Using Career Agility to Transform Your Career

On September 19, 2012, in Blog, Career Agility, by Christine Glasco

I have to practically stand on my head when I coach leaders in transition or those who want to make massive strides (quickly) to ignite a stalled career. I feel like I am speaking Vulcan (channeling Mr. Spock) to earthling clients.

The conversation usually goes something like this…

Me: I know you want your next role to be similar to your current job.  We will develop a job search strategy to identify these opportunities. However, let’s also consider developing a strategy to attract what I call ‘1-Off’ and ‘2-Off’ opportunities.

Client: “What?”

Me: Remember the typical normal distribution bell curve from your college Statistics course?  Most of us tend to build our career by moving up within a specific career field and often within the same industry.  This area represents the exact middle of the bell curve.

Client: “So?”

Me: When I ask you to consider ‘1-Off’ and ‘2-Off’ opportunities I am asking you to become more agile in magaging your career.  Developing career agility means you are moving forward and upward in your chosen career, AND you are simultaneously working on a Plan B, C and sometimes D.

I define Career Agility as the ability to experience success and satisfaction while exploring and implementing new and sometimes ambiguous job, industry and/or career decisions that allows the individual to achieve specific goals.

Client:  “Aarrrghh!” (Inarticulate response.)

Me:  So if you want to make major strides or you want to become re-employed, I want you to take the time and identify other avenues.

Let’s begin to identify your career agility accelerators: network connections, key influencers, distinguishing career accomplishments, Value Proposition, competencies, unique talent (X – Competency), leadership career brand, etc.

Client: “Huh!”

Me:  Let’s take an in-depth look at your current role.  If we plot it on a typical normal distribution bell curve, think of a ‘1-Off’ opportunity as one standard deviation from your current role and a ‘2-Off’ opportunity as two standard deviations from your current role and so on.

A low standard deviation indicates that the data points (position requirements, industry type, marketplace challenges, etc.) tend to be very close to the mean (center of the bell curve), whereas a high standard deviation indicates that the data points are spread out over a large range of values.

Client:  “Can you repeat that?”

Me:  Think outside of your career box.

Client:  “So what am I supposed to do?”

Me:  Why don’t you consider looking for the same type of role in a related industry, the same role in a different industry, a different role in a related industry or a different role in a different industry?  Or how about playing in the fringe – finding new ground and creating your ‘extreme’ career opportunities?

Client:  “Are you speaking English?”

Me:  Hopefully, you understand what I recommend even though I am speaking Vulcan.  If you broaden the scope of your thinking and begin using career agility to transform your career – you can: ‘Live long and prosper.’

Client: “Back at ‘cha’!”

A question for you to consider:

  • If you were to develop a Plan B, C or D for your career, what could you achieve in the next five years?  If you want to begin to think outside of your career box, contact me at:


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Christine M. Glasco, Career Coach – consults to company executives, business owners and non-profit leaders on career management, career transition and strategic leadership development solutions.  To request a complimentary copy of Five Tips to Transform Your Executive Career  and to receive Who Needs a One Page Career Plan? You Do!   Website:   Email:  Phone:  1.940.367.0837

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