Let’s look at the word “career” for a moment. A career is typically understood to be any working experience throughout your active life (both paid and unpaid); from your first “paycheck” job to the day you retire from actively engaging in work (volunteer or otherwise). My client’s come into career coaching identifying a “career” as the professional pursuits they have on their resumes. The work that launched them into professional life, the work they are most proud of, the work where they feel they've done their best.
While you can (and should) be selective on what you represent to others on your resume and social media profiles (so as to attract and retain the types of work that really interests you), this “selective reasoning” often obscures the fact that many people end up getting bumped around in their careers, following meandering paths of employment based alternately on hard work and luck. This is career as a path of least resistance, rather than an intentional course that encourages your growth and development.
In order for your work to be fulfilling and gratifying it needs to be grounded in meaning and purpose. If you haven’t intentionally sat down to think about what you feel your purpose is in what you do for a living, then many of the benefits of your working life will not be leveraged (beyond the paycheck…and money alone isn’t enough to give you satisfaction in your work). Often working lives become “scenery”, something you go through, not unwillingly, but without a lot of conscious thought, joy, gratitude or intention. If looking at your career from where you are now makes you feel like you are not where you want to be, you’ve got an example of the collateral damage drifting through your working life can cause. Dissatisfaction, malaise, anxiety, imposter syndrome and many other energy-sucking feelings arise when you don’t take full accountability for actively managing your career and recognizing your own great potential.
Drift can also make you blind to what is right in front of you. You may be in the best profession, in the best job and in the best company for you to be working in right now and you may not even know it. Take a moment to look around and see (and if you are in the right place, take time to enjoy it). If you know you are not in a place that makes you feel good about yourself in your work, then where would you like to go? Plan from that future point back to the present where you are now. Yes, this takes time. Yes, it means facing potential gaps in knowledge and skills. Yes, it means investing in yourself (or convincing your current employer to invest in you). You are worth it, right? (Hint: the answer is “yes”).
Most of us spend 10 hours or more a day getting ready for, being immersed in, or thinking about, work. That is a lot of life to be living in “meh” because your potential isn’t being engaged. No one else is going to determine your career course with purpose and intent, only you can do this for yourself (and you are worth it). So, how do you want to invest in yourself and your abundant potential?
Are you ready to realize your high potential?
Opportunity knocks when you least expect it. I'm offering a program to professionals that helps realize your highest potential and you are invited! Don't let opportunity slip by you this fall - be ready with a cover letter that gets you noticed for all the right reasons!
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I believe in giving back to others in many tangible ways. When I learn something new, or see something that might help others, I share it using my blog and website. You can always find my latest blog entries here, on Facebook or Linked In.