Permission To Manage Your Career

Since last Monday I’ve been giving presentations on using tools for job search and career management (and even social marketing).

I’m amazed at the percentage of people who are really, really new to this stuff.  A lot of people have known about tools, and even the tactics and strategies, for managing their own career, being CEO of Me, Inc., and proactively creating their own “job security” (which I’ll refer to as “income security“).

But “knowing about” and “implementing” are two different things.  Like when I “knew about” my lawnmower problem, but sat on it for years, and one day I pulled the pliers out and fixed an uber-frustrating issue in just five minutes that made mowing my lawn a much better experience.

Or “knowing about” a problem with the door knob on my front door which frustrated just about everyone who ever touched it.  After years, I finally had that fixed.

Or “knowing about” my intense dislike for my dress shoes, which were either uncomfortable or scuffed to the point of embarrassing (and not professional).  I finally made myself do one of the things I loathe, which is shop for shoes for myself.  I found a brand and style that I’m in love with and doubt I’ll ever (EVER) buy another brand.

The fixes for our little problems are usually quick, easy and affordable.  But for some reason we put them off for years, living with the frustration.  Is it because we like the pain and anguish?

I have no idea.

My coach taught me something simple: I have the answers, I know what should be done, but I was just waiting around for someone to give me permission to do it.  How silly is that?

So today, I give you permission.

I give you permission to get on LinkedIn, and have a career management strategy.  If you want to figure out what a LinkedIn Strategy is, come on over to the LinkedIn blog.

I give you permission to go to a face-to-face networking event this month. I never did because I thought I would be cheating on my company (the very same company that pink-slipped me).

I give you permission to take a few hours and update your resume.

I give you permission to read a networking book that will change your life (The first book I recommend is Never Eat Alone).

I give you permission to _____________________________.  I’m not sure what it is for you, but I bet you know.

Finally, I give you permission to give yourself permission… for all of those little things that need to be resolved.  You are an adult – you don’t need to wait for someone else to come along and say it’s okay to make the necessary change.

Do it.  Be empowered. I give you permission!

12 thoughts on “Permission To Manage Your Career”

  1. Great article. It’s true that toughest part of jus tabout any task is to simply get started on it. I too work with people who are so nervous they typically avoid putting in “Career Opportunities” in their LinkedIn message composite. The truth is, any career is typically a dynamic process that you should be consistently building. Never settle for settling in.

  2. Jason: thanks for the post; this is very useful advice. I recently did a post (“How hard could this be?”) that was based on a similar premise: knowing is nothing, doing is everything. You’ve taken that idea and turned it into action in a way that my post wasn’t able to do. Thanks for that. Keep the great ideas coming!

  3. Jason, these are great! How about “I give you permission to acknowledge you are in a job you hate or find frustrating, boring, mindless, etc. AND I give you permission to explore for your best career & industry matches and then find your dream job.” Yes, even in this economy, finding a job you can love will add years to your life, foster career success, and still pay the bills. Really…

  4. Hi, Jason,

    Great food for thought! We are creatures who procrastinate over the silliest things! But when it comes to doing what we need to do to improve our life on a more serious level, it’s really NOT an option. That being said, I know there are many reasons why people don’t take charge of their career. It was the hardest concept for me to grasp when I did work in the corporate world. Along the way of growing up and entering the work world, I learned to belief that if you worked hard enough, you would have a secure job until retirement. Along came the great shift in the workplace, and my old beliefs no longer served me. So, yes, we often do need permissions to take care of ourselves, our carers, our lives. Permissions can help us move forward and motivate us. And learning that is what inspired me to become a career management coach. 🙂



  5. “I give myself permission.” Wow- what an empowering way to start each day. Today I will give myself permission to be proavtive about my life and not reactive, to chart my course and not follow the crowd, and to have courage and hope even when faced with adversity. Today, I give myself permission to succeed beyond my wildest dreams. Thanks Jason, it should be a very good day.

  6. Hey Jason,
    Cough it up, what’s your shoe brand? I had to wear dress shoes for too many years but now I’m hiking boots and running shoes nearly all the time. But there are those rare client meetings when I HAVE to break out the “adult” shoes.

    And, great post as always. Thanks for calling us out on needing to act like responsible adults. I’m trying.
    All my best.

  7. Jason,

    Do we have the same coach?

    A few years ago my coach introduced me to the ‘Give yourself permission…’ saying and I have to say it has changed my life.

    I have a list of them which I read everyday – they inspire me.

    The one which always makes a difference to me is ‘I give myself permission to turn off my mobile phone”.


  8. Hey Jason,

    Thanks for a great post.

    I thought you might be interested to know that we’ve started a new show at called Job Search Radio. Each Monday at 1pm eastern (11am pacific), we feature guests who are experts in the art and science of finding a job. Listen live and participate by submitting questions or download the podcast for listening later or on the go.

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