Ethiopia-based HR professional, Preeyan, tells us how to charter a personal growth in our workplace. He differentiates between jobs and career, effectively, in the weekly column, exclusively for Different Truths.
There have been at least an occasion, once or more, in our life, when we feel that we are just doing a job and are not sure where we are going with the current position. Some of us accept this as fate and just settle down and some of us retaliate by self-realisation and want change. But when we choose that change we think of what should be our priorities. Is it just a job for the sake of earning money, or do we want to sculpt our career and be known to the world? Here is where we need to understand the difference between a mere job and a career.
Anyone can do a job as it is process oriented and you follow an SOP, you get paid, and sometimes too well for it and we don’t do anything differently. This is because, in our generation, our parents and grandparents always told us that we should study well and secure a good job and if it is government job then life is settled. That mindset was a little hard to break and now we are coming out of it. Career is starting to be important to most of us. We want to strive not for money but for recognition and exposure, we strive to deliver more and think differently. Those of us who do that is building his career, the rest are merely doing a job.
We all start off low, join any position that pays us, but it is those who think of a career grow and get to different places. Like so many friends of mine, started off with a job in a call center, became a CSR, then a technical support, then moved on to be a technical architect and now well settled looking at an undisturbed future, earning quite a lot of money. The path I just mentioned is not easy unless you have the drive in you to take you there.
How do we build that drive in ourselves? What I say here may not be only way but some things that I learned from the people I have been with and worked with.
1. Self-belief is the most important trait you need to develop. You need to believe that you can become like someone or achieve a goal. We may be self-confident but there are certain times in life where we give in and say with confidence that we can do it again some other day. A group of people at the bottom of the hill have choices that they are confident about, it’s only those with self-belief who will complete the climb.
2. Acceptance of incompetence is very important. It makes you aware that you need to develop competencies to become better. That awareness is important, because most times even dunce are very self-confident and we do not want to be one of those and make a fool of ourselves. Some people feel that if that accept that they do not know something they will be considered inferior, I would beg to differ here, those who accept their incompetence are more open to learn that the ones who deny and try to put up a show. One day the curtains will lift and all that show will come to an end.
3. Constant learning is very important, every failure, every success, every achievement, every accomplishment is a learning for us. Everything is teaching us something constantly, only if you accept it, it is called learning, else it’s just another lecture that we missed being attentive to. Reading a lot of books and writing your personal diary are things that helps you in this constant learning process. You don’t have to be a voracious reader to learn, just start building that in your likes, books are good source of learning.
4. Training is a good way to reinforce what you have already learnt and a source of learning new ways of doing things you may not have thought of. This has happened to me, while I have delivered training to people. Most people hesitate to try and train, it is always good to be able to do this. If you haven’t done so till now please try. You may start with teaching the kids.
5. Being humble is something that will keep you far ahead of anyone else, this will help you keeping your feet on the ground whilst flying high in your career. Have very low expectations of luxury and material things, it will automatically come to you. Being humble is not something you consciously try to do, you will fail, and it is about always remembering the journey you have taken and yet not boasting about where you have reached.
6. Positive restlessness, never feel settled with what you have and always be restless to keep moving on. Not letting you get stuck somewhere and once satisfied in one place keep looking at ways of moving up. Change is the only element in life that will be consistent, this does not mean you keep changing jobs every time. It is about doing things differently. Like my boss always used to tell me “if you did what you did, you will get what you got.” A realisation of that will help with this.
These are probably a few key elements – a few of you may have other things – which you feel are important. Whatever it may be, try to be more career-oriented, and do what you like, love what you do and worship what you love.
Do your job well if you are looking at making a career out of it. If not there is nothing wrong with changing.
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