Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Certainty, Doubt & Your Career

If you begin with certainties, you'll end up with doubts.
If you're willing to start with doubts, you'll end with certainties.*

What did you know for sure when you started your career?
Are you sure about the same things now?

What doubts did you begin your career with?
Which of these doubts have stayed with you over the years?

Why do any of these questions matter to you?

If only there was a film called Certainty...
[Doubt... Bolt - Photo Courtesy of Joanna Young on Flickr]

These questions matter because they help you appreciate what your career experiences have taught you to date. The doubts you have changed to certainties prove just how much you have learned in your career. In a similar way, certainties that have turned into doubts are a good reminder of how much you can still learn.

Whether we work or not, it's true that our certainties and doubts can change over time. But work is one area of our lives where certainties and doubts always have a big impact. For example, if we are certain or doubtful at the wrong time, it can lead to two things that damage careers: doubt in ourselves and other people doubting us.

Sounds a bit bleak, unless that is you return to the statement at the top of this post. If you believe there is truth in that statement, when you find yourself doubting - or being doubted by others - take heart because your journey towards new, meaningful certainties has already begun. I for one am certain of that!

All the best for now,


[* I've taken the liberty of modernising and paraphrasing Francis Bacon in the above statement. For the purists, FB's original (16th Century) words were as follows: “If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts: but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.”]

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