Here's a powerful and ethically "steal-able" career strategy for you.
It comes compliments of a former colleague and long-time friend.
Here’s the story. Late November. Leaves not quite gone from the trees. I get a note from an erstwhile colleague asking if I can polish up his LinkedIn copy and resume.
Because he’s about to kick off a job hunt, see. I’ll give him a fake email name. Let’s make it... “Tyler.”
I read his note, thinking... “Yeah, it's been about three years. He's right on schedule.”
Here’s why his exit and note were predictable.
Tyler’s (very good) jobs end with stress-free regularity. Here's his hat trick: the better he gets, the faster he gets “fired.”
It's insanely simple. Mark my words (and save this post) because what Tyler's doing is going to start trending higher and pretty quickly.
Tyler is ahead of his time. A little history: we met when we were thrown together on the other side of the world while scrapping our way through the corporate asteroid field.
We were on a monster project with an immoveable deadline. The financial penalties for missing the deadline would strip the enamel off your teeth.
Despite all that, and maybe because of it, we had a blast. We worked together for a several years.
One thing leads to another. Eventually I depart for another universe on the entrepreneur-ship (insert bad joke trombone). He continues at light speed through his career in the corporate universe, landing increasingly better, higher paying jobs. Lemme explain how he works and the "steal-able" part. Tyler’s speciality is global scale corporate infrastructure transformations. Imagine if Budweiser bought Heineken or if Amazon split into two organizations.
He’d get a call with them saying, ‘Heeeeelllllp us!!!!!!’ The thing about his jobs is, once his work is done. His job is done.
No messy break-ups. No awkward “It’s not you, it’s me,” moments. His departure is built in at his arrival.
It's more, “Here are the keys to your new infrastructure! Buh bye!”
He's a full-time employee, but like all FTE's, nothing lasts forever.
Job done, he’s off on vacay in Mexico or cycling through the Alps and then on to the next job. Tyler's semi-fixed end-date erases one of the biggest downsides of your career: messy endings, bumpy transitions and stays past your expiration date.
No one asks him, "Oh, you're not there any more? What happened?"
Insert pregnant pause for depiction of high-drama, hillbilly divorce antics that accompany some job endings (no offense to hillbillies.)
The best of job departures can be a tight rope walk. He owns his exit by design.
It’s worth mentioning his last severance payout lasted longer than my last relationship.
Owning your exit instead of letting it be the inevitable elephant in the room, opens the door to negotiating things like severance.
Ages ago, I read an article in which a woman suggested marriages should expire and couples should be required to re-register their marriage every 5 to 7 years to maintain the state of matrimony.
I can’t speak for marriage, yet I know this is absolutely true for many jobs and many people. You might be one of them.
The good news is, you can do it.
Begin with the end in mind.
The trick is to negotiate your "marriage" contract knowing you'll divorce, not hoping you won't. It's not an employment contract, it's a pre-nup.
If you've looked at your employment contract, you know it's already teed up that way.
Employers know it's not going to last forever, why should you pretend it is? Poof! Like magic, so many awkward aspects of your career are gone faster than free food in the break room.
Here are three ways Tyler makes it work:
His LinkedIn profile is top notch and his "Open" sign is always displayed.
Don't shut down your profile when you land a job or remake yourself in the image of your employer. Every job ends. You don't want to start your job hunt by deconstructing a profile built around your, now former, employer. Regular job changes have made him a better, more relaxed job seeker. Tyler's regularly scheduled moves mean he does his prep while he's still employed.
Don't wait until you're collecting unemployment to start investing in yourself and your career.
Do these things when the money is coming in and you can touch them up yourself more easily when it's not.
Bonus: you're also more likely to get recruited away from one job to another one if you keep your profile up to date and stay even moderately active.
He doesn’t romanticize his relationship with employers. Gone is any phobia about "losing" his job, the stigma of "job hopping" or too much time between jobs.
As an old boss once said to me as I was negotiating with a new company, "Remember, they need you more than you need them."
Bye natural selection. Hello strategic planning and getting what you want. You got this!
Could your career strategy could use a makeover, head down to the P.S. I've got just the thing.