Do You Have A Career Strategy?

What's the secret to a Successful, Rewarding, and Fulfilling career? Ask ten professionals, and you'll likely get ten different answers.

Some of you will say, “Follow your passions; then work won’t feel like work!”

Okay, not a bad start…

Others will chime in, “Get that next promotion; more money means fewer worries!”

That's probably true for many…

And still more of you will give us something like, “It’s not what you know; it's who you know Always be networking so the right opportunities find you!”

Again, great advice, but not a complete picture...

Erik and I have been chasing this question together for over a decade.

Why do some people love their careers while others are apathetic, or even downright miserable?

And it's not just happiness and fulfillment we're going for... we're trying to discover why some people are more successful in their careers, too.

What is professional success?

This, of course, also means different things to different people.

To some, Success means more money. (Interestingly, there's not a number. Almost universally, it's just “more” than what they make today. Some have a specific number, but it's either arbitrary or temporary, until they're making that amount, and then it reverts back to the amorphous “more”).

To others, Success means a company or a title that they can be proud of. They want to feel that they're part of something meaningful, or attain the extrinsic value that comes with a ‘Manager’ or 'Director’ title.

Others, still, will see Success as the mindset shift that comes with an in-tune work/life balance. Once they've achieved a successful career, they'll have more time with family and friends, or less work-related anxiety and stress. Until then, they’re chasing it.

Over the years, we’ve talked to a lot of professionals about these ideas. And it’s true, not everyone cares about climbing the career mountain. Some prefer to just have work be ‘Work,’ moving in and out of jobs and employers as they appear.

But, Erik & I would argue that having a Successful, Fulfilling, and Rewarding career should be most people’s goal because it ultimately leads to greater happiness in your relationships, in your health, and in your life. You know, self actualization and all that…

Now, if this does sound interesting - having a Successful, Rewarding, and Fulfilling career - then you need to know the secret.

The secret is…

You can’t leave your career to chance. You can’t let the universe decide your path. You have to take control of it.

You need a career strategy.

But what’s a Career Strategy? How would one even begin?

What an excellent question…

Through hundreds of discussions we’ve had with professionals about this topic, we’ve been able to boil down the Career Strategy into three key concepts, or ‘pillars.’

The first is the Career Factors - what’s most important to you about your career, and why?

The second is the Career Profile - how does your career look today, inside and out?

And the third is the Career Path - when will you make jumps from one track to another?

Once you go through each exercise, you’ll have your Career Strategy - a tangible, referenceable map that charts your course to SuRF.

Ah, how empowering! Rather than just being able to see one step ahead, you’re now able to visualize the entire chessboard, and make decisions based on long-term career objectives.

If you’re ready to build your Career Strategy, get started by reading more about the first step: The 6 Career Factors.

And if you’d like guidance along the journey, beyond building your Career Strategy, explore our Career Mentor options for Students, Associates, Managers, Executives, and Teams.