Thursday, December 30, 2010

Defining Career Success: Making Money or Finding Fit?

I always highlight the importance of taking a non-traditional approach to finding a new job or career. My advice is that you should not waste time playing the “résumé lottery” (passively sending résumés to multiple companies, then waiting by the mailbox with your fingers crossed). Here’s why.

Sure, the résumé lottery approach could land you a job. Eventually. But my experience tells me that it’s highly unlikely to give you career success because there’s every chance you’ll end up in the wrong place.

If you do end up in a job that’s not a good fit, you may find that you do well -- you may even make a lot of money. But if the job isn’t the right fit, your working life will be uncomfortable, uninspiring, even painful. You’ll dread certain parts of your day and you’ll hate working with certain people. You’ll come home frustrated, drained, stifled. Tell me -- is that really your definition of career success?

Here’s a definition I like much better:

“There is only one success—to be able to spend your life in your own way”
— Christopher Morley

It took me a long time to realize that a career in investment banking was not the right fit for me and the process of coming to this realization was extremely painful. If I had known then what I know now about the importance of career fit, I could have avoided that pain. It’s my aim to share my experience and to help you find your right fit now by taking you on a journey that will help you determine:

  • -- What you enjoy doing most (this will reveal what you’re good at)
  • -- Who you work best with, and why (this will reveal your wiring, or personality type)
  • -- Your preferred method of resolving conflicts
  • -- Your Target Rich Environment™ (TRE™)—the types of employers who fit you and your goals—companies where you should therefore concentrate your search

The result? You will find a job that you love doing and you’ll wake up every morning looking forward to the day ahead. Now that’s true career success.

Convinced? What needs to change for you to find success in your career?

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