Sunday, February 22, 2015

Career Development Rule #1: Never Let A Good Job Prevent You From Having A Great Career

Most people hold jobs before embarking upon a career. Some will get a good job that can even lead to a career. Because jobs hold golden opportunities to advance your career, all jobs (yes, even the ones you hated) are good jobs.  
But some jobs are better jobs than others.

A really good job looks like a career, but doesn't feel like one. Good jobs satisfy most of your needs and provide you with more happiness than a normal job. In comparison to a career, however, a really good job is like a top generic designer suit; it can fit pretty good, but not as good as a tailored suit by a top designer, which feels good on you in every way. The difference is subtle, yet dramatic.
Great careers and designer suits are all about comfort and fit.
Simply put, a great career is one in which a rewarding professional activity, or combination of activities, enables you to fulfill your life vision by aligning who you are, with what you do.

The paradox here is that if you have no life vision, your good job can morph into a great career. For those who have a strong identity and a clear vision of what a great career is, alignment is key, and will prove to be the ultimate driver of their fulfillment.
Too many sharp people are sidetracked by good jobs and falsely mistake them for careers, when in fact, a good job should be viewed as mere preparation, and a logical next step toward the great career they want and deserve...but instead, they stop at 2nd base and become complacent with accomplishment or enamored by the extrinsic offerings of their positions. Sometimes they simply get worn down or burned out, and as a result, lose the energy or courage to make a run for 3rd base.

They ignore career development rule #1: Never let a good job prevent you from having a great career. It obstructs them from turning the corner to discover that home base was not only closer than they imagined, but also holds greater rewards than the really good job could ever provide.  Those who do will be wearing a suit that fits "pretty good," versus one that fits perfectly, longer than they have to.

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