Are you guilty of letting your job title define who you are and what your potential is? Too many people focus and get hung up on where they are presently in their career journey and do not spend enough time or attention on planning where they should be heading. I’m sharing tips with you to consider, so you do not fall into this trap.
Regardless of where you are on your career journey, how much time do you set aside to think about and plot out if you are heading in the direction you want to be going? Your current job title is something you have earned based on a number of factors such as the experience you had attained to be in the role, how well you meshed with the team you are on or leading, your level of potential to grow in the role you have, and perhaps because you have had success in a similar, yet junior role.
Due to the fact we spend the majority of our time each week working, doesn’t it make sense to carve out a minimal amount of time to plot a course to make sure we are on the right career path? Granted not everyone enjoys the planning process, but it is necessary. As a matter of fact, Benjamin Franklin is credited with the quote “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” I know people do not intentionally plan on failing, and sometimes failing is actually the best experience you can have. It’s how you leverage learning from your failures which help you to build upon your experience, and since no one is perfect, failing at something is a healthy part of the learning process, and something I highly recommend you embrace. If you are not experiencing periodic moments of failure in your career, you are playing it too safe, and potentially not learning as much as you could if you were instead taking what I will call more calculated risks.
When people experience what they would classify as moments of failure, this is often the time they start to think about whether they are in the right role, have the proper support from their boss or team, are at the right company who fully embraces their talent, or whether they have the proper experience to be successful in the role. Here are some questions and tips to consider when you are at a low point or discouraged by either the title you have, or the career path you are on:
- Is the role you are in one you would have expected to be in when you were planning out your career path at any point in time?
- Are you in a role which you accepted because it seemed like the role and title which was desirable from a society perspective, but not satisfying personally to you?
- Are you energized from the role you have, or does it drain the life out of you?
- Do you ever feel you are not fully applying your natural talents to the role you have?
- Is there a clear path forward in the role you have?
- Have you considered making a lateral role move to obtain more experience which could put you on a more satisfying career path?
- If money were no object, what would you enjoy doing as a career?
Sure, thinking about winning the lottery is one approach to not having to concern yourself with your career journey, but ultimately this is not a realistic concept to be considered. It is well documented that people who are applying their talents in their roles on a daily or regular basis are significantly more engaged in their roles. People who feel this way will likely tell you they do not mind going to work. Can you imagine feeling this way?
Although there is no 100% guarantee you will always be satisfied with the work you are doing, the title you have, or the career you have chosen to pursue, it is important to consider pausing and taking the time to significantly consider what level of career satisfaction you are willing to live with. You also need to factor into consideration whether you are in the right career and whether your title means more to you than you think it does.
More importantly, have you thought about whether you are sacrificing your physical and mental health because you think society or people you know are putting pressure on you to be in a career or role which looks good on paper, yet makes you feel unauthentic and miserable? If your answer is yes, or maybe, now is the perfect time now for you to stop defining yourself and who you are by your career and title. When you fall into this trap, you subconsciously limit your future career options, and wouldn’t you rather be heading in a direction of having a better and more satisfying career path? Take the path of being your authentic self in the career and roles you choose for the right reasons. You will be much happier when you do this, and don’t procrastinate. Start today.
Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Strategist and CMO of Market Me Too. Market Me Too has expertise in bridging marketing and sales teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. We also work with individuals from students to executives and business and sports teams to coach them to learn how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Contact Kathleen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Announcement: I will be publishing my first business book this month. If you would like more details about my book, please send me an email at email@example.com . Thank you. – Kathy