Chapter 3 in “The Start-up Of You” is more about creating career goals, but it is important to keep in mind that running a RIM program is like managing a career path. The authors main point is that your career plan needs to be able to adapt to whatever the needs are in the marketplace. Is your RIM program adapting to BYOD, social media and a need to collaborate anytime and any place. On page 56 the authors state, “Many companies don’t execute a single brilliant master plan. They go through stops and starts, a couple near death experiences and a great deal of adaptation.” There is a need to manage e-mail, have social media governance and anything else that may come up and we need to have a finger on the pulse of business and IT so that we can adapt where necessary and not only say “Paper is the only way.”

I think this quote perfectly capture where our industry is at:

In the same way that external forces threaten companies, so too they can have profound effects on your career…an inflection point in your career or industry will require you to either change your skills or your environment.

There was a time when records managers needed to know only about offsite storage vendor, but now we need to know using the cloud for records storage. The GARP health check-up states records managers should be responsible for paper records and IT for electronic records. If that is your mindset then it is time to update your skillset. With the prevalence of electronically stored information it is vital that our skillset include IT knowledge so that we can apply RIM principles without just blindly hitting talking points we have heard from others or going along with whatever IT says without doing due diligence. .

Here are some suggestions from the authors on ways that you can invest in yourself that will pay major dividends to your RIM program:

-In the next week make a plan to develop transferable skills such as writing skills, general management experience, technical and computer skills, people smarts, etc and invest in them by making a plan of action that you can stick to whether it be signing up for a course/conference or spending an hour a week doing self learning.

-In the next month begin an experimental side project that you work on in the evening or weekend. Orient it around a skill or experience that is different then what you currently work on, but will help with managing information.

-Reach out to five people who work in adjacent niches and ask them to coffee. Compare your plans with their. Keep up with these relationships over time so you can access diverse informaton and so you’re in a better position to potentially leverage their expertise when necessary.