Your career is not at the top of the list of priorities for your boss. Your career is in facts yours. In a recent Harvard Business Review article, it still seems that more than half of all Americans do not engage strongly in their work and another 30% have totally checked out. This is happening for lots of reasons. One important reason is that we expect the business engine to answer the questions “What should I do?” or even better “What is my cause or purpose?”
I am grateful for my journey. There have been times where what I was doing was true. “True” means alive, real and not someone else’s true. I thought I would recap a few of the key moments in my journey and share a video on how I like to categorize the career clarifying process. Here is a summary:
1.) Took the job that was right in front of me out of college. It was also a job that had a purpose that was important to me.
2.) After 9 years, I left that first job and took the first job that was right in front. Nothing wrong with that, I had a family to support and it made sense.
3.) After 4 years, I paused and asked, it is my career and my life, “What is it that I really want to do?” This is when I started the first phase of the Career Maximizer, which is Reflection. I reflected back on my life to explore the greatest moments when I was at my best and saw the results I wanted. I asked for input from others and started to listen.
4.) In 2009, I took my problem to a group of peers and asked them to hold me accountable and answer the questions: “What is it that YOU want to do?” “What is the cause you want to address with your work?” and “What is your plan to get there?”
5.) In 2010, I took what I wanted to my boss and he gave me a promotion. I accepted the position and one of those peers said to me “I am just not buying it Chris.” It was true in that I settled and did not have the courage to pull the trigger and go out and address this cause full on.
What does all this mean to you? It means that you have to take responsibility for your career. You cannot expect your boss or board of directors to care as much about your career as you do. You may need to start answering the three questions I answered back in 2009 and then move toward them one step at a time.
I explore the three phases of the Career Maximizer process in this video below. Remember it is your career.