How to Increase your Cluefulness


Stumbled over a very interesting blog post again. This one was called Career Calculus, and you should read it!

By cluefulness he means your capabilities, expertise, wisdom and knowledge in the field of software development, but you can swap software development with whatever you do for a living. It's an overall measure of how useful you are to your employer and how successful your career is. Your Cluefulness(C) is the result of your natural Gifting(G) plus your rate of Learning(L) as Time(T) goes by.


We cannot do anything about what we were born with, and we can't do anything with time either. Time just keeps going. What we do have control over is our rate of learning. If your L is 0, which is the case for many people, your career and cluefulness is stagnant. What you want is to always have a positive L, so that you keep improving and gain more capabilities, expertise, wisdom and knowledge. Pretty simple actually!

Quite obvious when you think about it, but many tend to focus on the C rather than the L:

We convince ourselves that the real problem is that people don't seem to know how clueful we are. Over time, we come to believe that the important thing is not our actual cluefulness but rather the degree to which others perceive us as clueful.

I submit that worrying about how others perceive your C value is a waste of time. The key to a great career is to focus on L, the first derivative of the equation. L is the rate at which your cluefulness is changing over time. The actual value of C at any given moment is usually a distraction. Only one question matters: With each day that goes by, are you getting more clueful, or less clueful? Or are you just stuck?

So, go read that blog post and then see if you can get a positive learning rate in as many areas of your life as possible 😉