Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Three Pillars of Career Success

For many people, their career choices are the most important decisions in their life. Combine that with the fact that approximately 80% of our waking lives are dedicated to work. It is no wonder that career is taken so seriously. The remaining 20% of our lives is committed to family, friends, hobbies and play. Yet, we try to extract 80% of the enjoyment in our lives from the 20%.

In fact, we go to work with the belief that if
I had a different boss or coworkers, I would enjoy my job. For others, it is the customer who makes work difficult. While others blame lack of organization in the workplace and constant pressure. For some reason, there is always an ‘if only this would change’ mentality amongst people.  

Perhaps nothing has to change except our intentions for a job. Too often, we only see work as a means to pay bills. However, if we looked at work as a platform that shaped 80% of our lives, maybe we would see work as the opportunity to experience 80% of the enjoyment we experience in life.

Instead of work being a place to kill time and earn a check, consider that work can fulfill 3 things: development, accomplishment and enjoyment.

  1. Development – Because we interact with others in the workplace, we have an opportunity to intentionally enhance our social skills. At work, we tend to tolerate coworkers idiosyncrasies because if we are unable to create workable relationships we are likely to loose our jobs. Learning to work well with others makes us better people. Furthermore, those enhanced skills make our marriages and other relationships more enjoyable.

In addition, use your job to develop other competencies, like finance, project management, computers, etc. This development not only keeps you relevant and more marketable, it will build your confidence. You can also pass them on to your spouse and children.

  1. Accomplishment – In our jobs, there are goals and plans to fulfill those goals. As we reach each milestone in the plan, we are empowered. When the goal is reached, we reap the benefits. Those benefits can be financial or the comfort of knowing we still have a job. Most importantly, accomplishment helps us avoid the feeling of being in a dead end job with no relevance to the company. Accomplishment is the fuel that gives us the confidence to move on the next big project. It also galvanizes us as colleagues. Outside of work, it gives us bragging rights.   

  1. Enjoyment – Going to work with the mindset of ‘I can’t wait until Friday’ or ‘another day another dollar’ is self-defeating. There is no reason each of us is unable to enjoy work. The only thing that stands in the way is social conditioning. Work is an extraordinary platform to express ourselves and demonstrate our prowess. It is a place to become a better person, build lasting bonds with coworkers and feel a strong sense of accomplishment. Whether our job is our first choice or our last choice, whatever we produce is a reflection of who we are as a person. So who do we want to be known as? We can use our job to learn something new. Contribute to others and show the world what we are made of. Isn’t that what we do when we enjoy our friends, family, hobbies and playtime?

If I said it once, I have said it many times, you only get one life and this is no dress rehearsal. Enjoy it! 

What do you think? I’m open to ideas. Or if you want to write me about a specific topic, connect through my blog www.turnaroundip.blogspot.com.


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    1. Thanks for reading my blog. I am on Twitter. You can find me under the Board of Veteran CEOs. I look forward to your comments in the future.

  2. Well said!! After all the workplace is where we spend majority of our lives, so why not make it a place that we can develop and accomplish goals, and inevitably enjoy what we do.

    1. Exactly! Well said. Thanks for reading my blog.