How to save yourself (or others) from a disappointing career
Why personal career success beats objective career success every time.
In my job I have a lot of discussions with people about their career. I noticed that the self-employed people I know have usually decided to go for what they truly want out of their careers in the long run. Only last week I was confronted with how difficult this seems to be for people that are employed in what often are companies with a strong brand and reputation. I had a number of HR employees tested with our CareerCoach ® instrument and found that they had a hard time defining their own personal goals, as well as a high need for recognition, (either financial or psychological). Furthermore they seemed to be focussed on remaining a member of that particular company because of the status and stability it gave them.
Imagine what this perspective on their career will lead to in the long run.
How can you build a satisfying career when you are:
dependent on external factors for recognition,
have no idea on what you want to achieve personally and thus only work towards KPI’s that have been given to you by your employer,
worry more about how others perceive your career success than how you experience your career yourself?
I think objective Career success (= Success as it is perceived by others, based on your title, number of people you lead, the size of your company car or other external visible signs of success) has dominated our thinking about careers long enough. We all have to work for a long time and we may as well have a true connection with what we do for a living. Personal Career Success is about what makes you get up every morning to go to work and what truly motivates you. I think you’d better look for what holds intrinsic motivation to you and build your career around these foundational values.
Here are some tips I want to share with you on how to do just that:
Figure out what personal career success looks like for you. If you have trouble doing this, we can help you. We have scientifically identified 12 factors that determine personal career success and you can test yourself.
Find out to what extent you are confusing personal career success with objective career success. If you have trouble doing this, we can help you with that too.
Be at the wheel of your career. Knowing what motivates you is a good step towards self-management in your career.
Building your career based on personal career success is gratifying beyond other kinds of success any time!
Lesley Vanleke is psychologe en werkt rond het thema zelfsturing.
Concreet ondersteunt ze organisaties in de ontwikkeling van zelfsturing op organisatie niveau via cocreatie en de ontwikkeling van zelfsturing op niveau van het individu zodat medewerkers hun loopbaan meer zelf in handen nemen.