In the previous issue, I presented to you three career stages: Happy Backpacker, Accidental Tourist and Business Globetrotter. Now we will move on go to some more mature stages, though that’s not necessarily connected with your life stages and your age. Some people start young and have rocket-fast careers, while others are late bloomers. But matching career and life stages is a different and very complex topic, so let’s move to the next stage…
Stage Four – Weekend Home Tourist
Now it’s time to build your base and find your safe harbour, where you will be able to feel very comfortable and give your best. It’s time for your most fruitful business years and best results.
At this stage you should be capable of creating efficient teams, leading teams that have more than one layer below you, and making difficult decisions without too much stress. You work a lot, more than you would like to, but you have the impression that you are building something big and important. This is the peak of your career. You are still enjoying the journey more than worrying about the destination. And that’s exciting!
What is most important to learn at this stage: more people will try to damage you than help you; you should know how to build strong relationships with loyal associates, because you can’t manage alone at this stage; you should master all timing issues and stress management. You should learn how to recognise and support innovation and talent. You should learn how to kill what is not good in a fast and efficient way.
At this career stage, you should leave when you feel you are at the very top. It’s cold at the top, so don’t stay there too long. There are more important things in life.
Stage Five – Japanese Tourist
You are a bit tired when you reach this career stage. You know a lot; you’ve seen many things, done a lot of good and bad projects, met hundreds of people… That was all exciting, but also tiring. But it’s still not time to say goodbye! Now is the time to leverage all experience and knowledge.
You should assess situations and business challenges very quickly. Snapshots should be enough for you. Don’t overanalyse, just move, move, move… Don’t get stuck with one project or one company at this phase. This is perhaps your final chance to try things you didn’t manage to do in the past. A new industry, new role, new experience… But not as a fresh start that requires a lot of investments, rather more like an experiment. In the past, people would make a joke out of people who try marijuana very late in life, though today that’s no longer an issue. So, find your guilty pleasures and do some things that you have maybe skipped in earlier stages. You are not making your legacy at this stage, but you can have quite a lot of fun!
What is most important to learn at this stage: making quick decisions without overanalysing them, advising instead of working hands-on, ignoring (people, in most cases), saying no. Polish your political skills in order to secure some good consultancy opportunities in the future.
When is the right time to leave this stage? When you’ve taken every photo you ever wanted to take!
Stage Six – Cruise Ship Tourist
At this stage, others should do everything for you. You can enjoy a famous helicopter view.
What is most important to learn at this stage: Nothing! If you haven’t learnt everything you need by now, it’s simply too late. You can perhaps start learning to paint or cook or speak another language.
Open a good bottle of wine and congratulate yourself on everything you’ve done well, and forgive yourself for everything you failed to do well. Cheers!
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