In addition to questioning the value of a specific project, many of us with long corporate careers wonder how we got to where we are. Moving from job to job within a large corporation often lands us far from where we thought we might be going when we took that job out of college. All in the name of …
Too often in corporate careers success is defined by everyone around us – and quickly becomes very little about us, and all about the company.
Our careers are shaped by managers who give us career advice that often follows a cookie-cutter mold, by HR professionals who create the standard and accepted career paths, by company-assigned mentors who are more focused on what has worked for them than what will work for you, and by executives who too-often view the employees as pawns on a big chess board to help them achieve their goals.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Did you take that new job or accept that promotion because you felt like it was expected, not because it was a good fit for you?
- Did you move to a new organization for “career growth” even though you loved your job and still had a lot more to learn where you were?
- Did you follow the path that your boss or mentor told you was the “sure way to get ahead” (possibly to find doors closing as soon as you headed down that path)?
- Did you go after that promotion, or that certification, or that special assignment just because you felt you needed to keep up with the raised bar?
- Do you define success by comparing yourself to how everyone around you is doing?
- Do you listen more to your boss, your spouse, or your mother more than yourself?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, or if the person staring back at you as you look in the mirror before you leave for work each morning isn’t smiling, it may be time to check in with yourself.
What is your inner compass telling you about whether you are headed in the right direction? How do you define success?
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