EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

One of the many concepts I learned when I worked for a large corporation (that will go nameless) was “just in time budgeting.” When I worked for this firm I thought it was a bad idea, but as life has gone by, I have come to appreciate some of its finer qualities and applicability.

You see, they never seemed to get around to finishing the annual budget process at this firm, so, each month’s actual was just assumed to be “budget.” The beauty of the approach, of course, was that there were never any variances. No variances, and therefore, nothing to explain.

The applicability to job search is the whole concept of the unnecessary expectations we set for ourselves. What if any job you were offered was exactly what you had in mind. Would that help?

For those of us who have worked for large corporations, the climb to the top is marked by very specific evidence of our advancement. Sometimes it has been a larger office. Sometimes it has been more side chairs. Other times it is a potted plant. Hopefully, it has also meant more money, but I digress.

If you think about it, many of the devices we have used to measure our progress up the ladder have been down right silly. That said they sure seemed important at the time.

When I speak with members who are more experienced than our other members, and here I am talking about those of us who are in our late 40’s or older, life has changed. We have presumably advanced quite a bit in our career, and what we need to do at this point in our careers is to open our minds to the idea that the shape and benchmarks that were such convenient milestones for us no longer exist. Outside of any large corporation where we might have worked, all the measurements are different. There may not even really be a “company way” as we understand it.

The goal you need to set for yourself is what I will call “just in time career planning.” Your most important goal needs to be earning a living practicing your skill set or some part of it. The exact details no longer matter. All of the rules you think you know may or may not be appropriate any longer.

By opening up your mind to anything that comes along that fits your rough parameters, you may in fact find that what you thought was your goal really wasn’t that important after all.

Who knows, you might even find that something totally different than what you used to do will now fit you to a tee.

Hey, that’s what just in time career planning is all about.

Regards, Matt

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