Project Management

What’s Your Career Plan?

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

Project management (PM), business analysis (BA) and organizational change management (OCM) all call to us as areas to help us grow our professional careers. We are destined to help organizations achieve their objectives, grow and prosper.

So you ask yourself: How should I proceed? What course of action will yield fast results and yet lay the foundation for a strong and sustainable career? Where will the path I choose take me in the long run?

Good questions one and all, so careful consideration of your path is well worthwhile. To help you along your way, this article presents some food for thought that you might find useful.

To begin, think of your career as a house you will occupy for years to come. Your neighborhood represents the industry you want to work in; your community the kind of culture you want to experience. How much can you invest? Will this be a starter home or one you might want to retire in?

In both cases (home and career), you will need to go through some serious pondering and choice making—and there will be tradeoffs. If you want to ensure success, you will need a plan—a roadmap for going forward.

If you are just starting out, you may not know the answer to all the questions, so maybe it’s best to get more information. For example, you might consider doing some intern or volunteer work in the areas of potential interest. If you …

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"If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties."

- Francis Bacon