You Deserve a Great Career
We are indeed a miracle of life. Even as billions of species have gone extinct, our ancestors have been the beneficiary of biological good fortune and tenuous existence. Jacob Bronowski, in his “Ascent of Man” highlights the wonder that unlike the other species that survive on genetic wiring, man has the unique ability to learn from environment and culture. The knowledge of who we are, where we are, what we wish to do and where we wish to go is critical as it helps us map and navigate through our individual career terrains. This knowledge of where we are headed will define our destiny.
A century ago, an employee was just a cog in the assembly line, with nothing to distinguish one from another. Today we live in a time where intellect is the new form of property, and knowledge has replaced capital as the most important lever for development. Can there be a better time to invest thought into your own career? What are your expectations of your own career ahead? Have you introspected as to where you stand on your life’s journey and how well you are dealing with it? The quality of your expectations will no doubt determine the quality of your actions. An interesting thing about careers is that if you choose not to decide what you wish to do with it, you still have made a choice.
In current times, we seem to believe that a rolling stone gathers a fine shine. Some wonder why they are doing what they do, even as they remain uncertain about what they would actually like to do. If you always wish that you were doing something else, you will soon have nothing left to do. Never take the job you have in hand lightly, lest the alternative you are looking for may end up taking you lightly. If are in just a job, it’s like having a dish in a restaurant; you think you have got the best till you see what the other man has. The best opportunities, ironically, are always reserved for those who are happy in their current ones. It is indeed a blessing when what you ought to do happens to be what you really wish to do. When a major area of interest cannot be monetized, it is prudent to find other avenues beyond work for it. Even when deprived of choosing what we want, we still have freedom to embrace what we get, with passion, and make it count.
Taking charge of your career comprises managing oneself, managing others, and understanding how to survive and thrive in the ever changing environment. Self discovery is a vital step to define future directions. The starting block is to be able to discover the real you, mapping your life, your self esteem, strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, competencies, motivations and response to stress. What capabilities do you need to develop? Have we dwelt upon how we work with the world around us, how we connect and communicate, get things done, manage teams, motivate others, manage the environment around us and build our support systems. Count your blessings where you are before you decide to let it go. Ask yourself if you are in a good company, with energizing work, empowering seniors, super team, wise mentors, happy customers, exciting career. Do you really have a good reason to move on, or would like to make the present count?
We as professionals need to realize that career milestones dawn every single day of our lives. As we rush each day rarely do we pause and reflect on where our career is headed. Ask yourself questions and reflect on the answers you find. Are you successful at our workplace, are you able to get the best out of our potential, are you happy, do you enrich ourselves through your family and friends, do you plan for our financial well being and retirement too, do you devote time for pursuits that tap other facets of our personality, do you find time to serve the needy, are you in touch with our spiritual vein, do you search within and seek the unknown, have you discovered an inner calling? Deep fulfillment in one’s life is intrinsically interlinked to each of these facets, and a quest in this direction unlocks the doors to making our careers rewarding.
Organizations today are increasingly aware that the single biggest determinant of business performance is human capital, and are investing in talent, like never before. Have you recognized the significance of your own role? This is indeed the right time to envision your career as your single biggest asset, and build this equity for a bright future. Joseph Conrad puts it so aptly: “The mind of man is capable of anything- because everything is in it, all the past as well as the future.” You indeed need to focus on what you do and what adds value to you. Find a mentor, a coach or a friend to be a mirror, soon. After all, you have only one career to manage!
( A Leader In The Making: On a visit to the amazing Louvre Museum, in the glorious city of Paris, I came across this painting of a resolute Napolean Bonaparte, by an artist I could not place. What I found bewitching in this unfinished portrait was an allusion of a metaphorical insight into of how each of us is in the midst of becoming someone great. If only we can reflect inwards and set our mind to it , work to find and accomplish our purpose, we would complete our life’s picture. I could see in this portrait a leader in the making: you and me)