Organisations have a defined mission and objective, established to achieve certain goals. Whether they are a state (public or government) or private organisation, your employment with any organisation is about fitting in with their objectives rather than meeting your life goals. While some people find fulfilling roles within organisations, many times, people often go through life trying to find their real purpose or best fit role.
Your career is an ongoing journey about finding what suits your personality style, interests, personal needs and life stages. For example, the job, industry or career path that suited you in your early 20s may not suit you in your late 30s. To feel successful with what you have chosen to do in your career, a constant evaluation of where you are going on your journey needs to be undertaken throughout your life. Without monitoring or evaluation, your career can often take you down a path that you had not imagined and it is often difficult to get back on track. Throughout your life, you will be working for between 40 – 60 years or around 80,000 hours. If that journey is not a positive experience, you may feel cheated, let down or have regrets about what you are doing if that experience is not fulfilling.
The balancing act with your career is to look at your life right now and to determine your priorities. Take a sheet of paper and spend 5 minutes writing down all the things that come to mind when you think about the question – What is my life like right now? Follow the link to The Wheel of Life; Rate your satisfaction level with areas marked on the wheel to find out where your life is in or out of balance. Is your career something that is contributing to the imbalance in your life? Or are there other factors?
To start the year, I talked about setting goals in my first article. Whether you are interested in achieving something this year, or changing our behaviour, goals help us to be accountable. By this time of the year, it is very likely that all your early new year plans have been forgotten. Undertaking an exercise in looking at your life and how your career fits in with your bigger plans is a good start to monitoring and evaluating where you are now. It may even help you to work towards some intended career goals for this year. The ‘Australian Blueprint for Career Development’, sets out the competencies needed to successfully manage your career in this age of responsibility for your own destiny. In particular, being able to change and grow through life and your career involves –
- Understanding that your motivations and aspirations change, and that you may experience unforeseen physical and psychological changes that impact your life
- Recognising and demonstrating good health habits to manage stress and physical and emotional well-being
- Being able to express your feelings and ask for help where needed
- Knowing how to adapt to changes in all areas of our lives
Thinking about your career involves having your own career plan that you can adjust and monitor over time. Your career plan involves your life goals as well as your career goals within this plan. Undergoing this process, forces you to think about changing some aspects of your life.
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” (Confucius)