Carrera Planning Like a CEO

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Introduction by Jayaram V

The Chief Executive Officer of a Company is like the brain of the company. Your brain does not move, and does not seem to do much work outwardly other than processing information and drawing conclusions and helping you to know, remember, think and decide. Unlike the other parts in the body, such as your hands and feet which are always engaged in some action or movement, your brain does work mostly at the subtle level, sending and receiving nerve impulses and storing information at the atomic or subatomic level. In many companies, CEO's are invisible.

Many in a company do not get to see their CEO in action, except perhaps on rare occasions when he attends a party, or a meeting, or when he gives a speech to a select audience. Other than those who deal with him directly or have access to him, the rest does not know much about the time he spends in managing the affairs of the company. A CEO does get a lot of money and perks for the job he does. Like the brain, which consumes much of the energy produced in our bodies, a CEO consumes much of the resources produced by the company.

People may wonder why a CEO is an exception and why he alone should get all the benefits. There are definitely a number of CEO's who spend more time touring at the company's expense and indulging in activities such as partying and golfing. Then there are many who deserve appreciation for the effort they make to keep their stakeholders happy and ensure right service to their customers. The position of a CEO symbolizes respect and authority.

If you are career minded, you can draw inspiration from the successes achieved by the CEO's and learn from their knowledge and experience instead of envying them and feeling resentment towards them for the success and recognition they enjoy. In the following essay, the author suggests that you should plan your career thinking like a CEO, which is really a good idea if you understand the idea. In fact, you should think like the CEO of your life and personal enterprise.

Jayaram V

Planning Your Career Like a CEO

Elizabeth Lengyel

You’ve been going 6-to-late; exhausted by running the supersonic treadmill of life and wish you had a different job. But you can’t because you have no time and you’re left spent at the end of every day. Conversely, you’re gut tells you that everything would be different if you could only find the right career match. You could stop hitting the snooze button every morning and get back into enjoying the game of life.

You might be surprised to learn that thinking like a CEO will teach you a lot about career planning. Wonder how? Then read on and learn how being a CEO has everything to do with mapping out a successful career.

1. As a Chief Exploration Officer, your first step is to engage in self-exploration. It is the key to career planning and decision-making. The better you know yourself, the more informed career decisions you’ll make. One of the best ways to hone in on your natural talents, interests and strengths is to re-visit your childhood years, dreams and passions. What did you love to do? Who did you enjoy being with? What did you like to play most? What were your favorite sports and interests? Did you have any hobbies? Where did you picture yourself in the future? The past often holds the best clues. You might also want to seek the help of a trained career counselor or coach to help you define career options that fit your talents and interests, and help you explore current and future labor markets and trends. Narrow down the choices and seriously examine one or two career options that fit you. Trust your heart or intuition. It most often leads you in the right direction.

2. As a Chief Educational Officer, you need to examine the competencies and skills required in your choice of work. Once you determine one or more career options, list the skills and competencies you need to move forward. What do you need to know? And what do you currently know? Make a plan to fill the gaps whether through school, apprenticeship, reading, volunteering, etc.

3. As a Chief Experiential Officer, you need to talk to the people who are actually in the career you’ve identified for yourself. It takes you from dream mode to reality check. Seek out at least 5 people who are working in the career field you have identified. Hint, the more people you interview, the better. You will find common themes and information that will be invaluable to your career planning process and final decision. Don’t hesitate in making the calls. Most people love to talk about themselves and their expertise. If possible, ask to meet with them in person. It provides a more high touch approach. When you meet, be candid and curious. This is your opportunity to learn from people who are working what you’re still thinking about. Preplan some questions carefully. Do they enjoy their job? What kind of education and experience do they recommend? What do they like and dislike? Ask for their recommendations and what they think you need to be successful in the career. You might also want to think about inviting one of them to be your mentor as you move forward in your personal career aspirations and goals.

4. As a Chief Engagement Officer, you will have to stay on top of your game. Stay self-motivated, energized and engaged in the career planning process. Here’s the truth. Career planning, exploring and making career choices take energy and time. Think about what you will need from yourself, as well as from your environment, schedule and support network to keep yourself engaged and moving forward. Think about what nourishes and nurtures you. What feeds your energy level?

5. As a Chief Employment Officer, you are your greatest resource in finding the right employment. In the end, the career planning process leads you to finding the right job for the right money. A combination of statistics and interviews continue to prove that networks are the number one resource to finding your next job. Stay well connected and share your plans. In the end it is you who’s going to turn career planning and aspirations into reality.

So if you’re ready for a career change, remember how to think like the CEO you are. You’re life is waiting to have wings.

Suggestions for Further Reading

Author: Elizabeth Lengyel is an HR Consultant and Career Coach who helps people from blue suits to blue jeans, transition from career pain to career solutions. For in-depth information on career planning or a free consultation, visit

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