Your Answers Might Surprise You
If you are like so many, you started your career thinking that there were one or two paths that you’d like to take to be successful: e.g. from new graduate to manager, to director, to executive director. You are prepared to work hard and know that you might even work for several organizations throughout the span of 40 or 50 years.
This used to be my way of thinking. But jobs change or are eliminated, priorities shift. The world changes.
This “path” mindset presumes that the employer, in many ways, chooses the path for you: sets the titles, job descriptions, and pay. The secret is that great organizations with great missions are looking for people to fully leverage their own skills, constantly build on their strengths, and find creative paths to add value. They’re not looking for perfection; they’re looking for energy and focus. In short, by tapping into your own passion and value, your career can be what you want it to be.
In order to do so, you need to define and decide what you want to become really, really good at: what do you want your expertise to be? What do you want your presence to stand for?
The secret to creating your own career path is in this three-step process.
- You decide what kind of career you want to have and set the vision.
- You seek and find what you need in order to be challenged and bring value to the world.
- You continuously work towards the vision, allowing other people and other organizations to play a role in accomplishing your vision.
3 Questions Will Get You Through These 3 Steps
In some ways, setting the vision is the easy part. Following through each day is difficult because of distractions, unplanned interruptions, other people’s expectations, etc. In order to stay focused on your vision, and be flexible along the way, ask yourself these questions each day:
- What are my strengths and what am I really, really good at?
- What do I need to learn about myself and this work to accomplish my vision?
- What do I need to learn about my organization to accomplish my vision?
Your learning can guide your work and really is the key to accomplishing a big goal, the nonprofit’s vision, and your own vision.
Try it today and let me know how it goes!