Career Tips

A Career Is Not A Spectator Sport

By Lance Hazzard

Only about one-third (34%) of employees are actively engaged, involved and committed to their work, according to a 2018 Gallup report.

Many reasons exist for low engagement at work, ranging from how your manager treats you, the security of your employer, your position, the opportunities you have to learn and grow, if you feel you’re paid appropriately, etc.

Perhaps another major factor for not being involved, committed, and engaged with your work is the perspective you take. From your point of view, do you want a job or a career?

Viewing your work as a job may be right for anyone now and throughout their working life. Many people are successfully employed in jobs where they don’t want or seek more involvement at work. Jobs, after all, pay the bills, provide benefits and fulfill other needs while allowing employees to enjoy what’s important to them without being so tied into an enterprise.

Careers, however, take on more mindshare, commitment and involvement than jobs. Careers require intentionality, focus and planning for the long term.

Based on my experience as an HR leader and as an executive coach, career-oriented people tend to:

  • Define the career they want and seek education, training and development to allow them to advance and achieve their goals
  • Volunteer to take on new assignments, projects or leadership opportunities
  • Understand they need breadth and depth in their chosen field, and seek opportunities to gain different experiences that will benefit their career objectives
  • Be open to feedback and seek out mentors or utilize the services of career or executive coaches to gain additional perspectives on career growth
  • Apply innovation gained from learning and development or previous experiential opportunities in various positions throughout their career
  • Bring more ownership, pride and passion into their chosen field of work
  • Enjoy more fulfillment from work

Careers are a journey, not a snapshot in time. Most will experience high and low points on their career journey. Many will change careers, not just positions, as they develop throughout their working lives.

From my observations, career change is most successful when it is done with intentionality, matches with your values, enables you to work in your areas of strength, and is aligned with your life purpose.

“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion” – Simon Sinek

The average employee today will spend 40 or more years in the work world. Work takes more of our time than any other aspect of our lives, yet almost two-thirds of employees aren’t actively engaged, involved or committed.

The good news is that it is possible to return to an engaged and committed career stage where your values align with your work and you find passion and fulfillment. Like most challenges, it requires change, dedication and perseverance. It may also require seeking assistance from the right resources.

Executive or career coaches can help you assess career choices, specifically how they align with your values, strengths and purpose. Partnering with a coach during a career transition can propel you to achieve better results, help you feel like a difference maker and discover a more compelling future through your work.

How can coaching help you achieve the career you want?

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Lance Hazzard, CPCC, ACC, is a certified Intelligent Leadership Executive Coach helping people and organizations successfully achieve what’s next. He is Executive Coach and President at Oppnå® Executive & Achievement Coaching. Find out more about Lance and Oppnå® Coaching by clicking here.

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