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How Not to be strategic about your career

How Not to be strategic about your career  aka How I fell into my first career…

I had a plan to find my dream career, so I thought.

I was in my early 20’s and had returned from extensive backpacking travel abroad.. having delayed the obvious – get a job- conversation with my sponsors, who were my parents.
Four appointments with the most prominent recruitment companies at the time (circa 1996), armed with copies of my Honours Degree (1994) and great references from part-time work I had completed post my degree (Teaching English in South America & Waitressing in Johannesburg 1995) and I had a CV which I had spent all of 15 minutes on. 

I was ready to find my CAREER!

The appointments at the recruitment companies went really well, in fact too well, they all offered me a job………….. as a Recruitment Consultant. 

This was definitely not what I was looking for and not my idea of a career;

  • I was looking for a stimulating career, and had aspirations of being in business. 
  • I wanted to work in an environment where every day was different, and work with diverse people. 
  • I was looking for the kind of work that I could use to make a change for good and have a positive impact in people’s lives. 
  • I wanted to be able to be strategic and get creative all in a days job.

But most importantly 

  • I wanted to have fun, meet new people, make friends and belong to a tribe.

What I didn’t know back then in 1996 was that I was prepared to completely outsource my career search to a few random recruiters- as good as they may have been at theirs jobs, none of them had a vested interest in what I needed or desired from a Career. 
Needless to say I returned home from a hard week of career hunting with 4 job offers on the table. My parents were delighted as this truly marked the official cutting of the apron strings ( 1x 4 year degree + 1x year typical antipodean backpacking around Europe  = they were ready to cut me loose) 

I then did what any intelligent career seeker would- chose the job with the company that had the nicest offices. The salary was pretty much the same over all 4 offers so that wasn’t a criteria, but I considered if I needed to be going to work every day I better go to work in an office building that looked good- plus I wanted me own desk, sharing wasn’t an option for a serious business person in their new career.
As it turned out those random recruiters back in 1996 were not only good at their jobs but as luck would have it so was I. In addition to this I was fortunate enough to be teamed up with an amazing mentor who coached me through the Industry paces and took a keen interest in my development. 

Don’t make the same Mistake that I did;

Take charge and stay in charge of your career.

For further resources and career strategy advice be sure to download  #TheCareerStrategyFormula.

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