Career by Design, not Default

If you don't create career by design, it will create itself by default

There are no “good” or “bad” employees nor employers. Only bad matches. But the problem is that in order to find the match, one needs to be able to consciously define and design their career. And it has almost nothing to do with performing the functions. Nor conferences attended. Building a career by design is a task so obvious it is rarely performed. Instead, employees end up building their careers by default, and fail the moment the company goes through change. Not because they are “bad” employees, but because they don’t know how to re-design their careers. Because they never designed it in the first place. How not to fall into this trap? Take the 5 mindful steps.

1. Know Thy Corporate Self

What are you? It’s easier to answer this question when thinking about life in general. For then you can hide behind labels associated with other people or the environment that you’re in. And so people say they’re mothers, good friends, or Polish, for example. But what are you like at work? How do you like to perform your job? Are you a conservative doctor or have a holistic outlook or are you a visionary in the medical field? Before you take at least one further step in your career, it is vital to answer this question about your Corporate Self to your own corporate self.

2. Get Real about your Functions

Don’t blindly perform what is expected. Any robot will soon be able to do that. Instead, re-think the end-result you have to deliver on and the process to it. If you want to build your career by design, not by default, you need to step into your power as an expert. And experts always know how to do things better. If they don’t they’re not experts.

3. Ask (Yourself) the Big Question

It’s quite usual to ask (yourself) a question about how your workday went. It is rather rare to ask (yourself) a question about how you feel at work. Stressed? Wanted? Stuck? Fun? On the personal level, people don’t marry people for objective reasons, like the cars they own. People marry people because of how these people make them feel. Similarly, we tend to grow in workplaces where we feel good. And that’s the most important Big Question you need to ask yourself when you design your career in a company.

4. Bridge the Gap

If you want to create a career by design, don’t fall into the popular skill trap. Everyone is certifying in X? So? Instead, plan your own personal growth in the workplace, and see what kind of skills you need to get there. Any reasonable HRD will be happy with the employee who knows what (s)he needs. Feel ignored? Leave now.

5. Don’t Play It Safe

Life is a paradox. And so the secret to designing an authentic sustainable career is to be able to walk away from any workplace any minute. Keeping an eye on the job market and on the competitor job ads is a good starting point. You can even apply and see how they take you. If you are afraid these actions will get you fired, here’s the news - you will be. And sooner rather than later. Safe players never win when it comes to designing a sustainable career. Instead, they get stuck in being good at some skill, and keep on practicing it year in, year out.

Too many employees end up in companies that do the career designing job for them. It saves brain time. But it does not help in the long run, as employees end up being able to perform only what is expected. And that is not a good way to build a career. So, instead, asking the 5 conscious career designing questions is a much better way.

Want to grow your Corporate Self at work or think your company employees could benefit from Corporate Therapy workshops? Contact our leading corporate therapist, and let’s talk how and