“Am I doing the right priorities, or not? Well, what do I do? I do not know what I’m doing anymore, Petra, it feels like I’m stuck and my clock is just ticking and ticking.” I know my participant to be in his 50ies but it is so hard to believe, when his fair hair is styled like a popstar’s and his cheeks with dimples tell stories of a big sense of humour. But the laughter is far away and his eyes serious and tired when he looks at me seeking help. He suddenly says “How did you succeed in your career?” His comment makes me totally speechless.
Have I really made a career? What is a career and how important is it for us anyway?
What motivates you?
When my participants talks about what motivated them to take their jobs, they certainly recognize the importance of a noticeable salary, but they also speak warmly about the company’s plans and opportunities for development and growth.
Some want to invest in a functional career – a recess in your field, a specialization, take on more difficult tasks. Other participants talk about their wish to have an extended career and invest more in variety, to demonstrate that they can handle more and wide spread tasks.
They bring their career to a position, to more responsibilities and an authority and thus higher wages. Of course it requires training, skills and experience. Sometimes I’m wondering how important the career is to themselves or if the driving force lies in how the environment sees them? Is it “cool” to tell what title or salary you have on the next reunion and on the pub with your friends?
“I do the same thing day in and day out. I’m ready for a more extensive management job, but how do I put it in my calendar, when it is already so full? Do I really need to move to another company? ” The 50-year-old looks disappointed at the walls in his office as if he wants them to change colour and style under his gaze.
How can you create a better future?
We live in a world where I feel that the lead times are very short. Participants are planning as if there is no tomorrow, when I meet them the first time. At best, they synchronize their calendar so they can look back 3 months and 6 months ahead. But in their own heads the tasks that should have been done yesterday are spinning around and around.
At the same time I hear them promise deadlines with clients and colleagues, as if they had 48 hours a day. “Sure, Mark, I’ll fix that right away!” Sometimes I hear their customers getting stressed by the tasks going back and forth in warp speed. They have no time to think.
Then how can you create a better future? What you think today affects how your life becomes tomorrow.
Happiness is very trendy
Happiness is very trendy right now and we are supposed to make lists in order to achieve our life goals. It might be that we are exaggerating the importance of huge goals in life, but if you are not satisfied, then there is a great reason to sit down and think about what you want instead, and what you want to achieve?
Then you will at least be open to possibilities should they run into you one day. If your main goal in life is winning the lottery, it may be good to at least buy a ticket.
“Sometimes you actually having a career without having to think about it.” I finally answer the weary participant. “I meet people who have gone home and updated their CV only to come to the conclusion that they have developed immensely, but forgot to reflect upon it. It gives them that extra courage and energy to take another step in the direction they wish. I am not a career coach, my specialty is efficiency, which is certainly a tool to give you time and effort to get where you want and give you a structure and planning so that you get the results you desire. But it sounds like you are stuck in all the obstacles and need help to sort out what your opportunities are.”
Step by step, day by day...
Not everyone wants to make a career, they say, for them it is even a term of abuse because they do not want it ( or perhaps because they really have low self-esteem …)
Whether you want a career or not, it is your planning that determines whether you are taking yourself closer to your goals or further away. Step by step, day by day, you can climb any mountain if you just focus on the right things.
Aristotle said that it is up to the Government to ensure that we will be happy. Freud did instead link love and work.
I’m nowhere near as clever as these great thinkers, I only have a tremendous passion for what I do and it is possible that in someone’s eyes that is a career – I think the secret of success is just being. Being aware. I know where I’m about to go and what I need to do today to take me there, in the long run.
And what I need to do now is to recharge my batteries. My successful big brother comes to visit this weekend to annoy his little sister a bit (read a lot). It is his specialty.
Wish you a nice weekend with family and friends,
We are proud to present the first Tidspodden episode in English; Time to thrive – going from surviving to thriving
Meet Dr. Kathy L. Guthrie, Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Florida State University. Time flies when talking to Kathy. You will learn how to go from survival mode to thriving. How can you be in the front line of your life?
💡 Going from daily tasks to meaning making
💡 The importance of reflecting and preflecting
💡 Letting go – neutral state – new beginning
💡 Engage in the conversation
💡 Follow the energy