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November 30, 2021
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This week, we've crowdsourced a guide for individual contributors to take the driver's seat in their career planning by tapping top tech leaders and operators for their best advice.

You've likely seen "The Great Resignation" plastered all over the headlines. After the turbulence of the last year and a half, it seems everyone's reassessing their careers, with plenty shifting jobs altogether. It's a trend that's brought the idea of purposeful career planning back to the forefront — taking stock of your career goals and plotting the course to achieve those ambitions.

But that doesn't always mean leaving your company for assumed greener pastures in a new role — there are very practical things you can start doing now within your current role and company, including taking over the reins when it comes to career conversations with your manager. To help get you started, we tapped some of the sharpest leaders and operators we know for their take on this question: What is your best advice for driving your own career?

The IC’s Guide to Driving Career Conversations — 25 Tips for Purposeful Career Planning

We compiled all their top-notch pieces of advice for an ultra-tactical guide. Some of the frameworks focus on approaching performance reviews with purpose, rather than scrambling at the last minute. Plenty of folks discussed how to team up with your manager to get a steady stream of feedback to hone your craft. Others drew from their own experience aligning with cross-functional partners to surface the greatest needs of the business. We've broken everything down by topic so you can easily navigate what lies ahead (and you'll notice we stuck with the driving metaphor — apologies for all the car-related puns coming your way).

We hope this collection provides a detailed playbook for crafting your own career map. Thanks, as always, for reading and sharing!

-The Review Editors

Take me to The Review

Here's a sneak peek at the tips: 

Keep a brag doc and reread it every so often. It reminds you of what you’ve already done, which focuses your attention on how you want to grow. It also reminds you if you keep taking on projects that fit squarely within your comfort zone, thus nudging you to look for opportunities to flex different skills.

Listen to those pangs of jealousy. Too often, we perform all kinds of mental gymnastics to convince ourselves we're not envious of someone else. Instead, try to pinpoint exactly what it is you covet, and then ask: Can I take classes to acquire that skill? Should I take on different kinds of projects?

Build four lists: Things I love doing, Things I'm exceptional at, Things I hate doing, Things I'm bad at.

After you finish a project or task, ask your manager and teammates, "What one thing could I improve?” By using the phrase "one thing" you're much more likely to get a piece of specific and actionable feedback.

Write down every person you work with, their biggest need, and their most ideal ‘OMG this makes my life so much better!’ Now you have a list of your organization’s greatest needs and solutions.

Recommended resources:

This tweet thread on the 9 qualities of a great sales rep.

Thinking in OODA Loops (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act).

The flip side of the Great Resignation? The Great Realization.

Lean on the 10% rule for planning, from Lenny Rachitsky.

Trending this week — Review Reads:

A Founder’s Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your First 1,000 Community Members
Pivots, MVPs and Community: How Joseph Quan, Founder & CEO of Knoetic, got his startup back on track by making community his wedge. He shares his six-step guide for building a community like a product.
The Best Leaders are Feedback Magnets — Here's How to Become One
Drawing from her career at PayPal, Intercom, GetYourGuide, and now as founder/CEO of Ascend (an online leadership program that empowers women) Shivani Berry shares her playbook for attracting more feedback.
Counterintuitive Lessons on How to Get Better as You Scale, From Twilio's Jeff Lawson
13 years after Twilio first launched, CEO and co-founder Jeff Lawson shares a set of unconventional company building lessons on how to get better as you scale.
“Get Off the Floor” and Other Career Advice from Microsoft, Looker, Reddit & Twitter
Nick Caldwell's resume includes an enviable list of companies — Microsoft, Reddit, Looker and Twitter. He shares his biggest lessons from each for a crash course in finding success across different company cultures, scales & functions.

We love feedback! How would you rate this week's newsletter? 📋

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Made with ✨ by First Round Capital.
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