Something About Careers

For the most part, I have enjoyed this book.  Notice I said ‘for the most part.’  As I read this section on advancing your career, I kept having the feeling that the author was contradicting himself. And to be honest, I lost interest in this chapter and stopped retaining the information from the last couple pages.  I’m not saying the book is bad, this was just its “Tokyo Drift” chapter.  A chapter that doesn’t really make sense to me, but has a couple good points.  Just like the movie doesn’t currently fit in with the series, I feel like this chapter doesn’t really fit in with the others we have read.

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At the beginning of this chapter, they say that you don’t need a list of 24 things to do to advance your career this year along with how we should focus on one big thing that would make a big difference and focus on that exclusively rather than work on multiple traits at a time.  I feel like this is one thing that people will disagree on and I am fine with that.  I believe that people should work on multiple areas of their work ability to steadily increase their personal value, whether it be to a company or to themselves.  I’ve always believed that you are only as strong as your weakest link and therefore should work on your weak points to be a stronger worker.  I heard this a lot in sports while I was growing up and it is a very “team oriented” saying, but it also applies to individuals.  In the business world, or in any world, I would not want to be known as someone who is “one dimensional” because I want to be able to offer multiple traits that would benefit both myself and whatever company I work for.

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As I was reading through the “unhelpful suggestion” section of the chapter, I couldn’t help but think that it was being a bit contradicting.  I do agree a little bit with the idea that following a passion is a bit unnecessary.  It’s one thing to follow a passion, but it is a completely different mindset in bringing your passion to your work.  You learn what you love to do and some would say that you are fulfilling your ‘calling.’  This article written about Mike Rowe’s viewpoint on passion was very helpful.  It brought some good points about being passionate, but making sure you find something that you enjoy being passionate about.

Quite frankly, I found the section about developing your skills and growing your networks to be dumb.  Developing your personal and business skills is incredibly important in a capitalistic world.  Adding personal value should never be under appreciated.  I feel like people are nothing without any sort of skill set or any desire to improve those skills.  Whether we want to or not, we are always learning something.  If you aren’t making a point to learn something new every day, then you aren’t working to your full capacity.  I don’t mean you have to literally learn a new trade or skill set each day, but learning how to better improve yourself on a daily basis is crucial in becoming a more successful person.

Here is where that contradiction feeling kept happening.  This equation of ‘number of opportunities and ability to select wisely’ just didn’t feel like it fit with what the book said on the previous pages.  I firmly believe that if you better your skills and develop your career, the number of opportunities increases therefore increasing your ability to choose wisely.  I don’t know what other people think, but math behind that equation disproves the idea that developing you skills isn’t important.  Maybe I’m wrong or maybe I don’t see it the same way as other people.  Also, sorry if this sounded like a rant, especially the last two paragraphs.

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