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There is a classic mistake people make when planning their careers and thinking ahead that happens so frequently and is so destructive. Whether you are 20 or 60, this is for you.

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I'm Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. I'm called The Big Game Hunter because I hunting down leaders and staff from more than 40 years, coach people throughout your career, help you in new positions, I work for you unlike recruiters are client organization. I'm going to speak with you today about career planning and the mistakes I know I made and no so many other people make when they start thinking ahead.

People tend to think that the universe is static. I know. I know. I know. You are going to tell me that you are different. You are going to tell me that you have a visionary view of things and you may be the one person who may be that way. Most people who describe themselves as being visionary really aren't. When you look at your career in think of where you want to be 5 years from now, 10 years from now, 20 years from now, you will tend to think through the lenses of today rather than actually taking some time to think and extrapolate and consider nuances.

AI, for example. We are starting to see evidence of AI showing up in lots of different places. 5 years ago, it was a joke. It was basically a tinker toy that was useless. We might have said and thought about where it was then and not how it might benefit us today or challenge us 5 years from then.

In my own case, I went to college in The Stone Ages and technology as we know it today did not exist. The following is a very different device than it was then. It was a rotary phone. You can laugh and mocked me to your hearts content, but trust me, if you have kids, 40 years from now, 30 years from now they are going to make fun of you and the device you had now because of just how the nature of things are that he involved. We think in terms of how things are going to remain the same.

I remember a Sunday New York Times article that was talking about a concept that Pacific Telesis had come up with. If you haven't heard of that name before, it is all part of AT&T now. It was part of the old AT&T and is now part of the new AT&T. No matter. They talked about this radical idea of how your phone number could follow you around. In other words, a mobile phone. They had a concept for but who would've ever anticipated what an iPhone or an android device could do today, 30 years ago?

When you think of your career, the most important thing that you can do is adopt both a long-term and a short-term strategy. The long-term strategy is to pay attention to trends, to be agile, to be nimble, to be ready to adjust and adapt as situations present themselves to you. You want to be in a particular type of path, but not so walked into it that you are going to miss huge waves of opportunity that present themselves to you out of the blue.

For the short term, you always want to have marketable skills and make connections with people so that you can learn from them and talk with them and become aware of opportunities because, as I have said a million times, the person who gets ahead isn't always the smartest or work the hardest (although those a great qualities to have). The person who gets ahead is the one who remains alert to opportunities. Sometimes, those opportunities are internal to the organization. Most of the time they will be external to it. Notice how this all ties into the notion of being nimble? You always want to be nimble and aware of the possibility of change because change is happening all around us.

I was listing to a podcast today where they were talking about how their business was being disrupted. The fact of the better is businesses and all of our jobs are being disrupted. It was offshoring, that it was near shoring, now it is immigration issues, there is always something that is happening that will disrupt the status quo. There is always someone who is trying to improve it or change it.

Air BnB. Who could've ever anticipated something like that disrupting the hotel industry years ago. We can go product or service. Facebook. Google. It'll comes down to how we need to be conscious and aware that change is always happening. We need to be prepared to ask ourselves how we can be on the vanguard of change, not reacting to it. Being on the vanguard, we will probably make mistakes but be able to recover from them but we can always recover from them. We can also have huge success!

If you are in your 20s or 30s, I must in all honesty say, in your 50s or 60s because you're going to work longer than you would like, you will need to adopt a strategy of being alert to change and being on the cutting edge of it. Otherwise, the door will hit you in the butt as people throw you out.

I hope you find this helpful. If you're interested my coaching you, reach out to me at I want to be clear. I don't work for free. I do charge for them and would love to help you.

And, if we are not connected on LinkedIn, said the connection request to me at Mentioned that you saw this because I love to know that people have.

AND, if you have a short question for me, not a big long story (that I will have to charge you for), I would be happy to answer it as well.

I hope you have a great day. Take care.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching and life coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1000 episodes,“ Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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