A Career Boost

I just got done reading The 5 Patterns of Extraordinary Careers. It is a new book by Jim Citrin and Rick Smith from Spencer Stuart, the executive search firm that handles 60% of Fortune 1000 CEO searches.

The authors did three years of research in the search for commonalities among successful individuals. After analyzing over 2000 surveys and interviewing 300 executives, they found 5 patterns:

  1. Understand the Value of You
  2. Practice Benevolent Leadership
  3. Overcome the Permission Paradox
  4. The 20/80 Principle of Performance
  5. Find the Right Fit

You’ll have to read the book to get all the details, but here are a few of my takeaways:

  • Your career has two types of energy – potential and experiential. When you come right out of college, employers are hiring you for your potential energy. As your career moves on, you gain experiential energy through the various positions you hold. As you career progresses, you always want to be managing both types of energy – continue to gain experiental energy and make sure you maintain enough potential energy to get you to the next position.
  • They say flat out: Go Blue-Chip Early. They do not recommend taking time off to travel or pursuing other interests after college:

    Going blue chip early offers the opportunity for young people to “find themselves” just as effectively, and the early professional experience will provide feedback and input into what you enjoy and what you are good at. And it will certainly create the most freedom and alternatives later on.

  • After reading alot of business press, you start to hear the same stories again and again. What I liked about 5 Patterns was the case studies were new and that alone made the book worth reading.

Here are some additional resources for the career-minded: