Work is the biggest distress causing factor and the one aspect of our lives from which we get most validation from. Yet we spend the least possible time investing ON it. This is what I call the Career Paradox… CLICKTO TWEET: http://ctt.ec/_05qc
Being in the field of career coaching, I notice that work is one of our biggest distress causing factors in history! It also is a great source of validation, means of expression and accomplishment for a lot of us. We attach significant meaning to our work. Our work, apart from money (financial independence) covers other important human needs, such as connection, confidence and status. Let alone it takes up so much of our day and for some of us late nights and weekends. We are obsessed with work and I get it! (Do not worry, you will not be told to take it easy nor shift your focus in the few paragraphs below!)
Surprisingly though, work is the one thing we spend least time on investing in. And I do not mean tactical time IN the job. We are all overworked, no doubt about it. What I mean, is strategic time ON our careers, i.e. understanding what is happening, where we want to go (direction) and how to make it happen. We somehow leave that part of our lives in the hope that our employer will “promote us if we do well”. But a promotion may not even be what we wanted. Plus, it is not within the employer’s interest nor ability to do this! Why do we expect them to know us better than we do ourselves? It helps to know what we want, if we are to nudge them to support us! Assuming they are willing of course! Think of your career as a relationship. How can we expect a relationship to succeed, if we do not know ourselves and what we want, nor spend time with our partner (in this case employer!) to communicate?
What has become apparent to me is that we only focus on the physical outcomes of our careers: the position, the money, the company, the industry and the promotions or bonuses. This is all fantastic! The fruits of our labour must be celebrated! What we also need to be aware of is the INNER game of our career. This is the ROOT of where the physical career outcomes stem from. In sports, physical outcomes are the wins, the medals, the commercials and sponsorships. Yes, these are the results from the practice hours that athletes put in, and the continuous and meticulous refinement or their technique. But also the hours they spend in the arena/stadium, competing and understanding how they stand in the “market place” of other top world athletes. For this they do not compete only physically (money, company, position, expertise in career terms). They compete on the mindset front (spirit, emotional and mental fitness to play the long haul game in career).
Athletes learn to lose gracefully, thousands of times before they can celebrate victory. And a victory after thousand losses is celebrated like no other! They see loss as feedback to refining their approach. They enjoy learning and improving. How many times do we expect ourselves to do something first time and be brilliant at it? We are our harshest critic. And if we do not succeed we stop trying, because we assume we are no good. Careerists who master something have failed several times before. They do not hide it, they admit it and keep trying. This is what we call a strong mindset or a can-do attitude. Successful professionals have a meaningful career vision, communicate it, develop support for it, practice daily, accept rejection as part of the journey and celebrate successes wholeheartedly. CLICKTO TWEET: http://ctt.ec/sK9q1
Do not pin your career hopes solely on your employer’s discretion. It hurts me to see this Career Paradox recurring. Invest in yourself and help your employer be part of your career vision/journey.
If you need a head start on taking action in the new year, I offer a free consultation to explore your options. If you can think of someone who might be stuck with their work, give them a breath of fresh air and a proven method to re-architecting their career into something that is meaningful and worthwhile for them (and earn, if they proceed)! It’s time to be generous to someone you care about or simply… INVEST in your Career in 2017 to avoid #CareerParadox. CLICKTO TWEET: http://ctt.ec/y56J7