Jullien Gordon: Career Planning Advice for Millennial Professionals

In Chapter 17 of 21 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, business coach Jullien Gordon "What Steps Have You Found Most Effective to Help Young Professionals Create Career Plans?"  When working with younger professionals - Gen Y and Millennials - on career planning, Gordon starts with a process to help clients get clear on life and career goals.  He lays out his 4-step process to create a dream life, attract a dream career, build a dream team and land your dream job and walks through why and how to do this.  Jullien Gordon is a high performance coach and consultant to organizations, individuals and teams who want to increase employee performance, motivation, engagement and retention.  He earned a BA from UCLA, an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and a Masters of Education from Stanford University.


Erik Michielsen: What steps have you found most effective to help young professionals create career plans?

Jullien Gordon: Good question. So whenever I’m talking to a young professional to help them think about their career plan, I like to break it down into four different steps. And the four steps are, one, creating your dream life. Next is attracting your dream career. Then building your dream team. Then landing your dream job. And of course the acronym for “dream” means to have your desired relationships employment and money. So it’s really about your life design, and the reason I start with creating your dream life first is because your life is bigger than your career, a lot of times people allow their career to define who they are, when in fact who we are should define what we do.

And so I start with your life first. What is your vision for your life? And then let’s find a career path that actually allows you to have the life that you want. And so we start with creating your dream life and that’s a visioning process, thinking about your perfect average day, or your perfect average week, and what you want your desired relationships to look like, and your relationships not just being with your significant other or your kids but your spiritual source, your parents, your friends, your colleagues, what do you want those relationships to look like? What do you want your employment to look like? How do you want to create value? What problems do you want to solve? How do you want to use your passion on a daily basis? And then money, what is enough? And do you have enough? And really getting clear on what that is.

And then from there, attracting your dream career is all about your professional and personal branding, that’s your résumé, your cover letter, your web presence, and your business cards, the way you network, et cetera. Building your dream team means of course your networks up, down, across and out. So not just—a lot of people have strong networks across in terms of their Facebook friends, but if you look in their cellphone, 95% of the people are in their age group, I found that the most powerful form of networking is networking up with other professionals, with peers, with mentors, with leaders in the community, et cetera. Those are the people who are on the other side of the door that you’re trying to get into. Your peers can get you to the door, but you want to know who’s on the other side of the door who – or who has the key.

And then of course, finally, landing your dream job is all about the interview process, and nailing your first 90 days at whatever new organization that you’re at. So that’s how I like to help people think about their career journey.