November 15, 2009

Become a Career Activist

Posted in Career Guidance tagged at 5:08 am by Imran M. Ismail

Following are the four key principles discussed by Barbara Moses in her book Career Intelligence, to become a career activist.

In a chapter Become a Career Activist she highlighted that in order to become a career intelligent you need to be a career activist. She define career activist as one who define him or herself independently from their organization, and taking charge of their own career choices. Any individual can make these choices if he or she knows who they are and what their strengths, interests and values are.

Four key principles of career management for becoming a career smart.

1. Be a career activist

“To be a career activist means to design your own future”. She give an example that we give enough attention to our health, finances and children but we give the least amount of attention to the area of our life which affect us most- our career. Therefore we need to bring a focus to this important area by becoming a career activist and defining our career in terms of who we are independent of our organization, job title, or what other people think of us.

Remember that the key for future career success is YOU, it is you who is responsible for your career success.

2. Know yourself

“To make informed choices it’s crucial to know yourself”. The key is to know your strengths, weakness, interest and values”. The process of knowing begins when we ask our self ordinary questions that could produce extra ordinary results such as who we are, what we want, where we want to go, what we want to do, what we are good at, what we value most and what we care about. Beside that you also need to define your personal ‘work ID’ based on your skills, attributes, interests, values and personal preferences. Remember self-knowledge bring focus to our career and enrich opportunities.

3. Know what you love

“To know what is important to you, you have to know what you love. Knowing what you love doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to find work that matches your passion, but it is a good first step”. Knowledge about yourself, your priorities and values is crucial to your career satisfaction. If you lost track of time in your work, it mean you love what you do “Work is one of the best ways people can express themselves”, writes Mihaly Csikszentimihalyi in his book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. “But it won’t happen without your participation. You have to ask yourself what you want out of life and find a job that is at least in part expressive of your own best abilities”.

4. Be who you are

“Don’t try to be something you are not”. Be who you are – your authentic self. “The market always determined what is desired, fashionable, valued and profitable”. We make a mistake by submitting to those market perceptions. “People turn themselves inside out to fit into positions that are fundamentally awful match with their skills, interests and values because they are terrified of being without a job”. Therefore we need to step back, reflect this and refuse to worship these market gods. “We each bring to the table a unique set of skills and attributes, which meaningfully describe who we are and how we can add value. We need to play through our strengths”.

Remember, you have a future and you have to create it. In short become a career activist means know yourself, develop a personal identity, do what you love and be who you are – a competent and effective human being. “Becoming an activist is not a luxury, it’s the key to your future career success.”


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