The Long View: Career Strategies to Start Strong, Reach High, and Go Far


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Stay ahead of the curve with recommended reading lists curated by experts. When you think of your dream job, what do you see? How important is it that your work is appreciated and rewarded? Do you want to be able to learn, have fun and grow as you go along? These are the kind of questions that The Futures Company asked in when they tried to get to the bottom of what Americans consider a fulfilling career today.

Their poll found that 70 percent of people will choose happiness over financial perks when making career decisions; at the same time, however, 86 percent chose money as the most important factor overall. As a result, we are seeing an increase in flexible work schedules, with more part-time roles, as well as freelance jobs, work-from-home opportunities and job-sharing offers.

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All of these are now viable alternatives to the traditional nine-to-five job. So the question now becomes: how can I put together the right strategy to build a flexible, fulfilling and balanced career? The answer to this lies in taking all the aspects of your life into consideration and emerging with a path that allows you to be successful without sacrificing important things like family, friends and health. After all, as career and motivation experts like Dan Pink and Tom Rath point out, a happy work life directly translates into higher productivity, better health and increased satisfaction.

Start your free Blinkist trial to get unlimited access to key ideas from The Long View and over 3, other nonfiction titles. With bitesize text and audio , it's easier than ever to find the right ideas to transform your life. Try Blinkist for free for 7 days. Discover by category See recently added titles See popular titles. Audio available. Read for free today only Start free trial to read Read now Upgrade now to read Buy book. Send to Kindle. BF: I would make a career inventory then choose the job that will give you more transportable skills, meaningful experiences, and enduring relationships.

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For example, how many transportable skills, like problem-solving and persuasive communication, would I gain from this move? PT: You write about self-confidence , but young people hardly feel confident.

With little experience, what can they do about it? BF: The best well to feel self-confident is to feel well-prepared. Everyone—including very new employees—can become experts on specific topics. You cannot become a master of a whole domain in a short period of time this tends to take thousands of hours , but with intensive effort you can become an expert in something concrete and manageable. Talented young people in my company often ask me how they can get "more exposure and visibility.

It doesn't have to be huge, but it needs to be something that is of value to the organization not just your pet project. Then spend several weeks becoming a world-class expert on that specific topic. Do your homework, and don't just list your opinions, compile facts from multiple sources and footnote them. Find out what has been done before, and what works and what doesn't. Package it into a three- to five-minute presentation, then rehearse and polish it.

Work with your boss to find a good moment to present your project. You will not always score an immediate hit, but keep applying this method and both you and your organization will gain confidence in your expertise and potential. BF: After more than three decades in business and 10 years as a CEO, it is clear to me that future leaders need high emotional intelligence and deep psychological skills more than ever before.

These are the skills that differentiate the top leaders from the mediocre ones, and will prevent us from being replaced by machines. The best way to build these skills is through a rich diversity of meaningful experiences that force us out of our comfort zones and enable us to be more robust and adaptable to changing conditions.

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They help leaders to develop some of the most profound and competitive careers skills: the ability to invent, the ability to judge, the ability to tech, and the ability to build human trust. BF: More and more, the white-collar worker will be competing with machines. Developing your emotional intelligence skill set is essential to be ready for that world.

The human component must shine through. PT: You tap into the work of researchers like Kahneman and Grant, are there any social psychology ideas that seem misguided to you? And what are some wrong-headed notions about leadership that bug you most? We live in a world of instantaneous information and rampant collaboration.

In this world, no one can have all the data and know all the answers. We need to create active and responsive collaborations across disciplines, borders, and time zones. BF: One of the biggest challenges and opportunities for global business is the persistent low percentage of women in senior leadership positions.


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Women represent over half of the world's talent, creativity , and innovation and we simply cannot allow this vast talent pool to be overlooked or under-leveraged. There are signs of progress, but more work and more leadership is required. Some of the more promising initiatives include active mentorships by leading men and women, collaborative career sisterhood organizations, and returnships —structured programs to get women successfully back into workplace after taking time away for family.

BF: Ogilvy has a number of initiatives devoted to women. We need a work philosophy that encompasses all the parts of our lives, and one that can give us guidance on how to be ambitious and seek success without sacrificing other things we value deeply—family, friends, health, and purpose. This book is about building a long-term plan, because we all know that the things that brought us happiness in our twenties and thirties will change and evolve as we continue our professional trajectories.

We need a set of tools that will change and grow with us, which take into account how big life moments can alter your perspective and change your goals. My sincere hope is that The Long View will in some way spur you to the strongest, highest, longest, and happiest career possible. As a CEO, I have hired, fired, and counseled thousands of employees on their careers over the past three decades.

