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Family Inc. by Douglas P. McCormick

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CHAPTER 3

Make Career Choices that Extend Your Possibilities

People seeking career advice often ask what company or what job they should pursue. But if you correctly see yourself as a business owner managing your temporary labor business, these are the wrong questions. You should be asking instead what choices provide the most professional opportunity now and the most options for future growth. Today’s workplace is too dynamic and your expected career is far too long to attempt to make good job choices based on future prospects for a specific company or position. Rather, choices should be made with the goal of maximizing the skills, relationships, and future options that can be thought of as constituting your personal brandyour perceived ability to compete effectively for increased responsibilities and compensation in a variety of roles, industries, and locations.

In general, people should pursue work experiences with the broadest range of applicability. Developing varied expertise in one or more business functions—finance, information technology, human resources, sales and marketing, or general management—allows an employee not only to change jobs, but also to change industries numerous times over a career. Since many of us may be working for half a century, the ability to choose between companies and industries to pursue the best opportunities and compensation is very valuable. Not having that flexibility can be costly. Consider the conundrum of airline pilots, general practice ...

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