A finance executive called me last week because he knew that his resume was not selling value, he struggled when answering questions about his atypical career track, and he had an important interview coming up in the next couple of weeks. He understood that without a compelling value proposition that mitigated his unusual career progression and which leveraged his market differentiation, he would always be on the defensive while being interviewed. Smart guy.
Except, that when his pending interview was postponed indefinitely and the immediacy of the situation gone, he put his strategic planning on hold. Without the urgency driving his steps, he would have had the luxury of time to get his positioning right … while gaining confidence and re-energizing his search.
The reality in proactively managing one’s career is like anything else … failing to plan could very well be planning to fail. The choice to not be proactive is a decision, by default, to be reactive.