Episode 189 – Set Clear Career Goals and Really Listen to Achieve Success with Rob Allen
Phil’s guest on this episode of the IT Career Energizer podcast is Rob Allen. He leads impactful, cohesive development teams from the ground up to solve thorny problems. He turns wild-west-style engineering organisations into professional powerhouses by leading untested initiatives through to successful deployment and broader adoption.
In this episode, Phil and Rob Allen discuss why setting clear goals is essential. As well as how to work out what they should be and achieve them. They also discuss the benefits of learning to be inclusive, listen closely and be empathic in your work life. As well as touching on how and when to reassess things so that you become even more effective and grow your career.
(3.17) TOP CAREER TIP
The best GPS system can’t help you if you do not have a destination in mind. Career-wise you need to know where you are going in order to plot a way of getting there.
Rob points out that setting good career goals is not necessarily about setting your sights on working for a specific company or role. In the podcast, he explains how to get to where you want to be in both your work and personal life.
(4.00) WORST CAREER MOMENT
In 2010, Rob travelled with his wife, a professor, to a conference she was attending. The world in which his wife worked meant that they met up with the same people several times a year. So, over time, many of them had become friends. When Rob walked into the bar someone he knew well slapped the bar and said something like – here’s Rob Allen, often wrong, seldom in doubt. The guy had been drinking, but, that comment still stung.
Worse than that, when Rob thought about it, he realised there was quite a lot of truth in that observation. It was an awful moment, but it led to him changing his ways. He started to stay quiet and listen far more at meetings. When he had a question, he still asked it, but made sure it did not sound like he was offering an opinion. Changes that proved to be very beneficial. So, in the end, his worst career moment turned out to be his best moment.
In the podcast, Rob explains the changes he made and how he and everyone around him have been able to benefit as a result of them.
(12.59) THE FUTURE OF CAREERS IN I.T
Rob believes that in the past 7 or 8 years, the IT industry has made real progress in terms of project and people management. These changes are having a profound and positive impact on the way we work and what we can achieve.
(14.37) THE REVEAL
What first attracted you to a career in I.T.? – Rob reached a stage in his life where he desperately needed to make more money. So, he decided to put his HTML and CSS skills to use and began his IT career.
What’s the best career advice you received? – Shut up.
What’s the worst career advice you received? – Hang in there and just stick it out, management will make it better eventually.
What would you do if you started your career now? – Rob, would start out by focusing more on data analytics and those kinds of technologies.
What are your current career objectives? – Currently, Rob’s team is understaffed. So, his focus is improving the hiring process and improving the efficiency of the team.
What’s your number one non-technical skill? Empathy, it helps you to see the other side of something and learn more from others.
How do you keep your own career energized? – Rob is an active member of Rands Leadership Slack, a group of about 10,000 software people. The conversations within that community keep Rob engaged, learning and energized.
What do you do away from technology? – Rob enjoys spending time with his family and is a huge fan of the video game Overwatch. He is also working to put together a stable of cars.
(18.53) FINAL CAREER TIP
Having clear career goals is essential. In fact, you should set clear goals for all areas of your life.
(4.15) – Rob – “Work out what you want to achieve in life and set your career goals accordingly.”
(5.07) – Rob – “Before accepting a role, ask yourself how it fits in with your long-term objectives.”
(9.03) – Rob – “Listen carefully in meetings and make it clear you are asking questions to grow your understanding rather than challenging things”
(16.18) – Rob – “Software is a team sport. You need to get the people right for the software to be right.”
(18.53) – Rob – “If you are looking to energize your career, having a goal is essential.”
ABOUT THE HOST – PHIL BURGESS
Phil Burgess is an independent IT consultant who has spent the last 20 years helping organisations to design, develop and implement software solutions. Phil has always had an interest in helping others to develop and advance their careers. And in 2017 Phil started the I.T. Career Energizer podcast to try to help as many people as possible to learn from the career advice and experiences of those that have been, and still are, on that same career journey.
CONTACT THE HOST – PHIL BURGESS
Phil can be contacted through the following Social Media platforms:
Join the I.T. Career Energizer Community on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/ITCareerEnergizer
ABOUT THE GUEST – ROB ALLEN
Rob Allen builds and leads impactful, cohesive development teams from the ground up to solve thorny problems. He turns wild-west-style engineering organisations into professional powerhouses by leading untested initiatives through to successful deployment and broader adoption.
CONTACT THE GUEST – ROB ALLEN
Rob Allen can be contacted through the following Social Media platforms: