How Do You Measure Your Career?


Last week was maybe not a major, but still impressive career milestone for me.  I celebrated my 32nd year at The Allied Group.

In an era where the average millennial will have 11 jobs in their career, working for a number of different companies, I seem to be a bit of an outlier having worked for the same company with only 4 unique jobs over those 32 years.

I started in 1987 as a cold-calling, on-the-road, knocking-on-doors salesperson.It turned out to be great training in how to both sell and work hard.

I became a district sales manager at the ripe old age of 26 in 1990.I inherited four peers who were in there 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's.  Baptism by fire into management.

I was promoted to VP Sales & Marketing in 1996.  I was allowed to put my stamp on the business and played a part in it growing from $6 million to $18 million over about an 8-year span.

Three years ago, I took a somewhat sideways step and became the VP Business Development to help lead the charge into another round of client acquisition and growth.

And, along the way, I was able to write two books about sales and marketing, and that has led to numerous speaking opportunities over the last 10 years.

So, how do I measure my career?  Not against others certainly, but only in the context of my goals and aspirations.

Three specific things come to mind to help me gauge my ultimate career satisfaction.

  • I have worked both for and with people I respect, enjoy and admire.
  • I've been empowered and had the freedom to act on my instincts and put my unique imprint on the business and express my creativity.
  • I've been part of expansion, growth and tremendous diversification, staying ahead of industry competitors and providing differentiated value-added products and services to our clients.

I started out drawing business forms on a layout sheet using a mechanical pencil and a metal ruler.  Today, we provide diagnostic test kits to leading life science companies helping bring in a new era of potential health benefits and personalized medicine.

I've been selected to speak for organizations that include AARP, IBM and Newport Harbor Corporation.

I'll never be the President of the United States.  I'm unlikely to lead a Fortune 500 Company.  And I may never even own my own business.

But I judge it to be a very good career indeed so far.  And hopefully one that is not even close to being done.

Brian Butler is the VP Business Development of The Allied Group and TAGmedica.  He is also the author of two books: Find 'Em Get 'Em Keep 'Em and the recently released In Search Of...Customers!

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