Career Moments, Building it Inch-by-Inch

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career moments

Career Moments, Building it Inch-by-Inch

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Careers often feel like they are a title, a spot, a position, or a place in time. They are more often the sum of many moments. What are your career moments and how much do they matter?

Inches Matter

I watched my favorite football team lose their game. They were down by one point. A field goal for three points or a touchdown for six? Field position with only five seconds remaining in the game called for a field goal attempt.

It was missed by inches. The game lost.

It is similar for the photo finish at the race track, or the basketball that goes through a hoop (or not) just slightly larger than the ball. We see it on the golf course, the ball ever so close to tumbling into that tiny hole.

Do inches matter?

Career Advancement

It often feels like your career is getting the big job, the larger salary, or special perks. It is the perceived feeling of being invited to the next level of meetings, having a role to supplement the conversation, and working with a bigger departmental budget.

All those things matter. They do make a difference. Are they really the defining moments for your career? Unlikely.

A career is the sum of many defining moments, moments added up across time.

Career Moments

Your career, just like the game, seldom goes into overtime where you have more chances for another moment. The time is fixed. Your career is finite.

The race won’t go for another lap. The hoops aren’t going to get bigger or closer. The golf ball once tapped, is on its own trajectory.

Getting the new job, the promotion, or landing in a new career may be a moment, but it is just that, a moment. One of thousands and thousands of other moments which inch-by-inch are either making a difference, or missing the opportunity.

All those moments add up to become your brand, your reputation, the view of your career.



Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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Dennis Gilbert

November 2, 2018at 11:02 am

You bring up some great points. I write about career building often, but I do not currently have a one stop resource (a book) about building your career. Careers for baby boomers has also been on my radar. All good stuff. You can search this blog under some keywords centered around careers to find other articles. Thanks for your comment.


November 2, 2018at 10:27 am

Thanks D!

Enjoyed the read and your response 🙂

Have you ever written about How to build a career? In detail. What are the steps I’d need to follow for success?

It’s a new world today, and for a boomer like me, having to build a new career, I’m lost.

Appreciate the help 🙂

Dennis Gilbert

November 2, 2018at 9:18 am

Good Morning! The answer is easy. Both. Moment by moment and inch by inch are intended to be metaphorically similar. 🙂


November 2, 2018at 8:55 am

Happy Morning D!

So… HOW does one build a career? …inch by inch? …or moment by moment?

Thanks in advance 🙂

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