How to create a career

One of the most important career lessons I’ve learned is to pursue a career and not a job. At first glance, you might think, “What’s the difference?” I also didn’t get it for years.

That’s how I finally ended up in an IT job that I wasn’t passionate about. At one point, I was reflecting on my career and life by writing in my journal and thought, “How on earth did I end up in this job?”I didn’t have a good answer. All I knew was that I felt stuck and lacked any future perspective. If you have ever been in that position, or are in it right now, you know that it’s depressing.

 

How Conscious Are Your Decisions?

If you would ask me “how did you end up in your current job?” four years ago, I would tell you this: “It just happened.” It’s a common answer to that question.

Looking back, I realized that I never made conscious decisions about my career until that point.

We all believe we’re Independent and that we make our own decisions. But that idea about ourselves is false. The truth is that we chase things like money, status, job titles, promotions, corner offices, respect from our peers, you name it. All external factors.

We must stop putting our careers in other people’s hands. We must take control by making conscious decisions.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, one of the most conscious thinkers of all time, said it best:

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

how did i get here

What Career Do You Want?

Most of us don’t know what we want. I also didn’t know exactly what I wanted for many years. At least, that’s what I told myself. Deep down, I knew damned well what I wanted to do. It’s what I’m doing right now: writing, teaching, and speaking.

Until four years ago, I was simply too afraid to pursue this career because of one thing: creating a career is hard.

I believe that we all have something we love to pursue. Whether or not that’s something we actually end up doing for the rest of our lives doesn’t matter.

What matters is that we consciously decide to pursue a particular career. And that we don’t pick a job because we need the money. Or because our parents want to.

Just like Emerson said, you decide who you become. After successfully creating my own career, I’ve identified 5 steps that can help you to get started.

1. Analyze yourself

I’ve never met a successful person who did not build a career on their strengths. It simply does not exist. No one can perform well by doing something they are bad at.

Sure, you can improve your weaknesses. But it’s not an effective strategy. Like Peter Drucker says in Managing Oneself:

“It takes far more energy and work to improve from incompetence to mediocrity than it takes to improve from first-rate performance to excellence.”

So figure out how you perform. Identify your strengths. Then, go to the next step.

2. Identify an industry that fits your strengths

This is a tough one. On one side, I believe that we should pursue a career we are passionate about. But on the other side, I think we should NOT do something we’re bad at.

So what should you do if you love something but suck at it? My opinion is to not pursue a career in that field. Treat it like a hobby instead. A lot of people love to make music, but they are not good enough to earn a living. But does that mean you should stop making music? Hell no! Go and jam with your friends—in your spare time.

The bottom line is this: Only pursue a career that fits your strengths. I know this is somewhat of a limited view. Some people even call it pessimistic. But I see it as realism.

We all have bills to pay and people to take care of. We can only do that by making a living. But that doesn’t mean we should do work we hate. There is always an industry that you love and that fits your strengths.

And you know what? Like Cal Newport argues in So Good They Can’t Ignore You; eventually, you will love the work you’re good at.

3. Improve your universal skills

Just being good at your job doesn’t cut it. To truly make an impact in the workplace, you need what I call “universal skills.”

Skills like writing, leadership, personal effectiveness, and persuasion are helpful to all professionals. Whether you are a coder or carpenter, you want to provide value to others. To keep doing that, you need those universal skills.

The earlier you start improving your universal skills, the more likely it is that you will be ready when you get an opportunity.

Comments
P - Aug 26, 2021, 5:36 PM - Add Reply

Very good app

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Neeraj - Aug 26, 2021, 8:44 PM - Add Reply

awsm

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Rose - Aug 26, 2021, 10:22 PM - Add Reply

Great

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Ahesanali - Aug 27, 2021, 11:23 AM - Add Reply

Very good app

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Ahesanali - Aug 27, 2021, 11:23 AM - Add Reply

Very good app

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