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New Study: Too Much Collaboration May Be Bad

Taking Ownership of Your Career

Getting a prestigious job post-MBA is one thing. But taking ownership of your job is another.

In an article for Forbes, Michael B. Arthur, a professor emeritus of Suffolk University, discusses different career types and how people can exercise career ownership.

Organizational Careers

Many MBAs may be familiar with the organizational career. These are the typical corporate jobs that many MBAs seek out post-graduation.

“These careers, espousing job security and promotion opportunities for everyone, are now found mainly in the public sector and education,” Arthur writes.

Organizational careers are attractive because they promote a sense of security and a clear path up the ladder. Yet, Arthur warns against some of the downsides of organizational careers.

“Employers often emphasize diversity in their recruitment and promotion efforts,” he writes. “However, the career systems tend to be relatively bureaucratic, and promotion opportunities can be limited.”

In organizational careers, Arthur argues, colleagues may expect you to adopt a collective mindset—an atmosphere that may not be so healthy towards individual growth.

“In this kind of career system, you need to stay on top of what’s happening in your organization and keep asking if it’s right for you,” he writes.

Boundaryless Careers

Boundaryless careers are the second type of career that Arthur outlines in his piece.

“These careers, anticipating persistent innovation and employment mobility, appeal to employers who resist long-term assumptions about organizational careers,” Arthur writes.

Boundaryless careers are often known for their high level of innovation. Think start-ups.

“Boundaryless careers can be ideal if you want to keep pace with a changing economy, seek new learning opportunities, or pursue self-employment,” Arthur writes.

These types of careers are becoming increasingly popular among MBA grads. Within three years of graduation, 24.4% of MBAs start their own companies, according to the Financial Times.

Taking Career Ownership

Arthur highlights how a number of organizations like to “play hardball.” Knowing your own potential and worth is crucial if you want to continue growing and progressing in your own career.

“[The company] has done its homework on which employees are ‘keepers’ and assigned them to its internal talent pool,” Arthur writes. “You need to know if you’re in that pool or not, and in either case you need to exercise your own strategy.”

Arthur says organizational workers need to ask themselves the tough question: “Is staying put a good thing for now, or is it time to move on?”

That answer, he says, is based on a number of factors.

“Your answer will be driven not only by your place in the organization, but also by where you’d like to take your career, your family situation, and the learning you are gaining,” Arthur writes.

Sources: Forbes, Financial Times