I had actually started a sort of do-it-yourself Career Kaizen approach of my own to try and drill down to some kind of solution to my seemingly invisible problems.
I had always been praised for my work but time and time again I would look around and see peers moving up to new levels. That’s what I wanted, but obstacles I could not define seemed to be in the way and I just could not figure out what they were. I didn’t know where I was going on my own.
Career Kaizen changed everything by giving me a framework, a structure, a discipline and a different lens to work with. I had a path to follow.
CK showed me pretty quickly that I was not operating with the best mentality, that I was negative and not exactly grateful for the positive things in my career life. But I didn’t know how to be grateful or how to break out of a bad mindset on my own. It was not an easy challenge, but CK pushed me to practice what would be needed for the entire course – turning the lens inward on myself.
Until then I really thought I knew myself. In fact would have said I was astute on the subject.
Once I took responsibility for reality, things got easier and the lights came on.
Big discovery! When trying to market myself to my uppers or new companies, I was leaving the marketing of me on the table… I literally did not see many of my strengths so I never included them. I stopped using the corporate evaluation theory of focusing on my weaknesses and comparing myself to everyone else and realized I had a great story to tell.
I developed my role according to my strengths, i.e., I discovered what I really wanted to do, created the game plan and marketed it. I stopped relying on managers who wanted to keep me where I was because I did such a good job in that role. Now, I actually see my annual evaluation as an opportunity.
After I developed my A3 and created the documents for my career arrow, I set up meetings to execute on my countermeasures and test the results. A vice president told me that, in her whole career, she had never seen anyone who was able to convey, in five minutes or less, where he wanted his career to go and actually have a plan to get there. Prior to CK she told me I needed help communicating my vision.
Now she was thoroughly impressed and just wanted to help me. The news went to HR and suddenly I had real options to choose from. I start my new position next month!
The clear lesson is I could not have achieved this on my own. Without CK I would still be searching for invisible problems. Without Jim Baran as an indispensible coach who pushes the envelope in ways an individual cannot for himself, I wouldn’t have known what to do with my problems even if I had found them.