I don’t wanna do it!

Broader role, Geek 5
What if I don’t want to play?  Specifically, what if I don’t want to play the corporate game to further my career?  This is a common dilemma for many geeks which is why it is one of the Geek 5 – Resistance to a Broader Role.
Some geeks are content with their role of being a technical expert and don’t want or ask for more. These folks frequently want to be left alone to develop or create or experiment or to do whatever magic they do. They are focused on the work and not on their career. That is a perfect choice for some – but it has its pros and cons. If you choose the pure technical route, you’ll probably be giving up career opportunities and promotions and higher pay.

In his book,” What Got You Here Won’t Get You There“, Marshall Goldsmith gave an example of someone who got the technical role and prestige. It started as a coaching assignment for Goldsmith who was asked to work with the company’s technical guru and get him to play better with others and spread his knowledge. But after five minutes with him, Goldsmith recognized that the software wizard was basically antisocial and only wanted to be left alone in a room and computer and high-end audio system. He was very valuable to the company. It was in everyone’s best interest to leave him to his work and continue to reward him well for it.

Most of us aren’t in such a protected position. We’re all vulnerable to layoffs and competition and workplace politics. If you don’t want to play the corporate game, you should find a technical company to work for that offers a technical career path. Otherwise the development tips in this blog should help you crack the code on career advancement. 

Next post, we’ll talk about some assessments that can help you sort out your career preferences and skills.

 

 

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