Never Be Obsolete: Career Planning for the Private Service Professional


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Think career planning is only for the active job seeker? Think again! In days gone by, career planning was to be hired with a family, work for 20-30 years and then retire. Today, even Estate Managers with long-term positions need to take conscious control of their career plan to accommodate their principals’ changing lifestyles. From learning new technology to developing management plans, the private service professional who does not grow is setting himself up for replacement. In this presentation, discover a way to develop both short term and long term career plans to make sure you will never be obsolete.

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Never Be Obsolete: Career Planning for the Private Service Professional

  1. 1. ©2013, Donna Shannon 1425 Brentwood St, Suite 11, Lakewood, CO 80214 720-341-8229 Never Be Obsolete: Career Planning for the Private Service Professional Since 2008, there is no question that the job market has changed – it certainly has for private service. No longer can one count on being in the same position for 20 years. In the corporate world, the idea of the long-term job resulting in a nice retirement and a gold watch disappeared quite some time ago. Even in the past few years, corporate job seekers have been reeling from layoffs, ill-equipped to compete in the job market because they spent all their time working their jobs instead of preparing for their next one. Now we are seeing that same scenario in the private service industry. So how can we avoid the obsolete trap? Protean Careers According to Jay Block (May 2012): The Protean Career is a concept that requires everyone to 1) monitor and assess the job market; 2) anticipate future developments, trends, and industry shifts, 3) gain the necessary skills, qualifications, relationships, and assets to meet the shifts, and 4) adapt quickly to thrive in an ever-changing workplace. The word “Protean” comes from the Mythical Greek Sea God “Proteus,”who was best known for 1) predicting and foretelling the future and 2) his versatility and adaptability to acclimate himself to successfully meet and thrive in the future he envisioned. careers-what-is-a-protean-career/ Sound familiar? This is the essence of any household or estate! Target Employer and Narrowcasting When someone calls me for help with their job search, one of the things that I always hear without fail is “I am not so concerned about the title or location, so long as there is a really good ‘fit’ with the principals.” But how do we find that fit? When I worked in radio, we followed the concept of “narrowcasting.” In a general sense, we had a target market, which was defined by general demographics such as males ages 21 – 28. But the art of narrowcasting is to define not a market, but a specific individual within that market. So for my station, it was a 25 year old single male, blue collar, earning $40,000 and no college degree. When we think of our ideal employer, we need to narrowcast as well – of course, we will attract others around that target, which is ideal. Who is your target individual or family?
  2. 2. 2 | P a g e Long Term Needs Anticipation A big impact on any Estate Managers career is the actual changes that happen within the employers’ lives. If you aren’t paying attention, this could lead to you actually becoming obsolete. Identify the lifecycle: In the next 5 years, my principals will be: My principals really enjoy __________________________ and I expect that to increase in the future. Identify Needs of the Property In the next 5 years, the estate will: Getting married or Getting Divorced Having Children Sending children to school (K-12) Sending children to College Retiring or Traveling Managing Health Issues Dying or dispersing the estate Major Renovations or construction Sell or Purchase additional properties Implementation of overall management plan Downsize to smaller residence(s) Initiate green technology or procedures Technology upgrade / intergration Additional lifecycle events that impact the household / my work: Additional estate needs that impact the household / my work:
  3. 3. 3 | P a g e Based on these considerations, what knowledge do you need to add to remain vital to the estate? It’s Not about Doing More – It’s Doing More of What You Love Some hearts may be sinking right now – after all, it can be intimidating looking at the needs of the principals and the estate and think, “I can’t do all that, in addition to what I’m doing now!” This is where the art of delegation comes into play. Best of all, we can start to direct our career so that we can do more of what we love and assign staff or vendors to take over other functions. Love it Like it Live with it Loathe it I would happily do more of this… I enjoy this… I can do this, if it is essential for the job… I would give anything to not have to… Taking charge of your career Where do you want to be in 5 years? It’s not a flippant question, but a real tool to plan your career. Do you want to work long-term for one employer? Do you want to keep adding responsibilities with your employer, working your way up to be the estate manager? Or do you want to make an impact and then move on to another household? Depending on your answer, the need to keep increasing your skills will either be fast-tracked or natural evolution. In 5 years, I want to: Evolutions You Can’t Escape In modern estate management, the demand for some skills will only continue to increase. Most notably, this often is the high demand for top-notch computer skills. Very few employers will allow you to do “on the job training” with QuickBooks, Microsoft Office, Mac platforms, iPhone apps and tablet operations.
  4. 4. 4 | P a g e Program Expert Advanced Beginner In Trouble Word Excel Outlook QuickBooks/ Quicken/ accounting programs Mac platforms Internet research Smart phones/ tablets LinkedIn Facebook Cloud computing Professional Development In addition to the computer skills, you need to stay on top of the luxury market, including trends, care of fine items and ways to enhance your principals’ lifestyle. Similarly, it may be necessary to add classes for your own mental well-being, such as conflict resolution and handling different personalities. Finally, sometimes we need to add professional training or certifications to prove to the employers our desire to change roles, such as the private chef obtaining a household management certification to send a clear message that they do not want to cook in their next job. Based on these thoughts, where are your strengths? (Remember, even if you aren’t doing the hands-on work, you should be well versed enough to manage staff or vendors.) Area of expertise I can teach it I know it I need to learn more Vendor and staff management Home maintenance Culinary talents Housekeeping Care of fine items (linen, crystal, silver, etc.) Wardrobe care Event production and entertaining Smart home/ IT / technical systems Grounds maintenance Child or elder care Interpersonal relations Conflict resolution Want to see more? Visit the full Career Planning Questionnaire on my account (