Career – What Makes Us Tick?

Career Aspiration – Compensating For Weakness or Search For Meaning?

Let’s examine these two philosophical and psychological views to understand what and how our career and life are shaped. Let’s me start by quoting Alfred Adler’s thought provoking philosophical work in “Understanding of Human Nature” where he states: “What we think we lack determines what we will become in life”. Adler’s famous work on how every child develops in ways that allows them to compensating for weakness – “A thousand talents and capabilities arise from our feelings of inadequacies”.

“What we think we lack determines what we will become in life”.

The other equally provocative view is from Viktor Frankl’s most famous work “Man’s Search For Meaning”. He was a neurologist who had the opportunity to avoid Concentration Camp, was offered a visa to live in America but chose stay with his parents, knowing fully well the fate in store for them. Frankl wrote “Each person comes into life with a unique set of potential meaning to fulfill. It is up to us to grasp this meaning and accept it, or try to avoid it. There is no ultimate ‘meaning of life’, only individual meaning of life of the lives of individual people. It’s the meaning of our own life, our own set of issues and challenges”. 

“Each person comes into life with a unique set of potential meaning to fulfill. It is up to us to grasp this meaning and accept it, or try to avoid it”.

My Career, My Responsibility: We live in a rapidly changing world, technology is changing faster than our ability to adapt to it. However most organizations are struggling to improve their performance and meet growth objectives. This pressure is increasing daily, forcing leaders to reassess their team’s capabilities. Technology has been in focus for helping them improve efficiencies by automating processes usually undertaken by their teams. Most leaders are enthusiastic about digitalization and have made significant investments in this area. Most leaders put premium on technology over human capital. This raises doubts about the future of work and the workplace.  

Great organizations have a strong belief in the simple fact – “People produce results”. With the right people, engaged in the right way, organizations can create a powerful competitive advantage that can’t be replicated by others.

The philosophy of successful career development ensures joint responsibility:

  • The organization’s responsibilities:
    • All associates are valuable, as all associates can contribute to the success of an organization in different but meaningful ways. Each employee is entitled to the opportunity to develop themselves and their career. This may differ on an individual basis, which means business requirements and therefore talent requirements will continue to change over time
  • What are your responsibilities:
    • You are accountable for your own career and need to take joint responsibility with the organization for your development

Here are few questions that may help you prioritize your developmental needs and career advancement:

  • What strengths or skills would you like to use more in your current job?
  • What (if any) personal values or priorities would you like to fulfill in your job?
  • What activities in your job do you find most rewarding or enjoy doing?
  • What activities in your job do you find least rewarding?
  • What competencies or skills would you like to improve?
  • Given the changes/challenges that are taking place in the organization, where do you see development opportunities?
  • What career goals are you considering in the present?
  • What (if any) constraints are there to achieve these career goals?
  • What strengths or skills do you currently have that you believe will help you achieve your career goals?
  • What new competencies, skills, or knowledge are needed to fulfill your career goals?

Great organizations aim to create an environment where everyone is enabled to maximize their contribution whilst enjoying significant career development opportunities and personal growth.

Finally, I quote Clayton Christensen’s book “How You Will Measure Your Life” where it reads “It’s impossible to have a meaningful conversation about happiness without understanding what makes each of us tick. When we find ourselves stuck in unhappy careers and even unhappy lives, it is often the result of a fundamental misunderstanding of what really motivates us”.

“It’s impossible to have a meaningful conversation about happiness without understanding what makes each of us tick”.

 

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About Deep Bhandari

Deep Bhandari is a pharma veteran and an Editorial Board Member at MedicinMan
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