Controlling Our Own Destiny
Jo Anderson is the Talent and Learning Facilitator at Delve
So often I have worked with people who are not enjoying their jobs but for many different reasons, they stay put, feeling disengaged and dissatisfied. It made me realise that having a fulfilled career is a state of mind, and the barriers we experience are sometimes a result of our own thinking.
One of the biggest fears I had during my time as a “9 to 5” office employee was the level of uncertainty. I was never completely certain that my job was secure, I rarely knew what actions I should be taking next. Quite often I’d just take a “hope for the best” approach, hoping that I was doing the right thing for both my Line Manager and my long-term career plans (which by the way, I wasn’t sure what they were). Yes, I had an annual appraisal but really it just felt like a “tick box” exercise for the organisation and another list of tasks and goals to add to my already busy to-do list that I’d have to complete in the next 12 months.
My role involved coaching colleagues supporting them to be successful in their roles and find ways to keep motivated at work. Coaching others is about enabling them to discover their own solutions and it suddenly dawned on me that it was up to me to take charge of the way I felt in my current role and manage my own career opportunities. Instead of sitting around complaining “I would love the opportunity to get more involved in upcoming projects, but never get asked” it was time for me to Take Action.
Getting started is half the battle
It’s important not to get carried away, remember, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and nobody is saying you should know what job you want to do for the next 20 years. If you do by the way, you are very lucky. I think what makes things difficult is that the organisations we work in are constantly changing and evolving so naturally what motivates us in our work is also going to change.
We’ve all either been in the situation or know somebody who wants a more fulfilling career but gets stuck in a rut. We can tell ourselves that it’s the easy option or it fits in with childcare needs. Some people may have been in the same role for the last 10 or 20 years and it’s all they’ve ever known so to make a change because you feel slightly disengaged can feel scary.
If this sounds like you, just pause for five minutes, forget about all the excuses, then ask yourself four simple questions:
Make sure you answer honestly, your answers don’t have to be work related:
- What are your dreams?
- What are your goals?
- What are you passionate about?
- What are your skills and strengths?
Personal growth is the time you spend focusing on what you want to achieve and living to your full potential. So, what now? After asking myself honestly these questions, I now knew what my strengths and goals were, but how could I apply this to my working life?
Leap of faith
James Cameron, Film Director said, “There are many talented people who haven’t fulfilled their dreams because they over thought it, or they were too cautious, and were unwilling to make the leap of faith”. I started to think back to my previous personal development plans and appraisals, then I realised all my goals/objectives had been right for the business but not for my own career and didn’t enable me to play to my strengths. It was time to try something new and tell my “inner voice” to shhhh!
I’ve come to the decision that even though I enjoyed my job and was hitting my objectives, that it wasn’t enough, so thinking about James’s words, I started to flip the quote and instead of over thinking turned it into taking action. Yes, it’s good to be cautious but by trying new things you can learn so much more. I have suddenly found that I’m taking that leap of faith, I’ll have a go at new tasks as there’s always learning to be taken from feedback. I no longer think of my appraisal and development as an annual task, instead I use it as a guide at the end of the week, to look back and think what have I enjoyed doing this week? What strengths did I utilise? What learning can I still do to help me?
So it’s your turn, take the leap and get ready to use your skills, achieve your goals, live your passions and fulfil your dreams in the way that works for you.
The Delve Talent Tool can help you and your organisation tap into the real potential of people and understand their strengths and motivations at a deeper level. Get in touch to find out more at firstname.lastname@example.org.