The first step in stealth career strategy is to do work that you want to do. In other words the work takes precedence over title and compensation.
This is tough for almost everyone. The driving force in career management is to get ahead.
But as simplified as this may sound, try stepping away from the need for the “got you by the balls” hooks that we consider signs of success. Corporations own you based on these two things. Title and pay. Get a bad review, don’t get a good raise, don’t get that next promotion and you feel like you have failed.
If you relegate those things to the attic and focus on work that you actually enjoy doing, you may find yourself actually be happier in your career. After years of banging my own head against the wall, I stepped aside in 1993, took the alternative and had the best 6 years of my work life. Strange as it may seem, during those 6 years, I was promoted twice, received great raises and had bosses that went to great length to make sure that I could continue to focus on what I did best.
Most of you are probably sitting there reading this and are saying to yourself, “Yeah that sounds nice but in fairyland but not in real life.”
But you control what you do with your life and your attitudes. You are the decision maker. Not others. The decision to be happy is both courageous and selfish and selfishness in this case is a good thing.
- “If you want my advice, Peter, you’ve made a mistake already. By asking me. By asking anyone. Never ask people. Not about your work. Don’t you know what you want? How can you stand it, not to know?”
- Howard Roark speaking to Peter Keating
- “How do you always manage to decide?”
“How can you let others decide for you?”
- Peter Keating and Howard Roark