We have a three-part philosophy on career development that drives our research and programs at CareerLeader.
Part I: Your Interests
We strongly believe that your interests, not skills, should be the foundation of your career. All too often, we see people make poor career choices for lots of reasons:
- yielding to family or societal pressure,
- trying to "harvest" their career too early, before gaining the needed experience and savvy,
- being seduced by money or status.
One of the most common, though, is someone making career choices because they're good at something -- regardless of how interested they are in the work. Of course, your skill level has to exceed some minimum level to be competent at anything. But, it is your interest in what you are doing that is your "competitive advantage".
Part II: Connecting Your Motivators and Skills With Your Interests
We also believe that it is the combination of your interests, motivators, and skills that is the "hidden key" often overlooked in setting your career course. Your motivators (financial gain, security, etc.) and your skills (communication, quantitative analysis, etc.) are very important as modifying influences to your interests. But, it is your unique profile of all three factors that should drive how you approach your career in business.
Part III: Navigating Organizational Culture and Avoiding Career Breakdowns
Overlooked by many, several aspects of career satisfaction have more to do with your employer's organizational culture than with the industry or functional role you have. The work culture may be critical in determining which company or business unit is best for you, even though it was all three factors (your interests, motivators and skills) which led your search to that industry or functional role in the first place.
Lastly, we all have personality features that can be strengths, or weaknesses, depending on the circumstances. At times, the "right" feature in the "wrong" situation could lead to a major breakdown in your career's forward progress. Recognizing your strengths and weaknesses, and knowing when and where to utilize them, is essential for avoiding obstacles in your career progression.