Tag Archives: career development

Laddering Up Your Career Portfolio

Laddering Up Your Career Portfolio

GUEST POST from Arlen Meyers, M.D.

A career used to describe your roles in one company throughout your working life, like a career at Monsanto, Deloitte, a university or IBM. But, the workplace and generational attitudes have changed, along with a prolonged life expectancy, so careers now mean something different. Now, a career includes all the roles you undertake throughout your life – education, training, paid and unpaid work, family, volunteer work, leisure activities and more.

In today’s world the term career is seen as a continuous process of learning and development. For physicians, those activities that contribute to a career can include:

  • training
  • education
  • employment
  • work experience
  • community activities
  • enterprise activities
  • employment
  • different life roles
  • volunteer work
  • leisure activities

The traditional career ladder for doctors meant 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school and then 4-6 years of residency or fellowship followed by 30-40 years of practice, if not more. The contemporary career trajectory is much different. Exit ramps exist and clinical practice half-lives are shorter.

Investment advisers often suggest bond laddering as an investment risk management strategy. A bond ladder is the name given to a portfolio of bonds with different maturities. For example, you buy bonds with maturation dates that are 1 year, 3 years,5 years and 10 years with variable returns. When one matures, you retire it and buy another on the ladder. Physician entrepreneurs should consider doing the same with their careers as a way to hedge career risk. Doctors, like most everyone, need some side gigs. But, you don’t want to quit your day job until the time is right.

Career laddering is a also a way to leverage your impact. As you move how you spend your time on one thing to another, the results of your efforts should be more meaningful and impactful, whether it be helping more people, helping to solidify your personal brand or creating a higher return the investement of your time. Think about your position, authority, and influence. How are you using them to positively impact the lives of your sphere?

Instead of putting all of your eggs in one basket, diversify your interests and job roles, gradually retiring one to assume another. For example, while clinical practice is the focus of most doctors, take time to build your interest portfolio and dedicate the requisite time and attention to those roles to build value in them. Such roles can be teaching, volunteering, advising, writing, consulting,entrepreneurship or many others. Then, when it’s time, prune or retire one of the roles to assume another on the ladder.

The strategy also applies to advising or consulting. At some point, if you have done things right, people will be coming to you to ask for help. Here are some tips on how to navigate the gig economy.

For example, you might want to apply these criteria to whether you accept your next gig based on fit:

  1. Does it meet your personal and professional needs?
  2. Do you trust the people ?
  3. Do you think the business is viable and how long will it take?
  4. What are the next critical success factors and do you have the knowledge, skills, attitudes and competencies to deliver them?
  5. Are you satisfied with the compensation being offered?
  6. Is there a conflict of interest with other projects?
  7. How much will this intrude into your non-work life and other commitments?
  8. Is the problem the company wants to solve important to you?
  9. How much time, effort and travel is expected?
  10. How much liability is there?

Don’t get stuck in the three boxes of life. Laddering jobs during your career, including after traditional retirement age as an encore career, is a great way to keep you engaged and satisfied.

Here is the case against early retirement. Many of these studies clearly show that health problems intensify after workers qualify for retirement benefits and abate after policies encouraging work are introduced. In addition, there are financial and social consequences.

The word is out. For the first time in 57 years, the participation rate in the labor force of retirement-age workers has cracked the 20 percent mark, according to a new report from money manager United Income (PDF). Some work longer because they want to. Most do it because they think they have to.

What’s more, since social security costs will exceed income in 2020, by delaying retirement ,you will be doing your part for your country’s budget.

You don’t have to do all this full time. Instead you can be a digital nomad or follow the 10/20/30 plan.

Some cities or towns will pay you to move there. Job switching for higher pay is common.

Create a career portfolio and rethink your encore career: You lower your risk, increase your return and can wake up with a smile on your face having made a wise investment.

Image credit: Pixabay

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12 Reasons to Write Your Own Letter of Recommendation

12 Reasons to Write Your Own Letter of Recommendation

GUEST POST from Arlen Meyers, M.D.

Are you stuck? The first step in making a career change is self reflection.

One way to describe yourself and your transferable skills and what you have in mind for the future is to write your own letter of recommendation instead of asking me to do it.

Here are some tips on how to do it. But, why should you do it?

  1. It saves me the trouble of doing it
  2. You know yourself a whole lot better than I do
  3. It makes you think about why somone would want to hire you
  4. It gives you some ideas about where your blind spots and skills gaps are once you have read the job description of a potential job
  5. You will do a much better job than I would
  6. It will give you the chance to use key words that will drive AI resume scanners
  7. You can link to your personal website and other online social media sites that I don’t know about
  8. You can delete social media posts and sites that are not flattering
  9. It will force you to buff up your resume and coordinate it with your Linked profile for a particular job
  10. You can use if for a personal statement, even if they are falling out of favor and a waste of time
  11. It is another way to be kind to yourself and cultivate your inner advocate
  12. It will help you get over your imposter syndrome and tell people about all those transferable skills you have

If you are taking the long view, then write your own obituary. If that’s too heavy a lift at your stage of the game, then just write you own letter of recommendation before you have to request one and ask someone you know, like and trust to send it for you at the appropriate time. I heartily recommend it.

Image Credit: Pixabay

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Join me in London for a Two-Day Innovation Certification Course

Join me in London for a Two-Day Innovation Certification CourseI’m excited about the launch of the first global innovation certification, with four full levels to choose from (two for innovation practitioners and two for innovation leaders), complete with many action learning components.

The certification is being offered by the Global Innovation Management Institute in cooperation with the IXL Center, the Hult International Business School, and Innovation Excellence.

In 2014 in addition to doing innovation keynotes, workshops and masterclasses, I am considering a world tour to bring in-person two-day GIMI Level 1 Innovation Certification courses and innovation eLearning to Seattle in Mar/Apr, followed by London in May.

The two full days of Level 1 Innovation Certification training in London will be priced per person or with a discount for a group of four (4) people (which will include materials, the cost of the certification exam, and some special bonuses), or if you’d like to organize a group session for your company while I’m there, we can discuss a price for that.

If someone is willing to donate a Central London location and attendee logistics, please contact me as I can offer a significant discount in exchange (at least 50%).

But I need your help to determine which dates the two-day Level 1 Innovation Certification Training should be held on.

Finally, In addition to London I hope to soon be announcing other cities where the two-day in-person GIMI Level Innovation Certification course will be offered, either before or after the London dates.

Should your city be at the top of the list?

Sound off in the comments!


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