Sammy Rashed – Twelve Steps to a Fulfilling Career

I’ve always struggled a little to give career advice to anyone, given that my career, in truth, has been pretty random in nature. That was highlighted when we saw this article on LinkedIn from Sammy Rashed the other day.

The impressive Rashed has featured here before, (see this recent article as an example), as a founder with Giles Breault of the Beyond Group, who run procurement think-tanks amongst other advisory and development activities. But Rashed has branched out somewhat in this latest piece that he published on LinkedIn, with his coaching-style advice on careers and on life itself, you might almost say.

The Future of Work: 12 steps to achieve a fulfilling career lays out a 12-stage process, divided into three phases which he calls the “Strategize / Crystalize / Realize Journey”.

Apart from that American spelling (!) it is very good and well wroth reading.  He points out that corporate life-long jobs are fewer, people generally have less loyalty to a firm, and technology is pushing more of us towards the gig economy and the “digital nomad” lifestyle. So the aim of the process and the article is, he says two-fold;

  1. Triggering a reflection to make you better understand yourself and your professional situation in light of today’s reality; and
  2. Sharing a pragmatic map to help you define what you want to be known for, where you want to go, and how to get there.

It is designed for anyone looking to really work out where they want to go in their working lives – perhaps it is most relevant for those looking to move out of the corporate world to “do their own thing”, or younger entrepreneurs, or even active retirees.

It is a very structured and well-thought-out process, that makes you ask yourself difficult questions about what you really want to do, and how you can best make a major transition in your working life. Rashed is apparently already taking some people through the process, and it has ben received well, he tells me.

Just as an example, here is point 5 from his article, under the Crystalize heading.

“5- BRAND is key to positioning yourself, whether internally or externally, and this applies to both your product / content and yourself. Too often we are known for a role or position we occupy, and not what we stand for, and it’s increasingly critical that you can transcend the walls of your department and employer to have a strong, stand-alone position known at large. Shape a clear image of your unique selling proposition and ensure your personal brand is aligned with it”.

Good advice to anyone, we feel.

My own career - although I could bulls**t convincingly and justify each step to a head-hunter as being very logical if I had to – was really a series of pretty random events and decisions. Who would have expected NatWest to get acquired by a little Scottish bank? How on earth did I end up running Spend Matters Europe? What really happened when Diageo withdrew the global CPO role I’d been verbally offered at the last minute and moved instead to a regional procurement structure? (In that final case, I think it was good news in the long term. The role would have been VERY generously rewarded, but I might well be an alcoholic now, as the package also including a LOT of free booze!)

Anyway, perhaps I could have done “better” if I had planned a bit more, and thought about matters in the way Rashed suggests. Certainly, Spend Matters has shown me that your own brand, and credibility can be very important these days.

So while I do think you have to bear in mind that external and often random events can always disrupt the best laid plans, and retain some flexibility, for many people, I’m sure Rashed’s process will be very useful. It’s probably too late for me now, but we’ll be fascinated to see if there are interesting stories emerging from his work in this field, and we applaud his initiative.

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