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Leverage Your Competitive Advantage

Career plans should leverage your assets, set you in direction of your aspirations, and account for the market realities.

  • Articulate educated hypotheses about each. “I believe I am skilled at X, I believe I want to do Y, I believe the market needs Z.” 
  • These hypotheses should lead you to specific actions even though you may have broad aspirations, like “help interesting people do interesting things” or “design human ecosystems.” 

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

A person with a foundation of knowledge and skills will make more money and most likely live a more meaningful life.
There’s a similar belief in start-ups: technology companies focus on learning over profitability in the early years to maximize revenue in the later years.

Prioritize plans that offer the best chance at learning about yourself and the world. Ask yourself, “Which plan offers the most learning potential?”

Learn by Doing

Any entrepreneur (and any expert on cognition / learning) will tell you that practical knowledge is best developed by doing, not just thinking or planning.

For careers, too, you don’t know what the best plan is until you try. 

Occasional missteps are to be expected when you take an experimental approach to career planning. 

These errors needn’t be permanent. Good Plan A’s can be stopped or reversed or morphed into a Plan B. A good Plan A minimizes the cost of failure. 

Start with a trial period. Keep your day job.

If you study the root causes of business disasters, over and over you’ll find a predisposition toward endeavors that offer immediate gratification.

At the same time, though, don’t do the opposite and think ahead too far in the future. You will change, the world will change, the competition will change.

The best thing to do is to think and plan two steps ahead. 

Deepstash helps you become inspired, wiser and productive, through bite-sized ideas from the best articles, books and videos out there.

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RELATED IDEAS

Explore jobs that interest you and ask yourself how do my skills and interests match up with these jobs?

  • Where are the gaps?
  • What options do I have to gain these skills or qualify for these jobs?
  • What skills do I need?
  • Where is the work?

You will now have a list of preferred jobs and/or learning options.

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IDEAS

Self-Assessment

Carefully evaluate your individual strengths, lifestyle preferences, passions, work style, and financial needs.

Know both who you are as a person and who you desire to become as a professional. Take a careful inventory of your current career values, interests, skills, and personal qualities.

Unforeseen illnesses, the financial needs of your dependents, and the uncertainty of Social Security and pension systems are but a few of the factors at play.