Own a career that works for you …

February 3, 2009

The vital message here is that you own your career – warts and all – it belongs to you and only you.

You have zero obligation to serve anybody else’s ideas about “what you do” and “who you do it for or to”.

That said, if you want  to maintain control of your work circumstances – and you do – then you need to have the ability to anticipate, influence, accept and leverage whatever conditions and situations arise.

Consider the similarities and differences between your views of work and your views of life? You have one or more models that help you to understand and to influence how the world works – you may have different models for work and for life in general.

You need working models that work reliably for you. Use the acronym CIRCUS to help you remember and assess the attributes of an ideal working model: Coherent, Insightful, Relevant, Cohesive, Useful, Simple.

Your models are constructed from basic truths – things that you believe – universal or objective truths, personal or subjective truths and conditional or situational truths, things that are “true enough” in specific circumstances.

This can lead you to have three working models: an authentic model rooted in universal truths, an espoused model rooted in personal truths and an active model rooted in the situation.

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Mind Your Own Career

October 18, 2007

You make choices about the work you do – choices rooted in who you are, what you need and what you want. Your choices about your work may be deliberate, maybe not, and may be a bit of both.

You do the work you’ve chosen and that work becomes your career. You may have intended for your career to be what it is, or your career may seem to be something that just happened. Either way, your career becomes a part of who you are, what you need and what you want – your career then affects the ongoing choices you make about the work you do.

So, minding your own career is about who you are, what you need and what you want. Minding your own career is making clear choices about the work you do, the career your work becomes, and the effect your career has on who you are.

When you mind your own career, you can easily answer questions like these, and more than that, you are pleased with the answers:

  • How well does your work reflect who you truly are – can you always “be yourself” at work?

  • How well does your work support you in getting your personal needs met, either directly or by giving you the resources, e.g. the time, money, networks, etc., to get your needs met outside of work?

  • How well does your work support you in getting you what you want out of life, either directly or by giving you the resources to get what you want outside of work?

  • Is your work worth the time, energy and attention that you give it?

  • How often do you wish that you could work less, or that you could earn more money, or both?

  • How effectively do you work? Does your work give you anything that is relevant and important for you, e.g. an appropriate and enduring sense of achievement or recognition?

  • Does your work enable you to spot, and to respond effectively to, your opportunities, whether for your work or for your larger life? Can you benefit in any scenario?

  • How readily can you find enjoyment and meaning in your work?

  • How easily and effectively can you maintain control of your work circumstances?

  • Do you have full and effective control of the direction and pace of your own career growth?

  • Can you make confident, timely and appropriate choices for your work and for your life in general?

  • How does the work you do – and your resulting career – affect and reflect who you are, to yourself and to others?

  • How well does your work support you, directly or indirectly, in improving yourself and your life? How well does your work enable you to contribute to improving others and their lives?

  • How well does your work respect your personal integrity, values, boundaries and standards?

  • Do you generally know what to do in any work situation, and when and how to do it?

  • Are you happy with your work? Are you happy with your career? Are you happy with your life?