Friday, June 29, 2012

What if this is the last job you ever have?


I figure I have 20 good years left in the workforce, for a variety of reasons: Social security, paltry retirement savings, and costs associated with my children's upcoming college education that will start in about 4 years and continue at least 7 more years beyond that.

Fortunately, after extended unemployment that began in 2005 and resulted in rebuilding my career over the past 7 years, things are going pretty darn well. I work like a dog, but I wake up every day happy to do so. I work with good people that treat me well, and have the strongest team working for me in my entire career.

But what if this is it? What if this is the only job I have for the next 20 years?

How will I be remembered - what will my legacy be?

Today, I am no longer a very good material planner/master scheduler, I am a manager. But, what if I can't move up, and can't move back? This is it, the last job I'll ever have.

In that case, I don't want to be known as technically competent or someone that kept the lines running. Yeah, all that is part of the job and goes without saying. But, is there anyone out there that wants the best thing anyone says about him at his retirement is "he was a good worker"?

I want to be known as someone that developed great people and built great teams. I want the people I work for to see my teams as the pool of candidates for the next generation of managers within the company. I want my team to outgrow their roles, even if it means they have to move out to move up. I want every smart, ambitious person in the company fighting to be selected for the next opening on my team.

Plus, I have a feeling that if I approach my job with this mindset, it won't be the last job I ever have.