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Books: Strategic Career Planning

By Sarah Head, CMA
January 1, 2020
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The Strategic Career: Let Business Principles Guide You by Bill Barnett is filled with insight into how to apply business strategies to further your own career development and a variety of examples illustrating his points.

 

 

The author says that many of us sleepwalk through our careers and don’t direct our career path as strategically as we should. He structured the book like a workbook that poses questions so that you can evaluate the current direction of your career. Barnett encourages you to consider your own personal value proposition and what’s important to you as a measure to evaluate different career paths. While this book could be used to find a job, it’s more focused on finding a calling that utilizes your skills and aligns with your interests.

 

Barnett provides insight into how to identify your values and do quantitative analysis when comparing various career opportunities. Analytical methods, such as creating a decision matrix of alternatives, make it much easier to compare a variety of career options while considering values and factors such as organizational culture, family impact, and other qualitative measures. Numerous examples of how others evaluated their career options are helpful in figuring out how to apply the book’s core concepts.

 

The key is developing your own matrix to identify your career objectives and measures of success. Comparing scores on a decision matrix is much less confusing than composing a traditional list of pros and cons. Barnett also explains career forecasting, a quantitative method to project the future viability of various career paths. We forecast potential outcomes based on a wide variety of business principles, so why not use those strategies to forecast career options?

 

The material was originally developed as an MBA course and is applicable to students, anyone looking for a career challenge, and seasoned professionals considering retirement. If you feel you don’t have time to read the book cover to cover, then you can use it as a reference manual and go directly to relevant information.

 

Even if you’re content in your current role, this book will help you to evaluate your potential for future professional growth and to think more broadly about strategic career planning. –Sarah Head, CMA

 

Sarah Head, CMA, is the director of budget and finance at Salem-Keizer Public Schools and a member of the IMA Portland Chapter. You can reach her at sarahhead@gmail.com.  
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