Wednesday, May 13, 2015

“Kill the boy and let the man be born.”

“Kill the boy and let the man be born.”  Thank you Game of Thrones for that wonderful quote in last Sunday's episode of Season 5 called "Kill the Boy."  The line was spoken by Aemon Targaryen the 100 year old maester to Jon Snow the young bright eyed new Lord Commander of the Nights Watch.  The advice was meant to tell Jon it is time to grow up and set aside the rose colored glasses of childhood and become the adult/man you need to be. With his new position Jon cannot afford to not be a realist.  He must make all the moves necessary to survive and do what is best for the realm even if at times it is unpleasant.  This same lesson needs to be learned at some point in time when thinking about your career.

For me that lesson was learned very harshly when I was laid off by a company I expected to spend my entire career at.  My father has worked for the company since before I was born and my mother worked there for over ten years until she left after my little sister was born.  So at the time I was let go my immediate family had combined about 50 years tied up with the company.  It was where I always dreamed of working and where I got inspired in my choice of careers when I joined my father when he went into the office on the weekends.  Someone made a call that they could outsource my job along with a third of the IT department and save a few bucks.  It was as simple and as impersonal as that.  Sure they offered me money to stay till then end and with a wink and nudge said if I apply for a spot on this other team I will very likely still have a job after it is done but the bloom was off the rose.  The business arrangement of my employment was no longer favorable to the company so they were terminating said arrangement.  That same mentality is important to have as an employee as well because the only loyalty your employer has is to the business and its success and survival. 

Thinking about your career as a business is important in today's workplace.  Your skill set, your ability to communicate, your employment history, the impressions you make on your coworkers, and even your integrity have value and it is in your best interest to maximize that value.  If your skill set is falling behind in what is popular today today because your current position works with an old tech stack then something needs to be done about that.  Keeping your skill set current requires continuous learning which is your responsibility not your employers.  Ideally your employer sends you to conferences and offers programs to make continually growing your skill set easier but that is not always the case.  There are even aspects of brand management when it comes to your career which is built out of your work history, past professional relationships, networking, and social media.  Your career is a business which you want to do everything you can to thrive so that it meets your professional and personal goals.  It does not necessarily mean chase every penny you can earn because there is a value to a work environment where you are happy in to.  

Decide the direction you want your career/business to go and make the steps necessary to take it there.  "Kill the boy" and let go of the notations that you deserve professional success therefore it should be handed to you.  You have to earn success and take the steps necessary to maximize your chances of achieving that success. 

1 comment:

  1. nice post thanks for sharing. i will also share this article in my circle
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