What makes for the perfect career?
Why are some individuals exceedingly successful while others fail to ever reach their dream career path? Surely this cannot be ascribed to luck? If we had to look at the science behind building a great career, I have learnt that any individual can be successful. Most failed careers are due to a lack of people not following their passion and natural talent.
Consider your current career path and ask yourself if you agree with any of the following statements:
- You love what you do most of the time, every day
- You are doing some of the things you do best in life, most of the time, every day
- The things you are doing every day, are adding more value to your company, than what it is costing the company to keep you working there.
If these describe you, you should be unstoppable. Your uniqueness can be found in the things that you love doing and the things you are naturally good at. Unfortunately most of us are raised to believe to follow the path of others that have had success, not realising the reason they have achieved success is because they focused on what they were naturally good at. That is the secret to success.
Find out what you love doing, what you are passionate about, what you are naturally good at and you will find your strengths. Natural talents form a foundation on which you can easily build further expansion of knowledge and skills and by making sure you love what you are doing, you ensure self-sustainability. Focusing on things you are good at, but hate doing, simply lead to miserable success that ultimately leads to burnout.
Having spent the last 15 years helping top talent connect with top brands, the questions I find candidates have most difficulty answering, include “What do you really want to be doing?”; “What are the things you are most passionate about?” or “What are you naturally best at?”. Scary fact, given that these questions should be the foundation for building a career path that you might be spending the next 30 years on.
Furthermore, a strong career is not built in a vacuum – it is built in the context of employment. Regardless of whether you are self-employed in your own business, or an employee in a large organisation, you will find your best career progress when your strengths are plugged into doing things that add more value to your company than what you take out of it. To add value, you need to build the right professional knowledge and experience, and you need to connect effectively to the people around you in your own company, as well as in the organisations of your suppliers and customers.
There are many free online resources to help you in the right direction. SkillsMap© , Africa’s Top Talent Community is a site where Top Talent connects with Top Brands. SkillsMap©™ offers a free Career Guidance assessments that provides great direction pointing out industries and job profiles you might be suited to, as well as a detailed description of work values as high and low priorities . SkillsMap©™ also offers a Career Coaching program to the public career seeking community. Resources are provided in the form of worksheets that are question and assignment driven to help guide you through the thinking process that can help discover your strengths. As part of this program, you will be assisted in identifying the skills needed to be developed, the experience needed to achieve your goals, and identifying and creating opportunities to build your knowledge & experience. Lastly, you are assisted to effectively map your critical working network; building your ability to continually identify opportunities to add more value to everyone you work with.
These elements of career building all relate to work, but your career is not independent to the rest of your life. You do not leave half of yourself at home when going to work. You are an integrated human being, and your situation at home directly impacts your success at work. Therefore, elements of building a strong life in terms of personal relationships; savings and retirement planning; contribution to your community; and health and fitness are factors to be considered when mapping out your career path.
Spending your career in a dead end job with no prospects will ultimately lead to burnout, depression, anxiety and an unbalanced life. Get busy changing your future today.
About The Author
Heidi Duvenage is a Serial Entrepreneur and has been die Founder of various ICT & Recruitment companies over the last 10 years.She holds a BComm (law) (industrial Psychology), Targeted Selection Administrator and Registered DDI Facilitator. She has in excess of 14 years’ experience recruiting & managing corporate accounts on infrastructure, service & SAP Projects. She has consulted to various recruitment agencies with emphasis on business analysis, profit improvement projects & company restructuring. She was the recipient of the Creating Leadership & Personal Capacity in Women award. You can follow her on Facebook and LinkedIn.