Reverse Engineer Your Career

Career dreams are real.

But for many of us, after we start working, these dreams die a slow death.

Because the work takes over leaving us no time to pay attention to what we want and how to go there.

This is not a hopeless situation.

We can do better with some planning and scheduled time for action. Use weekends to win. 4-8 hours spread over 4 weekends to plan, and then spend an hour or two each weekend to act on your plan.

By reverse engineering a role that you want to get into, you can create a roadmap to where you want to go. 

With a roadmap, when you put one foot in front of another you reach where you want to go.

Here is how you go about it.

How to Reverse Engineer Your Career

  • Pull out 10 or more (up to 25 profiles) of people who are already in a position where you want to reach.
  • Then list the common points in their career path. List education, industries, and other details.
  • For example, if you want to become a CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) then check the current CMOs at the kind of companies you want to lead, look if most of them held their early jobs at select companies. Look at the roles they were in for the majority of their career like see if they were in brand management or marketing strategy or did they have experience of working with a creative agency.
  • Use it to draw possible career paths.
  • Now look at the career paths from the lens of your own interests and strengths and figure out which path you’ll enjoy more.
  • Take it to another level and reach out to all those who you had on your initial list. Reach out to them and tell them that you admire them and would like to follow their career path. And, if it will be ok if you seek their guidance from time to time. Through this, you should get 2-5 mentors who you get guidance from.

As you move forward, everything may not go as per your plan. So be flexible and keep updating your plan and execution. But if you have been rigorous in your initial then these tweaks won’t be big.

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