This isn’t a post about your passion, following your dreams or what have you. I think there is better material available out there. These are few lines about my observation in our industry – IT industry as you know it. Most of us who work for an ever evolving organisation or come from a background where everything revolves around ambition of getting to next level, important role and probably an onsite opportunity … there is a lot that rides on our choices (on the way) between those years spent at an organisation.
My question is – do we make choices when making important career decisions?
You may compare jobs/roles when we are joining a new organisation (or may be note) but what about the career choices when you have to grow within an organisation? Do you ask the right questions like where does a particular role take me? whether the choice of work takes you to a predefined outcome?
Truth is, most of us (including me) have made decisions that revolve around – What’s best for the organization
Forget about making conscious choices, do you (if you are reading it thus far) consciously making a choice of where your career needs to go ? the path, the direction, the outcome – I call it “Designing” your career.
Do you design your career or do you go with the flow?
Mentoring/Coaching/Growth conversation in organisations revolve around outcomes that look like rewards (like i mentioned above – promotion). Mostly these conversations aren’t focused on expertise, long term goals and most importantly link back to career choices that are being made. As long as the role benefits the organisation it is good role and good reward. I don’t intend to be a cultural change agent here – I don’t even intend to call out whats wrong etc. etc. in fact, I would argue that none of this is happening on purpose. It is happening because individuals (You and Me) aren’t making conscious choices that link back to our career aspirations (not the rewards). It’s us who need to rethink our priorities, rethink what career means, rethink the outcomes that are linked to expertise and have a “Design” of our own that leads to a possible certain outcome in terms of long term career planning.
I believe we all stand somewhere in these three boxes – its a matter of identifying that and (may be) work on moving towards the right side (if that makes sense). I don’t think there is anything wrong in being in any of the boxes but its important to be aware where you belong.
I have seen many folks struggle because they make choices assuming someone else (mostly their seniors) are making the right decisions for them, or make choices that have no thinking put into it.
Do you have a design for your career?
Does the opportunity fit into that design?
You have to own your career – best, you have to design your career. No one else, but you have to take the accountability for defining what do you want?