Having interviewed, employed, trained and mentored many people for over 20 years, I have seen a large number of careers, both professional and non-professional; evolve over time, with varying degrees of success or failure. Some have blossomed, others stagnated and stalled. Some I have witnessed even failed.
Over this period, it has become apparent to me, that in many instances the outcome of people’s careers is largely dependent on the individual’s acceptance of commitment.
So how do you assess the success of someone’s career? I believe it should be measured in relation to whether you reach your full potential. Hence, the first step to a successful career is identifying your potential and where you want to go i.e. Direction.
For people without a mindset of commitment, the question of direction remains unanswered, and in many instances can be seen as a positive. “If I don’t commit, I’m leaving my options open”. While options may be seen as a benefit, my advice would be to the contrary. While you’re wanting to leave options open, you are not committing 100% in a clear and specific direction i.e. you don’t have a true career path.
While you’re wanting to leave options open, you are not committing 100% in a clear and specific direction.
During my career, I’ve seen many examples within the engineering and construction industry, of people who have undoubtedly reached the peak of their profession and realised their full potential. In all instances, it has only occurred once they have settled into a role or organisation and committed 100% to their career path. The most successful of these people have identified the work environment they are in as being conducive to them achieving their goals, and based on this, decided to take that career path as a way forward. They have seen less value in leaving options open and more value in committing to a direction and path that will lead them towards reaching their full potential, or in other words, a successful career. The importance of this mindset is compounded when it becomes apparent that the earlier you make the commitment, the longer time you’re on the path, hence the further you may go.
The importance of this mindset is compounded when it becomes apparent that the earlier you make the commitment, the longer time you’re on the path, hence the further you may go.
So for those who are not yet on the path, my advice is simple:
Firstly, identify your future potential and ambitions. If you are unsure, seek the assistance of a mentor or advisor to help you assess your potential and to ensure your goals are not over-ambitious. If you are confident and sure, then go for it.
Secondly, assess whether you’re in the right work environment to achieve those goals.
Once you are in the correct environment, which includes the support of your work colleagues, commit fully to your chosen career path. Only then, within the right environment and with the mindset of commitment will you reach your full potential and have a successful career.