Last night the online voting ended and the big news is in, the iron has been voted off the Monopoly board and a cat token will take its place. The iron, a staple token since 1935 will be locked away in Spring 2013. Spared from receiving a pink slip during this round of cuts were the wheelbarrow and shoe tokens. Still, this story made me realize some good career lessons.
Stay Relevant: The old shoe, wheelbarrow, and the iron tokens lost relevance in the eyes of the voters. They became outdated – c’mon, when was the last time you used an iron or had a shoe that looked like one of these tokens.
This is a good reminder of the importance of staying relevant in the eyes of the decision makers in one’s company. Keep up to date on certifications, licenses, training, and technology. Additionally, evaluate the projects and teams you are assigned to – are they the future of the business or a part of the company that is being phased out.
Buy the Orange and Red Properties: My younger sister would always purchase the first properties she landed on. By the time she reached “Free Parking”, she had no money left to buy any properties and was in trouble of going broke before she passed “Go”. Besides being an example of the future mortgage crisis of buying too much home(s) without enough money, she was not strategic in her approach.
The three red and three orange properties (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, New York, St. James, and Tennessee) all appear in the Top Ten Most Visited Spaces spaces. Strategic players attempt to secure as many of these high volume spaces as possible.
At work, one needs to be as strategic about the projects and teams one joins. Focusing on small, low visibility projects (Baltic and Mediterranean Ave) or putting all your effort into one massive project with a questionable return (Boardwalk – ranks 16th most visited out of 28 rent collecting spaces on the Monopoly board) is not the wisest strategies. Be sure the projects and teams you join are visible enough and get plenty of attention from the higher-ups.
So goodbye to the iron; we are sorry to see you go but thank you for teaching us a good career lesson.