to achieve them; Ask Questions of yourself, your manager
  • What do I need to do to get to my next Band ?
  • What projects do I need to do to get to my next Band ? How will they contribute to next profession step ?

NEVER ASK WHY, ASK WHAT AND WHEN

Must understand at least three of these, they are the key to success and progress. You must make progress on one EVERY year . Have view and plan on progress on all

COMMIT TO YOUR GOALS IN WRITING
(PBC, IDP, e-MAIL, Private Journal/BLOG, TO-DO)

[Read other posts on careers]

1 Response to “A. Seven – Q. Ways to measure progress ?”



  1. 1 Managing your career « Adventures in systems land Trackback on November 1, 2007 at 3:47 pm

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About & Contact

I'm Mark Cathcart, formally a Senior Distinguished Engineer, in Dells Software Group; before that Director of Systems Engineering in the Enterprise Solutions Group at Dell. Prior to that, I was IBM Distinguished Engineer and member of the IBM Academy of Technology. I'm an information technology optimist.


I was a member of the Linux Foundation Core Infrastructure Initiative Steering committee. Read more about it here.

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