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Why Most People Get Stuck in Their Careers | Scott H Young

https://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/2017/01/16/career-stuck/

scotthyoung.com

Why Most People Get Stuck in Their Careers | Scott H Young

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Doing Well In Your Career

Doing Well In Your Career

It requires two important factors:

  • The ability to do your work well. This requires knowledge.
  • Meta-knowledge. Meta-knowledge is knowledge not on how to do your job, but knowledge about how your career works. That means you need to know which skills are the ones to invest in and which ones you should ignore.

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Getting Meta-Knowledge

You can get meta-knowledge by doing good research. This kind of research comes from the interactions with other people and rarely from school or books.

Talking to people who are ahead of you in your career and comparing them to people who aren’t is often a very successful strategy to isolate which skills and assets you need to develop.

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Don't Ask People For Advice

When you ask for advice, you’ll often get vague, unhelpful answers.

Try instead observing what the top performers in your field are actually doing differently, to learn what really matters to move forward.

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Language And The Way We Think

Language is a literal and linguistic tool that many believe is a fundamental basis of the way we think. Some have hypothesized (like the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis) that many languages do not ...

Languages Are Tied To Culture

  • Culture is a way of perspective and identity, and people speaking the same language immediately bond and form a connection.
  • If an English speaking person learns Spanish, the underlying culture that emphasises ‘passion’ or ‘enjoying the experience’ is a more important cultural value in the countries who are natively Spanish.
  • The culture of a certain place may include cuisine, history, music and notable personalities, but language becomes the salt without which the culture is tasteless.

Language: The Gateway To Culture

The local language is the preferred route to understand the culture due to 2 reasons:

  1. Most people don’t speak English very well, due to their learning it as a second or third language. These people do not represent the real sampling of the country's population, just being the better-educated cosmopolitans who speak a global language.
  2. Most translations are poor substitutes for the real cultural essence, and a person needs to learn the original language to fully understand the context and culture.

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Open-ended tasks

Open-ended tasks

Open-ended tasks are any tasks that don't have a definite endpoint. Activities like "studying", "working" or "tweaking" waste your time and cause ...

Relax without a guilty conscience

When you have countless open loops in your life, you will never be able to relax.

  • Define exactly what you need to do. In blogging, it could be getting a certain traffic volume or sustaining a certain posting rate.
  • Define exactly what you will commit to. There will always be more to do. Close the ends by defining the amount you are willing to commit to.
  • Define exactly the tasks that need to be done. Make a to-do list for each day and week.
  • When you've finished, stop and enjoy your time off.

Examples of open loops

Once some people complete their to-do list, they add more work. This is a dangerous move that can sabotage your productivity.
Sources of open loops:

  • Studying. Do you have a specific list of learning activities, or do you just "study"?
  • Exercising. Do you follow a workout, or do you just exercise?
  • Work. Do you work from 9-5, or do you finish a list?
  • Writing. Do you write in hours, or number of words?
  • Communication. Do you speak when it's important, or just of fill dead air?

We need an exit strategy

We need an exit strategy

Many new graduates face the stress of figuring out what to do after they get their degree. The post-grad crisis represents a general problem all of us face - figuring out what to do once yo...

Key exit plan mistakes

  • Getting caught on the infinite treadmill. It happens when goals are continually replaced by more ambitious goals.
  • Falling off the wagon. This happens when you set a goal that won't last, e.g. losing 25 lbs only to have it all come back three months later. An exit strategy would be helpful to maintain your weight.
  • The empty celebration. Reaching a big goal feels very exciting, but the effects are not lasting on your happiness. An exit strategy could solve this problem.

A good exit strategy

  • Keep it short. An exit strategy should describe what to do next, not define what to do with the rest of your life.
  • Keep it specific. Your exit strategy should help you to figure out the plan after your plan.
  • Plan it early. The time to begin the job hunt starts with a rough sketch of your exit plan months or years ahead of time.