There exist caves in the wild that have entire ecosystems full of flora and fauna that can be found no where else on earth. This is because these tiny, protected island anus’s of the earth provide no way for those to lifeforms to travel to other different, but similar, cave-like environments. This is a good thing because if they were hardy enough that the attempt to travel from reeking hole to reeking hole didn’t kill them, they would likely become the apex predator of the next stinking orifice.

I imagine changing jobs to be just like this.

There are denizens of the cubicle jungle, you’ve seen them, that you are certain just wouldn’t make it on the outside. Either they or their job is just so useless as to defy expectation for survival. Natural selection exists, one can assume, in the wider economic Darwinism of the marketplace. Thus, the time spent in the bizarro-world of officeland where up is down and down is right whatever career-minded productivity survival skills they might have once possessed have been efficiently bled out of them over time.

As a model, I would like you to think of the other fat guy in Office Space. Not Milton who mumbled about Swingline staplers and later committed arson. The other fat guy who had ‘People Skills.’

Now I would like you to think about yourself. How competitive are your career-building claws? Are your bread-winning fangs sharp enough to bring down the game of another, better job?

I imagine this exercise has raised the heart rate of 2 types of people: office losers and office winners.

The aforementioned ones who have had their professional skills blunted to the point of irrelevance have a lot of work to do to make it on the outside. The over-achievers that never fell victim of the stunted branch on the career evolutionary tree will also be alarmed to the fact that they are not where they want to be – yet – and that there may exist someone better suited for their dream spot.

Regardless of which type you are, here is the single-best way to prevent career stagnation.

  1. Imagine a great job with another company that would be the next rung on the corporate monkey bar you’d like to jump to.
  2. Make a resume for yourself for that job.
  3. Make the resumes of your 3 most feared competitors at your current workplace for that job.
  4. Compare and contrast.

If you look at your resume in compared with your colleagues and it is lacking, you will immediately see where. Is it education? Go to night school. Is it facetime? Go find a pet project and hit it out of the park. Whatever ‘IT’ is, go fix it. You now know how.

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