Like any strategy, a career strategy should be both a good fit for the situation (i.e. – you) and flexible enough to accommodate the happenings of life (professionally and personally). A strategy is a plan and plans change, and that is totally acceptable and highly probable.
Strategy Is Not a Straitjacket
Here is the thing about a plan or checklist or strategy: We often lock ourselves into it. We do not want to deviate from the plan. We want to be able to check off all the items on the list. We want to be able to say that our strategy worked like it was projected. And, we know that in reality that is extremely unlikely to occur. Some of our plans will come to fruition. We will check the majority of the items off the list. The strategy will mostly work. Here’s the truth: Strategy is not a straitjacket. It is not intended to be. We do not want to lock ourselves so firmly into a strategy that we leave no room for movement, adaptability, or growth.
Let’s continue with the jacket analogy. Rather than a straitjacket, strategy is like your favorite blazer: appropriate for most occasions because you can dress it up or dress it down to fit the environment, well suited (no pun intended) for you because it has been fit to your needs, and enduring if you choose a classic cut and color. It allows for both ﬂexibility and sustainability. Eventually, though, that blazer, like your career strategy, will need to be updated. Think again of that 1-, 5-, and 10-year question. Your initial career strategy may work for the first 10 years of your career if you do it well, then it will be time to craft a new career strategy for the next phase of your career.By Sonja Ardoin
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The Strategic Guide to Shaping Your Student Affairs Career by Sonja Ardoin, March 2014, 192 pp, 6″ x 9″, Paper, 9781579229580, $24.95, E-Book, 9781579229603, $19.99