Career – Achieving Success and Job Satisfaction

At a time like the present when there are more and more people losing their job, it might seem strange to think about career success. On the other hand, unlike the economic cycles which come and go, your career is along term thing. Right now, there may be opportunities right in front of you within your organisation to:

o Demonstrate your strengths

o Take on new challenges

o Contribute to performance turnaround

o Shine and stand out from the crowd

As well as considering the immediate opportunities, it is useful to consider your career overall. So what questions should you be considering in order to achieve career success and long term job satisfaction?

Question 1: What’s your long term goal?

While you might not have your long term goal articulated perfectly, it is useful to start to think about how far you want to climb the career ladder. It will help you when it comes to deciding on job changes and additional experience you might need to gain.

Question 2: What level of commitment are you willing to make?

If you are serious about reaching the most senior levels in any organisation, you will have to be committed. That might mean putting in 60 hours each and every week as a baseline working week. Are you committed to doing this? It might mean having to allocate huge chunks of your own time and money to gain professional qualifications.

Question 3: What sacrifices are you willing to make?

Every time you say yes to something you are saying no to something else. If you are a male are you willing to miss out on family time for your career? If you are a woman will you be happy to take a short break after having a baby and then return to work? Be clear on the sacrifices you are ready and willing to make and those that you are not.

Question 4: What are your unique strengths?

We all have things that we are good at or situations in which we shine. What are your top 5 strengths and what is unique about how you use them? The truth is when you are playing to your strengths you will deliver much higher performance.

Question 5: What are your weaker areas or areas that need developing?

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We all have areas that we are not so good at. Knowing your areas of weakness allows you to commit to developing them or to build a team around you with skills and expertise in the areas where you are weaker.

Question 6: How comfortable are you taking a gamble or risk?

You might find that to get the type of role you are seeking you have to move from one end of the country to another or perhaps move into a brand new industry sector. It could work out well or could go badly wrong. Are you comfortable with this?

Question 7: How resilient are you?

As you try to achieve what you want from your career there will be many setbacks and disappointments to deal with. You need to be resilient enough to bounce back from these disappointments and setbacks.

Question 8: What support do you have in place?

It is always useful to have someone to talk through career plans, specific opportunities and your worries. It could be a coach, a mentor or even just an old colleague who you trust and respect. The key thing is not to try and do things in isolation.

Question 9: What would be your ideal role?

Take a bit of time to let your imagination take over and think about what your ideal role. You might not have the first idea about how you will get it but don’t let that stop you from getting a clear idea of what that you want.

Question 10: What would it be worth to you to achieve career success?

The obvious thing to say is that it would give you money. So what would money give you- freedom, security? Take a pen and paper and start to capture all of the things that career success would give you. It will be a useful exercise in helping you determine what really is important to you and will help you to improve your decision making.

Bottom Line- We all probably spend more of our time at work than any other aspect of our life. If achieving career success and job satisfaction matters to you, take the time to review and create your career success plan using the questions above.

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