The Entrepreneurial Careerist begins

Do you see opportunity or barriers?

The Entrepreneurial Careerist in action and attitudeMy recent article about the death of the unpaid internship led to an interaction with long-time reader. He’s frequently conveys a generally negative perspective towards greedy corporations and greedy bosses, and a contrarian perspective to how I view and pursue opportunity.

He isn’t the only one. In fact, similar conversations led to my new oft-repeated Mantra.

Be Proactive! Be Positive! Add Value! Share Opportunity!

Hint: I actually believe the above. And I believe I live it almost all of the time.  I’m assuming there are times I don’t but I can’t recall when.

When it comes to careers, I’ve discovered that there are generally two types of people. Those who see opportunity and those who see barriers. And typically, they fall dramaticaly to one side or another. I’m not a psychologist and so I cannot speak to the “why” people fall into either of the two camps. I’m simply observing what I experience in conversation and in listening to what job seekers, aspiring I.T. careerist, and others say and do.

Empowering the Careerist

An Entrepreneurial Careerist is someone who is intent on creating and implementing a path to ongoing career growth. They set goals, they put a plan into place, and generally speaking, feel they have a high-degree of control over their career. They view setbacks as normal and move past them with a re-designed plan of attack. The view their employer and their bosses as partners – even when the situation is not ideal.

I plan to discuss “The Entrepreneurial Careerist” more over the next several weeks/months because I find the psychology of such individuals fascinating. I want to discuss the attitudes and actions of these individuals – particularly when it comes to the barriers and challenges they face.

I’m also searching for a similar term for the individual with a less-optimistic perspective and approach. While I’m certain they will say, “Realist” – I don’t live in that reality so I’ll need a quippier/clever term.

Any ideas?

Posted in career development.


  1. I love your mantra, Matthew! That mindset has also made the difference in my I.T. career. I would also add “be creative”! I look forward to seeing where you go with this and sharing it with my I.T. clients and colleagues. How about something like The Cautious Careerist for our colleagues that aren’t as eager to take the leap as we are. I tend to see them as not necessarily pessimistic, just more risk averse.

    • Thank you for commenting Monique. We will definitely speak to the issue of creativity and the part it must necessarily play. I give a presentation titled, “Throw Away The Box: The TAO of Innovation & Creativity.”

      I look forward to your continued contribution to this topic.

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