How to Craft a Go/NoGo Strategy for Your Career

Cathy Hutchison
8 min readJul 12, 2021

Imagine walking into work on a Monday morning feeling the anticipation of doing what you love to do. You are skilled. People value your competence. Not only that, but you feel connected to a purpose bigger than yourself.

Now contrast that with coming in late to work and feeling overwhelmed. Not only do you not feel valued, but you aren’t even sure if the people above you know what you do. Purpose is limited to a mission statement on a wall filled with so many catch phrases that it is difficult to feel you are connected to anything at all.

Smart B2B companies have Go/NoGo protocols to protect them from the kind of work that will take their company under. The Go/NoGo is a list of questions or criteria that help teams decide if the work they are contemplating pursuing is “good work.”

What if you could do the same?

Having a personal Go/NoGo career framework can help you evaluate the opportunities that come to us to help get to work we love.

Go/NoGo protocols can keep us from getting stuck:

  • Working with terrible people.
  • Working in a way that is contrary to your core wiring and prevents you from growing in competency.
  • Working in a way that creates misalignment with your time and resources.
  • Doing unprofitable work.
  • Feeling discontent because you are disconnected from a mission.

Here are five things to consider as part of a personal Go/NoGo Protocol:

People : How do I find a company with good culture?

1. Build a network in order to find the people you want to work with.

While we can do a “best places to work” search on Google and figure out what companies have good corporate culture, it is trickier to find which companies have a great corporate culture for us personally.

Building a network in an industry leads to conversations over drinks or coffee that can connect us with opportunity. Think about it. Every great opportunity that comes to us usually involves a conversation.

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