The CS7 Framework
The Career Strategy Framework, or CS7 Framework, is composed of 7 core principles. Within each principle, there are strategies that describe "how" to apply the principle by taking actions that deliver results.
Understanding and applying the strategies can lead to higher income, more options, and a boost to well-being. You will increase the likelihood that you will gravitate to a career you love and earn achievement that is unique to your talents, experience, and personality.
Your actual life will evolve into the life you wish for.
The framework was influenced by many years of experience in product management building software products. You are the most important product of your life. Your ability to productize your talents into a portfolio of products that can be monetized as a portfolio will dictate your financial rewards and degree of freedom.
The 7 Principles of the Framework
Principle 1: Know Yourself
Understand who are and the life you want
Pursuing a unique career path with confidence depends on convincing ourselves first about who we are, who we want to become, and the life we wish for.
Outcome: deeper self-awareness of who you are and what you want to experience in your career and life. This insight shapes your career strategy and is used in the principles that follow.
Principle 2: Target a Unique Opportunity
Identify your unique path and value proposition
Strategically apply your time, talent, and passion to a target where there is a market opportunity that aligns with your unique persona to create a compelling and sustainable value proposition.
Outcome: Using the insights from Principle 1, you will strategically identify a path(s) and opportunities that maximize your impact, value, and inner joy.
Principle 3: Plan the Journey
Envision a unique journey of a lifetime
Design and plan your career journey with an aspirational vision and phased approach to guide the realization of your work and life goals.
Outcome: With a clear target defined in Principle 2, you will identify tangible and practical ways to deliver your value proposition through a phased approach.
Principle 4: Learn Continuously
Master your craft through lifelong learning
Develop and deepen competencies that strengthen your value proposition while strategically adding skills in advance for when opportunity knocks.
Outcome: With a high-level plan designed in Principle 3, you will identify and commit to a portfolio of learning experiences to continuously reach higher levels of performance and impact.
Principle 5: Sell the Value
Build mindshare and market share through value
Market yourself as a product with a primary focus on the value you deliver. Monetize your product across income streams to build market share for your brand.
Outcome: You will elevate your personal brand and increase the value and scale of the target opportunities that come your way through marketing and influencing techniques.
Principle 6: Connect Intentionally
Engage purposefully to accelerate your journey
Deepen awareness and guidance through self-reflection and intentional relationships with people who are committed to seeing you succeed.
Outcome: You will become an emotionally self-aware person who is in control of their destiny and leverages the collective wisdom of people they have engaged in their story.
Principle 7: Decide Consciously
Optimize outcomes through strategic choices
The complexity of the one life we live is too precious to be left up to chance alone. Make rational decisions that align with your inner core and planned journey.
Outcome: You will make better decisions that align with your purpose and accelerate your journey down the path you have carefully architected.
For people who seek career prosperity
The career path we choose is one of the most important decisions in our life.
It will impact our success, wealth, the people we come in contact with, and ultimately our happiness.
But yet, how we should strategically approach and answer this question is not taught in schools.
We are given a slice of time on this earth and how we manage the journey each day will influence the experience of our professional and personal life.
Mastering a career to achieve happiness and success over a lifetime requires more than deep domain expertise.
It demands strategy and the social skills to manage oneself and master interactions with others.
By becoming a master strategist of your career, you will increase the likelihood that you will live the life you wish for and make use of the most valued asset – time.
This can lead to making more money, realizing higher levels of contribution, and mastering your internal state of happiness.
For organizations who seek top talent
Human capital is generally the most significant expense for an organization. It’s also the engine that translates ideas into products and services that create value for customers and shareholders.
An organization can maximize its return on human capital and competitive position by aligning the needs of the organization with the career aspirations of its employees.
Organizations become a magnet for talent when they institutionalize a “win-win” culture.
Adopting a proven framework that is more than just helping employees find their next job will develop the whole person and deliver business results.
Why a Framework
I am responsible for the choices and outcomes of my life.
My happiness and freedom hinge on executing a career strategy that creates a unique path that I control doing work I love.
I could not find a career process deep in strategy but yet practical to guide action.
In 2006, I created a framework to help me succeed in my career and broader life.
If we are not methodical in our approach to what is truly important, we will succumb to the daily machine of unconscious inertia.
Deep issues emerge when we diverge off our path.
The changing business landscape and forces make people irrelevant.
Actively managing a career strategy is required to sustain a unique value proposition that fuels my livelihood and children’s dreams.
By continuously practicing a set of principles that evolved from my life, it has become an effective form of self-therapy to overcoming obstacles and irrational behavior.
As a leader, a career process attracts, develops, and exports talent across an organization.
As a father, educating my kids on topics not taught in schools will accelerate their development and reduce learning the hard way. Their success in life influences my happiness.
As a human being, helping others in their career pursuit can inspire a movement for people to do the same.
All boats rise when people help people.
It’s life and death – your ability to strategically evolve a career will dictate your options and long-term prosperity.
Without a strategic direction that you control, you will be drawn into supporting the goals of others and not reach your true potential. You will be disappointed later in life.
People are busy and often make quick decisions to hear your pitch.
Think of yourself as a product with a succinct brochure on your achievements, persona, and value proposition.
You are responsible for your career. Don’t expect organizations to provide answers and look after your best interests.
Leaders are not mind-readers. Articulate what you want to achieve, your high-level path, and where you need their help to garner support.
Your life will inevitably be rocked by failure or issues outside your control.
A solid strategic plan and a confident mindset will mitigate irrational actions and reinforce calmness.
Who is it for?
Students in high-school and college that need direction to choose fields of study, apprenticeships and establish an early vision of the life they wish for.
Parents that need a collection of strategies and philosophies, not taught in school, to help shape their children’s thought process about choosing a career and how to get the most value from education.
Professionals that are feeling stuck in their current job, need guidance on how to make a job/field transition or market themselves. Significant life-changing events are often a catalyst to re-evaluate your path.
Side Hustlers who want to create options experimenting with unique passions while learning new skills and earning money on the side.
Human Resource (HR) leaders that are seeking to build a culture of mutual success that aligns talent with the needs of the organization, improve retention, and an organization that is a magnet for talent.
Managers seeking a proven framework and best practices to develop people within their team and export talent to the organization.
Career Event Organizers that are seeking practical content from a master career strategist that enables professionals to quickly take action to support their career direction.