It seems a good way to steer your career is to base your goals on qualifications for jobs you wish you had. In other words, job listings make good career roadmaps.
Here’s an example. Facebook is seeking to hire a patent counsel. I have none of the listed preferred skills and experience. But I’m going to write them down now, but convert them into to-do actions for the next five years:
- Get 3-9 years of patent prosecution experience
- Manage an in-house patent prosecution program
- Identify strategic areas for patenting and patentable inventions
- Evaluate potential acquisitions
- Educate employees on patent law issues
- Improve internal processes
Now I can go to my boss and say, Jim– I imagine his name is Jim, because why not– Jim, I would love to get some experience evaluating potential acquisitions for our clients. If you hear of any of new deals, let me know and I would be happy to help out. Check the box. Jim, can I sit in next time you teach the clients about patent issues? Check.
After five years, all these to-do items become bullet points on my resumé and I just might get that dream job, economy in a shitter notwithstanding. What do you think?