An introduction to the process
A common challenge for professionals is the situation where you having a good sense of the field you want to work in, but lacking clarity in what exactly we want to do in this field or how to get there.
It is difficult for a number of reasons. Two big reasons for this are associated with what we define as decision enabling information and our view of career progression and success. First, we don’t always have access to decision enabling-information and other times we do, but we don’t realize it as such. This will become clear in blog posts to come.
Second, our vision of reaching our career goals is different from reality. We tend to think of reaching our career goals as a series of progressive, successful steps. We tend to believe that each step should have clearly defined goals and expectations. We tend to think about career goals as very specific position, not experiences. We want to work at great university with a great research program, have lots of money, lots of awards, and invitations to speak around the world for example. We don’t know how to get there, so we ask for help. We speak with a number of people and get different answers.
Every answer sounds good but there is something we find wrong with it. We suffer from analysis-paralysis. It seems that no one can give us information that settles our uncertainty about the direction or correct step we should purse. We then start to believe that pursing our dreams is simply an issue of total luck.
The reason for the frustration is that this is not reality. We are unclear for a number of reasons.
One, the process you use to reach your goals will be different than the process I use to reach my goals. Second, you have different reasons for chasing your goals than I do. It is not clear because most of us will not have careers that are only sequential progressive and successful.
The funny thing about this vision is that we know it is not reality. We all have famous people that we admire and have followed their life stories. We know that they did not go from successful experience to another. We know that they had periods of soul searching, and challenges. But somehow we don’t expect that to happen to ourselves.
The truth is that it is easier for us to think this way because it is a more comfortable way to see ourselves. The truth is chasing any goal is much more difficult than this. Successful people find something to do that is aligned with their sense of passion, purpose, and value. It is the one thing that they want to do most with their life. It is finding something is worth taking on the risk of failing or having setbacks.
Why am I telling you all this? Because successful people with successful careers understand the first step to achieve your career goals is mental. You have to have the right attitude about your goals and then you have to know the truth about the process of achieving your goals. Without this framework, all information that follows in this series of articles becomes least effective. Stay tuned.