“We know what we are, but know not what we may become.” ~ William Shakespeare
“Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look there.” ~ Marcus Aurelius
“I was brought up to believe that how I saw myself was more important than how others saw me.” ~ Anwar el-Sadat
“This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” ~ William Shakespeare, Hamlet
Who do you work for? And how much time and money do you invest in your personal development each year?
These are two critical questions in understanding how likely you are to succeed in your career.
If you appreciate that you are working for YOURSELF and take responsibility for investing in your own development, then the likelihood that you will progress in your career increases dramatically.
In his book Drive – the surprising truth about what motivates us, Daniel Pink identifies three elements of true motivation:
Autonomy – the desire to direct our own lives
Mastery – the urge to get better and better at something that matters
Purpose – the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.
Do you relate to this? If so, what actions are you taking to ensure that you are tapping into your motivations?
Here are a few suggestions of things that you can do to get started:
First know yourself and what makes you tick. That’s obvious…. or is it? Knowing your strengths, preferences and values, what motivates and energises you and when you are in flow – that’s when work feels more like play – all point you in the direction of the type of work which fits you best.
Completing a psychometric profile like Strengthscope or the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) can help you understand more about yourself, your preferences and your motivations as can working with a coach.
Books are an excellent source of information and inspiration. Ask your friends and colleagues for recommendations. And there are so many great resources on the internet. On sites like MindTools you can sign up for their newsletter to give you a regular source of learning.
There’s so much around in the personal development arena to help you understand more clearly what’s important to you and that will help you in the work that you’re doing NOW, as well as in the future.
Like Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), the study of the structure of excellence. There are practice groups in many areas of the UK, where you can find out more about it and experience it for yourself before deciding whether to invest in some training.
Join your local Toastmasters group for their brilliant programme for increasing your confidence in public speaking – you can even learn a lot from observing their funny rituals.
You may prefer to study for a professional qualification if that’s what you value, or you work in the type of profession or industry that requires them and you are prepared to put in the time as well as the money.
Have you found your life’s work? Check out how the work that you do matches up to this list.