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And it is the advice I offer my two Millennial-aged daughters as they embark on the long, scary, and exhilarating career journey ahead. In the course of over thirty-five years in global business, I have seen tens of thousands of career trajectories, from CEOs of Fortune companies, to mid-level professionals entering their primes, to twenty-two year olds just starting out. The majority across all age groups think of their work life as a job, not a career. Too much focus is placed on the immediate next step, not the pathway. Most treat a career like a sprint, when, in fact, it is a forty-five-plus-year marathon.

They are more focused on getting promoted on Tuesday than on having great choices when it really matters—when they are in their forties and fifties. Many are deeply worried about their careers, and are seeking advice, but finding few answers. The notion of a career is changing fast, and it is hard to rely on what has worked in the past. As a result, too many people hop around aimlessly, or get stuck in unrewarding work, seemingly unable to break out of a rut.

They need a plan. You need a plan. Careers last a surprisingly long time, and embrace three distinctly different stages. Careers last much longer than people think—forty-five years or more—and are likely to get even longer in the future. For most people, there are more years of career after the age of forty than before. Careers consist of three major stages, each lasting about fifteen years. The three stages are highly interconnected, and what you do in one stage creates opportunities and consequences in later stages.

You will learn more about the career stages in chapter 2. Stage One is the time to start strong. Your career efforts must be focused on discovery and equipping yourself for the long journey ahead. Your learning curve is more important than your job title. Create the foundation for your career and establish good early habits. In chapter 8, we dive deeper into Stage One and learn hands-on lessons on how to get in the game and get off to a powerful start.

Stage Two is the time to reach high. It is the time to differentiate yourself from the pack, to stand out, and to become eligible for career pathways that will be most rewarding to you.

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Focus on your strengths and largely ignore your weaknesses. For more tactics and stories on Stage Two, see chapter 9. Stage Three is devoted to achieving lasting impact and finding a sustainable new career pathway that will likely need to last well into your sixties or even seventies. You have three critical jobs in Stage Three: pass the torch to the next generation, stay relevant, and ignite a new career flame for yourself. Fuel is important—it matters what you build on. In order to propel yourself through the long journey, you will need abundant supplies of career fuel.

This fuel comes in three main forms: transportable skills, meaningful experiences, and enduring relationships. Without this fuel, you risk becoming fragile and vulnerable as the global workplace continues to shift in unpredictable ways.

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Fuel is critical throughout your career. In Stage One you need to accumulate it, in Stage Two you need to take advantage of it, and in Stage Three you need to refresh and preserve it. Learn more about the various forms of fuel in chapter 3. Careers are built through the skillful investment of time. It takes patience and persistence to build sustainable fuel levels.

Becoming a highly employable expert or master is not just the result of innate talent, but of the application of thousands of hours of learning, experience, and practice. How you invest your time in work and in life has a profound impact on your success and happiness.


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Careers do not progress in linear or predictable ways. You must remain in constant discovery and learning mode. Career opportunities will evolve, and your own life goals will change. When you are confronted with new pathways and opportunities, remain calm and think strategically. Be prepared to embrace the inevitable changes and adjust your career strategy accordingly.

Successful careers are a combination of diligent planning and good luck. The diligent planning is essential, because it makes you eligible for the luck.

The Long View: Career Strategies to Start Strong, Reach High, and Go Far The Long View: Career Strategies to Start Strong, Reach High, and Go Far
The Long View: Career Strategies to Start Strong, Reach High, and Go Far The Long View: Career Strategies to Start Strong, Reach High, and Go Far
The Long View: Career Strategies to Start Strong, Reach High, and Go Far The Long View: Career Strategies to Start Strong, Reach High, and Go Far
The Long View: Career Strategies to Start Strong, Reach High, and Go Far The Long View: Career Strategies to Start Strong, Reach High, and Go Far
The Long View: Career Strategies to Start Strong, Reach High, and Go Far The Long View: Career Strategies to Start Strong, Reach High, and Go Far
The Long View: Career Strategies to Start Strong, Reach High, and Go Far The Long View: Career Strategies to Start Strong, Reach High, and Go Far
The Long View: Career Strategies to Start Strong, Reach High, and Go Far The Long View: Career Strategies to Start Strong, Reach High, and Go Far
The Long View: Career Strategies to Start Strong, Reach High, and Go Far The Long View: Career Strategies to Start Strong, Reach High, and Go Far

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