Monday, 12 October 2009

Discard the myth of career planning (Part 1 of 2)


Career planning is a delusion created by wishful thinking. The idea that an individual can precisely steer his way from job to job in a rapidly changing society is unrealistic. Instead, a man should have long-term goals and let his career develop according to market opportunities.

If you keep your eyes fixed on a point in the horizon, chances are that you will overlook possibilities that arise in your immediate environment. Career planning is often as unworkable as innovation planning. Rationality demands having a long-term vision, but implementation details should be modified to fit current opportunities.

Have you ever wondered why indifference is the usual reaction to innovation? Is it not amazing that potential customers, who would be so well served by a new service, are not even willing to listen to a sales pitch? The world is barren land for dreamers, but an endless source of opportunities for problem-solvers. Conventional wisdom preaches that where there is a will, is a way. Possibly, but who wants to walk a path leading to constant disappointment?

If you are about to start a new venture, please remind yourself of the fact that there are 70% chances that you won't survive beyond the fifth year. Some markets show even higher failure rates for new products or services, as it is the case of packaged foods, soda drinks, and restaurants.

Statistics tell us how hard it is to attain business success. The same level of difficulty applies to career planning. Is there a way to predict if a new service is destined to be buried by consumer indifference? How can we ensure that we only launch products that have a reasonable good chance? What strategy maximizes our probability of having a satisfactory career?

The answer is to discard the myth of perfect planning at the same time that we avoid random moves. Never put all your business resources into making new stuff and throwing it blindly into the market. Never concentrate all your career expectations on one single path. In those cases, hoping for the best is bound to reveal itself as an expensive delusion.

To be continued in Part 2

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by juanRubiano under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Discard the myth of career planning
(Part 1 of 2)


Career planning is a delusion created by wishful thinking. The idea that an individual can precisely steer his way from job to job in a rapidly changing society is unrealistic. Instead, a man should have long-term goals and let his career develop according to market opportunities.

If you keep your eyes fixed on a point in the horizon, chances are that you will overlook possibilities that arise in your immediate environment. Career planning is often as unworkable as innovation planning. Rationality demands having a long-term vision, but implementation details should be modified to fit current opportunities.

Have you ever wondered why indifference is the usual reaction to innovation? Is it not amazing that potential customers, who would be so well served by a new service, are not even willing to listen to a sales pitch? The world is barren land for dreamers, but an endless source of opportunities for problem-solvers. Conventional wisdom preaches that where there is a will, is a way. Possibly, but who wants to walk a path leading to constant disappointment?

If you are about to start a new venture, please remind yourself of the fact that there are 70% chances that you won't survive beyond the fifth year. Some markets show even higher failure rates for new products or services, as it is the case of packaged foods, soda drinks, and restaurants.

Statistics tell us how hard it is to attain business success. The same level of difficulty applies to career planning. Is there a way to predict if a new service is destined to be buried by consumer indifference? How can we ensure that we only launch products that have a reasonable good chance? What strategy maximizes our probability of having a satisfactory career?

The answer is to discard the myth of perfect planning at the same time that we avoid random moves. Never put all your business resources into making new stuff and throwing it blindly into the market. Never concentrate all your career expectations on one single path. In those cases, hoping for the best is bound to reveal itself as an expensive delusion.

To be continued in Part 2

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by juanRubiano under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]