Fireproof Your Career

Anne Baber, of “Make Your Contacts Count” fame, joined us in the CFO–Career–Forum on Tuesday to discuss strategies for creating a personal protection plan for your career … i.e., a strategic business plan for your career.

She had so much great information I actually took five pages of notes!

Her basic premise is, “be eager to stay and prepared to go.” The bottom line is that each individual is responsible for his or her own career. Anne refers to this as being “the champion of your own career.” I love that visual. It is not the responsibility of your boss, your company, or anyone else … the responsibility for your career lies with you. As a side note, Cliff Hakim authored a great book around this very topic called, “We Are All Self–Employed.” It’s a great read for anyone who is in the workforce.

One of the key strategies she mentioned was “liberate your mind.” In other words, be open to who you are outside of what you do. She noted an interesting statistic … the degree to which you identify with your company (i.e., introduce yourself as the CFO of ABC Company) is a strong indicator of the joy you get from your association with the company.

For example, when you introduce yourself is it as, Joe Smith, CFO of ABC Company? Or, do you lead with one unique and interesting statement about you that is memorable and promotes a continuing dialogue?

Do you have your own identity or is your identity woven into the company who provides your paycheck? If it is the latter, how long are you hoping that identity will last?