Career Success Requires Parallel Paths: Part 3

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018 | Posted in Ford Myers

In Part 3 of this 3-part blog and video series, Ford R. Myers, Award-Winning Career Coach and Author, gives some final thoughts on the “parallel paths” strategy for career success.




There are a lot of things you can do to really work on your career; that you can do in concert with doing a great job in your current position.


Exactly right.


It’s just a matter of getting off that treadmill of “job, job, job,” which everybody falls into. I know I’ve done this myself.


It’s true and I think this is not optional anymore. I think this is really necessary. The job world is very volatile and jobs come and go, as I said before. You’ve got to stay on the track and keep moving forward with the other track, which is doing your job, but also managing your career over the long-term. If you keep this model in mind, I think people will reach their full potential and they’ll do very, very well.


But let’s say that I start off and I’m going to do it, but then I lose steam. How do you keep your clients motivated to focus on this path?


Well, earlier we mentioned words like support and accountability, so I don’t think people should do this all by themselves. It’s too easy to get off the track. Form a little group of career buddies, or career support friends, or it could be a spouse. Make sure that you have a system for accountability in place, like I said before. Someone who is checking-up on you, and you’re checking up on them. You’re just keeping yourselves to your word, because you made a commitment. This can go very far. This can really help you to build a much, much better career.


One of my favorite sayings that really talks about this approach is, “Dig your well before you’re thirsty.”




I love that because it’s so true and it’s very apropos for this topic.


Well, I didn’t come up with that phrase, but I do like it. It can easily be applied to this world of job search and career management, “Dig your well before you’re thirsty.” It simply means be prepared, don’t wait until a career crisis arises before you spring into action and try to get your career in shape. It’s about always being prepared, because you never know what’s going to happen. The smart person in today’s work world is ready for anything.


One question I have in mind is, if I’m somebody who has never really looked at their career path, or even thought about it, other than the annual appraisals and career reviews, what advice would you give me? What could I do tomorrow? What’s one thing to help me start on the road of that parallel career path?


I would recommend that the employee who’s working in a job create what I call a success file. When you’re in this job, whenever you have a successful outcome, whenever you produce great results, whenever you feel proud of something that you did very, very well, write it up, record it, keep some kind of a tracking of your successes. It could be pieces of paper in a manila folder, it could be things that you list on a Word document. Whatever you do, you want to make sure that you’re tracking and keeping a record of all your successes.

This means that if you stay in your job, you’ll have material to promote yourself into a new level and more salary at the time of your annual review. If you leave the company, it means that you’ll have material to present as real successes – positive, tangible results. You’re only going to be hired based on the results that you produce.


Great, so with your success file, you can keep your job and your career following those parallel tracks, heading in the same direction.


Exactly right.

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About Ford Myers

Career Success and Job Search Expert, Ford R. Myers

Ford R. Myers is an award-winning career coach and President of Career Potential, LLC. He is author of the best-seller, Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring. Ford’s firm helps clients take charge of their careers, create the work they love, and earn what they deserve! He has held senior consulting positions at three of the nation’s largest career service firms. Ford’s articles and interviews have appeared in hundreds of magazines, newspapers, television and radio networks. He has also conducted presentations at many companies, associations and universities. Learn more at or contact Ford directly at 1-800-972-6588.

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