Tag Archives: The Career Journey

Review: The Career Journey

Ram Iyer’s The Career Journey offers practical advice for entry level employees to advance in their careers. It isn’t a formula for success, and Iyer makes no guarantees anything will come of his advice, but he attempts to teach things the entry level employee will learn on her own before the employee has to learn those things the hard way. Ultimately, the book should be taken as an overview for someone starting his career of things to consider and how to go about getting what he wants.

The advice in the book is solid if the reader’s goals align with the destination of The Career Journey. If what you’re looking for is career success–defined by a higher position in some form of business and in an organization you like–Iyer’s plan is as good as any. He offers personal experiences, case studies, and advice from other writers to show how scenarios can play out and what can be gained by making some important career moves and decisions. Iyer discusses the importance of finding the job that fits what you’re good at and like to do, personal branding and perception, continued education, and the fundamentals of how businesses work. By laying out the fundamentals, he gives the readers a chance to create a strategy to get where they want to be.

For my own purposes, a lot of what I read sounded awful–not the writing, just the subject. I think what I learned is that I don’t like reading about business. I don’t want my job to be my life and I’m not overly concerned with making more than enough money to be comfortable; however, even with my own aversion to business-y writing there was some useful advice in the book. Perhaps most helpful was Iyer’s “C-Zone,” where a person’s talents, passions, and the organization for which he works come together. This is the optimal place for an employee to be, and it is where she will be most effective. The first step in Iyer’s plan is figuring out where your C-Zone is, how to get there, and how to advance within it. Even I can wrap my head around that and recognize its importance.

Completely unrelated to the subject matter, but important to note: this book could have been edited better. If you’re like me and get distracted by lack of continuity, the occasional typo, or poor phrasing that should have been caught you’ll notice some of that in this book. But if you read my writing you’ll notice I make the same mistakes, and if you can handle it, go for it. If you’re an editor, please know the importance of what you do is recognized and appreciated.

Ultimately, if you’re like me and you don’t know what you want to do with your life this book is worth a read. If you do know what you want to do with your life but don’t know exactly how you want to go about it, you might like it as well. If you’re interested in buying it, you can find the Amazon link here.

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Changes in Plans and Attitude

Following some advice a reader gave  in the comments section, I’ve started reading The Career Journey by Ram Iyer. There will be a long post about that when I’m finished, but so far the book’s got me thinking about some of my personality traits, one in particular. In reflecting on the things I do well and my talents, I also start to recognize more acutely the things I don’t do well. And if there is anything I struggle with it’s this: I am terrible at dealing with changes in plans.

I like to have a plan of action, and I like to have something to look forward to. I always know what’s coming next, and if it’s something I’m excited about it’s like a reward for doing the things I know are part of the plan at the moment about which I might not be as excited. But life is life, and often things get cancelled, rescheduled, or changed. I would like to say that when plans change I’m flexible and I move on happily, but the truth is I get all bent out of shape. I start thinking irrationally and feeling disappointment. This is why I harp on expectation management for myself; I don’t think clearly when my plans change.

I’ve done a lot of thinking about it this week and I don’t think my inability to change my plans without stress is an inherently bad thing. It is, however, something I should be aware of, and I’ve got to learn to combat disappointment. Plans change for a reason. Factors outside my control make the original plan something that wouldn’t have lived up to my expectations anyway. And while irrational Kindall has trouble believing this, sometimes it’s for the better.

I’m not crazy enough to think I’m ever going to completely overcome my inability to deal with change. There are some things I’ll be stuck with all my life. But I do want to work on it and avoid disappointment when it’s mostly me allowing myself to be disappointed rather than a disappointing event that causes my feelings. There has to be some way to manage it.

In the context of The Career Journey I think it’s important to think about the things I hate or don’t do well as much as my talents when I’m considering what I want to do and where I want to be in my career. I’m clearly not cut out for a career in which the majority of the things I plan or produce have the potential to be overturned or drastically altered. I need a structured, fairly predictable purpose in life. There still has to be room to adapt to unforeseen challenges and allow innovation, but I will have to be purposeful in making plans and re-planning when something changes if I’m going to like what I do.

This is all very abstract and makes me seem incredibly rigid and boring, but it’s something to think about. How do I move outside my comfort zone to enlarge it while also learning to operate within it?

How do you deal with a change of plans?

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