I recall hearing “Never put all of your eggs in one basket” growing up and I had no idea what it meant at that time. The saying was actually a contradiction to my proven success model when I participated in the Annual Easter Egg Hunt. As a kid, where did I place all of my eggs? In one basket! It was a system that allowed me to track my progress while simultaneously motivating me to find more eggs than my competitors. As an adult, I have come to understand and appreciate the meaning of this profound piece of advice: “one should not concentrate all efforts and resources in one area as one could lose everything.” If you’re putting your career eggs in one basket, I recommend spreading them around and here’s why:

  • Things change and perhaps you no longer enjoy your work
  • A change in leadership could result in different expectations of you
  • Your department could get downsized

It’s no secret one of the ways to sustain your career is to keep your options open – especially when you’re satisfied with your current role. Caela Farren, PhD suggests the following 6 approaches and I couldn’t agree with her more. I recommend leveraging them in the event you decide to make “PowHer Moves” or if you simply decide to achieve “Success Standing Still.”

PowHer Moves:

  • Lateral – Move across the organization to a different business unit, product line, department or functional area
  • Vertical – Move up in another division or organization to open doors or move into management aka upward mobility
  • Realign – Move down move into another functional area or profession with more options
  • Relocate – Move out and on! Switch employers to change industries, move geographically or simply transition into another organization (same field)

Success Standing Still:

  • Enrichment – Stay in place by adding more responsibilities/skills to your current job to prepare for another profession or project
  • Explore – Research within the organization (different business unit, product line, department or functional area)

I’ve personally leveraged 5 of the 6 throughout my career (lateral is the one I didn’t try) and my titles include: Customer Service Manager, Assistant Manager, Store Manager, Financial Center Manager, Call Center Supervisor, Client Service Consultant, Career Coach/Consultant, Author, Career Columnist, Communications Officer, Professional Development Office and Adjunct Professor. What does this mean?

  • I intentionally built relationships and managed my reputation throughout my career to expand my reach and increase my visibility
  • I have multiple career options in various industries
  • I’m more marketable because I didn’t place my eggs in one basket

PS- If you’re ready to expand your career options, I have a few seats remaining for my upcoming workshop Career Management 101: [free registration here click here]

In essence, career planning is important but especially for women. This holds true because women tend to have more twists and turns to navigate along the road to career success in comparison to men. With this in mind, it’s in your best interest to have a career road map with both short and long-term options less you become derailed.

 

Ericka Spradley, President of My Next Level ensures ambitious professionals and students get hired. As a Career Coach, Adjunct Professor and Author (“30 Min. Career Coach: Interview Basics for High School Students”, “7 Days to Confident Interviews”), she empowers others to take their interviewing skills to the next level so they can ultimately secure employment. Ericka also provides career support/guidance for clients when she’s not working tirelessly to change the career readiness conversation and course curriculum to include interviewing skills. To download your complimentary copy of “5 Simple Strategies to Land Your Ideal Job” click here