“Free career planning advice could be outstanding or it could be worth nothing. You have to decide. But I wanted to give my take on one approach as you examine your career change. And it is free!”
These are my thoughts which are based upon material in a book by Clayton Christensen, James Allworth and Karen Dillon, entitled “How Will You Measure Your Life?”
How and What To Measure
In planning your career, you could evaluate just what is your end-game. That is, what are you truly searching for in your career or your vocation. Is it money? Is it fame? Is it security? It is self-satisfaction ... location? ... family? Is it knowing that you are helping others?
In my view, it is critical that you know exactly what it is that you want to achieve in your career. If you don’t, you will never achieve it.
As in all goals in life, it is good to set up a plan. Decide what is the end career that you would like to have. Identify what steps you should take to attain the qualifications, skill levels and experiences to be a success in that career.
But we all know that no matter how we plan, we will all probably have to change it along the way. So, to find your best career, experiment in life ... try things out. As you learn from your experiences, adjust to what you have learned. That is more of my free career planning advice.
It comes down to the question asked by the author, Clayton Christensen, How Will You Measure Your Life?
Your Definition of Success?
The essence of what I got out of the book is that most of us want to be true to ourselves and true to our beliefs. Only then, will we find that deep satisfaction in our career, our work, our vocation.
It would be great if some of us could figure this out early in our career. Some, like myself, may take longer to realize we need to truly think about it and determine that we need to live a life with purpose. And figure out what is that purpose.
One important point made by Christensen is that “It’s easier to hold to your principles 100 percent of the time than it is to hold to them 98 percent of the time.” To me, that means that you always do the right thing, rather than make an exception, just this once.
Another way to evaluate this is to consider what is your definition of success? Based on what you know now and where you are in life, have you determined what it will take for you to consider yourself a success?
Life Is Dynamic
The interesting point is that your definition may change over time. In fact, it could change on a dime. For instance, you may have had a clear view of that definition in August 2001. But after September 11, 2001, you may have realized that your view of success had been completely rewritten.
How many men and women decided within months of that fateful day to change their lives dramatically by enlisting in the armed services?
Perhaps you know of someone who took other action, such as, changing careers to move closer to family. Money did not seem as important as it was before. Sure, we need money to survive, but faith and family radiated clearly at the top of the list for many.
Another example is the recession of 2008 - 2009. That period changed the perspective of people because their savings level had changed. Retirees may have decided to go back to work. Others were now open to move across the country to find any job at all.
Whether it is before or after one of these catastrophic events, you should determine how you want to measure your life. What will make you true to yourself? What is your essence?
The sooner you determine this, the bigger impact it can have on your life.
Christensen’s book is a good read and well worth your time.
Walk Through The Door To A New Career
I have another element of my free career planning advice, as you evaluate the possible change in careers. You should truly try to figure out if you have picked the right career, in light of what you need to be a success.
A good way to do that is to try your chosen career out for a day or two. Spend time with a mentor to help you quickly understand truly what that vocation entails.
The final element of my free career planning is to focus on evaluating your time with the mentor to see if that vocation does meet your requirements, filling your needs in living a life with purpose.
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