WHAT DO YOU REALLY WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
By Meredith J. Masse
DESIGNING YOUR CAREER SWEET SPOT
After a childhood, teen years and early professional life filled
with angst trying to please others, it wasn't until I truly allowed
myself to focus on where I knew I excelled (or could), on what
I was passionate about and on what kind of place would bring out
my best that I was able to be intentional about what I really
wanted in my career.
Now I know. To be truly satisfied in a career, it must be comprised
of exactly those three elements above and a somewhat selfish perspective.
Before you start looking for a new house, for example, you make
a list of "must haves" and "nice to haves."
Same with a new car, yes? Treat your career plan or job search
It has to start with YOU and your goals.
Get intentional about first carefully understanding what constitutes
the three key elements of your ideal role, at the intersection
of which you'll find the sweet spot: your ideal career.
3 ELEMENTS OF YOUR IDEAL CAREER
Whether you are a highly motivated job seeker looking for a new
position or a gainfully employed professional looking for the
"next opportunity" internally, consider these three
elements when asking yourself, "What do I really want to
This is the what you do piece. The tasks and activities you're
responsible for completing, the role you play, the duties and
responsibilities in the job description. Marry your unique MO
- how you naturally do the things you do - and your strengths
with a role that needs those talents to accomplish the job most
effectively and you have a match that allows you to do what you
do best every day.
For example, if you are a gregarious brainstorming type who adapts
every documented process to address the needs of the current situation
and who thrives on experimenting with new ideas to see if they
work... perhaps a role in direct marketing planning and analysis
isn't for you. (That was me, by the way. For the first 15+ years
of my professional life.) No, no, leave that job to a systematic
planner who decides, through strategic data analysis, what is
feasible to try then carefully measures the results to gauge success
and gather information on how to do it better next time. (Thank
goodness for me there are people out there like this!)
The why you do what you do piece. What difference do you want
to make? What impact? What will be your legacy? What would make
you excited to get out of bed every morning to work on and invest
8+ hours a day?
I'm not necessarily talking about finding the cure for cancer
or saving the whales here. Unless that's truly your thing. I'm
talking about what you feel is important... what is meaningful
to you. Just because your father wanted to fill the world with
song doesn't mean that's what would make you race into the shower
after turning off the alarm every morning. When you can work toward
making a difference in some area that you feel strongly about,
you will apply what you do best every day to something that matters.
The where you do what you do best piece. What does the "place"
look like that will allow you to do your best work? Bright, open
shared space? Private office? Your car? Outside? What is the culture/core
values of the organization? Who are your colleagues (if any) and
what are their attitudes, beliefs, work ethic? What are the ideal
benefits and compensation?
From the physical space to the intangibles like values and benefits,
outlining the characteristics of the right environment is just
as important as what you do and why you do it in order to find
- or design - the exact right fit for YOU.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Meredith J. Masse, president of MPOWER Consulting, is a professional
development consultant, career coach, and speaker who empowers
individuals, teams, managers and leaders to do what they do best...
focusing on the fastest way to achieve performance excellence:
through optimizating natural strengths, talents and instincts
in the workplace. Visit www.MPOWER-Consulting.net.