Friday, 23 May 2008

Gray's story - Career Choice from Within

Traditional career planning feels more secure in itself when the destination is known and the task at hand is working towards it. That can work just fine but what is the best response when an individual is unsure about his or her direction or destination?

I spoke with an executive in the past who was in that position. We'll call him Gray for ease of sharing his story. Gray was paying for career guidance with a consultant who told him to aim for a CEO job in a very specific business sector because that was what he was best qualified for. The trouble was, Gray did not share this consultant's view.

Thankfully, there is a happy ending because Gray was hired into a role that he is extremely happy in. This was due in part to setting aside ideas around destination and exploring the questions that led him to pause instead. By gaining a better understanding of these areas, as well as a clearer definition of personal success, Gray was able to look more broadly at jobs, companies and industries and test each of them against the new benchmarks that this knowledge provided him.

Destination-first career planning has its uses but as Gray found it is difficult to apply in every case. It might also be a long wait for reward and satisfaction if a destination is the only place it can be found. As anyone happy with their career will tell you (too regularly in some cases), they get something from it every day. To anyone making career decisions, that is an equation worth thinking about.

Have a great weekend!

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