While having some discussions about careers, we often hear that career is something that’s important for some people who are ambitious, who are risk takers, brave, who have high achievement orientation. People might be driven to the conclusion – “well, that’s not for me”.
Maybe this thinking could have been right several years ago, when career was quite strictly separated from other life areas and based on an organizations’ setup, which was quite hierarchical. But now situation is different – organizations are different, work life is different, so the mindset should also change and we believe will change further. So, what is career nowadays?
First, the concept now is much broader then before and career is not only about your working life – your life is your career. Too many people have opportunities to work, to think that career is only for somebody. In way or another we create our career through our life, other life areas impact our working life or working life shapes other life areas.
We know, there might be some people, who might say – it’s not right to say every person creates career, even one working in the same position for long years. But this is just an excuse for those who can’t make vertical career. Well, in fact, there are many ways to make career, many paths and it might be that each of us can try several ways of it – horizontal, vertical, starting new profession, or having some mission in life, etc.
Career is constant choice, about what you do and preferably should be made consciously. When we say “balance” between work / personal life, we shouldn’t have in mind that you have both on equal quality. Every time you choose, you gain something and you lose something. You might have a good team working in one job and you might change for some lonely role, that is more interesting in its content or you go to work after giving birth to a child and other people take care of him most of the time, or you stay at home with your child and then have a gap in your working life, slowdown of pay raise. Balance is not about getting everything, it’s about ability to keep what you want in your hands, also knowing that some parts will be missing.
Making choices of course demands quite a lot of courage. What is courage? Is the courage “quitting everything” or the courage to look constantly at your desires and have the capacity to shift your life according them?
Career is constant learning – and it’s not important what you are learning, just learn and see – maybe it would work out someday. Learning something new is a way of moving forward, even when you don’t know what you want to do, just a way to fill up your competence portfolio.
We also believe that career is not about huge plans to “become” someone, cause as the changes happen very quickly, the plans might change in a moment or it might distract you from other opportunities. Career is taking opportunities, when they arise.
And it’s also people around you. Some might help to move further, for example, a manager you have or someone, who helps you at home. Your surrounding is your support and sometimes it’s good to be thankful for how they shaped your career life.
And last, career has a part of success in it. Sometimes it’s enough to be in the right place on the right time, but I always remember that it’s the same as with lottery – usually only one person wins the golden pot, others need to work to earn a living.