How To Communicate – With Measurement

I'm big on measuring success – you've had to tolerate me going on about that before.  I'll repeat for those that have't gotten tired of me saying it; you need to measure, in numbers and dates and other data, your progress and results in your career, from job search to education credits, to dates of certification.  Measurement lets you see your success – or correct errors you find.

We're geeks.  We're usually good with numbers

I'm also finding out, more and more, that its a real necessity for everyone, to communicate their career progress with others.  Our friends and family want to know how we're doing so they know we're OK – or that they need to help us out.  We want to communicate the state of our career to others so they can help us out – or leave us alone.

If you want to show people how you're doing in your career, from a job search to getting an advanced degree, or what have you, you should be making sure the numbers you measure can also be communicated to the people who care about you.  Or the people who you want to annoy you less.

Sure you may be measuring things in the way you need – but can you explain the measurements to other people?  You can probably understand the way you're tracking your credit hours towards your PhD, or the way you're working towards that special certifications, but can others?

Do these things while tracking your career progress:

  • Track your numbers in an organized manner, so you can communicate them easily.  Less digging around means faster communication – it also makes it easier to cut-and-paste information to people.
  • Make sure the information you store is also relatively clearly marked, titles, etc.  This also speeds cut-and-paste communication, or lets you just show people how you're doing.
  • Ask yourself it there's anything you need to track in your career measuremenet that is needed just to communicate with others.  If a family member has given you a reference to an important business, you might want to keep a few extra notes on things like where you are in the interview progress.  If you're working towards a certification, keep track of progress in a way you can explain to others.
  • Make the effort to educate people close to you on your progress in your career reguarly.  That way they don't come asking when you don't want to talk about it – and they worry less.  You also get to take control of the communication and avoid embarassment.

Tracking your career progress is important.  So is communicating it.  Thinking ahead will make both easier, and your life and relationships less stressful.

Steven Savage