Forget the turkey, the Macy’s Day Parade, football games, and family traditions – for many, the highlight of last week’s Thanksgiving holiday, were the sales on Black Friday. Not sure when, why, or how the day after a national holiday became synonymous with elbowing your way into Walmart to buy a big screen television, but here we are. This event has evolved into such a consumer tsunami that Black Friday now starts the week before and extends afterwards with the new additions of Cyber Monday and Travel Tuesday. It is all masterfully designed by retailers to boost sales, but did you know that it can also boost your career? Yes, Black Friday as a super-effective career management tool is much more valuable than another tv.
The first Black Friday strategy is about planning. These are the people that plot, plan, prepare, make lists, do market research, set alerts on their phones, assemble a team of highly-trained shopping ninjas, and have very specific items in mind they want to purchase. They know the sale is coming and wait patiently to optimize this cost-savings opportunity…operating with military-like precision. This is about identifying a goal, making a plan, working the plan, and achieving the goal – plus incorporating a double dose of impulse control. Think about how this strategy could help your career. Do you have a goal in mind or a vision for your future? Are you doing your homework and laying the groundwork for a successful outcome? Do you have the laser-focus and discipline needed to optimize professional opportunities?
The second Black Friday strategy is about striking while the iron is hot. These are the people who know a time-sensitive opportunity when they see one; can spot a great deal a mile away; able to process information quickly and snap into action; born with an aversion to getting stuck in analysis paralysis; and are willing to do whatever it takes to win including braving crowds of rabid shoppers and sleeping out all night to be first in line. They know these opportunities will not last and these televisions may never be this cheap again. They are not bogged down with all of the “what ifs” and limiting constraints of perfectionism – is this the “perfect” time, is this the “perfect” tv, “ is this the “perfect” opportunity? They see an opportunity and seize the moment. When it comes to managing your career, think about where you are on the “carpe diem” spectrum. Do you overthink and opt out or do you raise your hand and jump in? Do you question your confidence and convince yourself that you’ll be ready for the next Black Friday sale? What if there is never another Black Friday? Knowing when to strike while the iron is hot is critical to taking your career to the next level.
Follow the ON Point Action Plan to manage your career like a “Black Friday” sale.
7 Ways Black Friday Boosts Your Career
- Encourages you to think ahead and plan proactively
- Measures where you are the risk-taking spectrum
- Challenges your commitment to the goal
- Tests your impulse control
- Stretches your strategic and creative thinking skills
- Rewards effort and hard work
- Forces you to have a Plan B