Career matters, good career matters greatly. Right perspective about your career can make a big difference to your career growth. While there can’t be an absolute ‘right’ model to think about careers, there can be multiple. Consider Sid who works in Awesomely Creative Enterprise (ACE). There are 2 ways Sid can think about his career and work.
- Hired-Help Model – Sid is a hired help (also called ’employee’) for ACE to solve a specific business problem. ACE defines what will Sid work on, changes the work to suit its needs, and uses Sid as a resource to maximize returns on its investment.
- Business Relationship (Vendor) Model – Sid is CEO of ‘Sid Careers Pvt. Ltd. (Sid for short)’, and enters in a business relationship with ACE to provide services to ACE under a contractual agreement about the scope of work and price. Any change in work or price is mutually agreed and stated clearly.
Most often, we have hired-help model in our mind when we think about work. For a moment, let’s think about our work as a business relationship (vendor) model and visualize its implications.
Implications of Business Relationship Model
There are 4 dimensions of the implications of this model:
- Relationship of Equals – ACE is under no obligation to look after Sid’s interests, nor is Sid obligated to do so for ACE. However, like any other business relationship, mutual trust and respect will be practiced by both parties in normal circumstances and both parties will try to have win-win situations whenever they can.
- Business (Career) Strategy – Sid is on its own when it comes to its (career) growth, and it needs to spend a portion of its earnings on self-development, future planning and investment and other growth opportunities so that it can do well in the long run. Its goal will be to make itself indispensable to ACE as well as create opportunities of new business relationships by acquiring new skills, experiences and networks.
- Execution (Work) Strategy – Sid will work in the areas it has competency in to stay efficient. Any attempt by ACE to get him to work on any other areas will be carefully evaluated by Sid – if it takes Sid into an area of future growth prospects, Sid will be willing to do this for ACE, otherwise Sid will say no and ACE will find other solutions. When Sid sees a project within ACE which it thinks will create new skills and experience required in future, it will lobby ACE (influence the manager he works with, etc.) to get that project and work on it hard to make it successful and add to its portfolio of skills and experiences.
- Business (Career) Ownership – When Sid grows as a company, credit goes to Sid’s foresight and investment skills. When Sid fails to grow, blame also goes to Sid for not being proactive or insightful. ACE has very little say or contribution in this matter. Sid will not depend on ACE for growth, though Sid will leverage ACE for the growth. ACE can be a stepping stone for Sid, or a long-term vendor relationship, depending on how well ACE is meeting Sid’s long term goals.
Point to Ponder
Let me state the obvious: it is much harder to take a business relationship model into consideration than a hired-help model. However, if you do, you may realize that this is how many companies approach their relationship with their employees when it comes to managing their career. This perspective will help you correct your expectations and look at your career differently. Resulting change in your career outlook and planning may just surprise you.