It is not that career planning does not work; it is us who set half hearted goals and do not make sincere effort to achieve those goals. Let me share a story here :
A boy was not growing in his career for quite sometime while his other colleagues were growing well. He went to a saint and asked him about the mantra of success. Saint told him politely to meet him early moring, next day. Though, this guy was late starter in the morning, however, desperately wanted to succeed, hence decided to get up early and reach at Saint place at 4:30 AM. It was really pleasant, cool and refreshing wind was blowing. It was time for Saint to take a bath. Saint asked this guy to come along and he started walking towards the bank of a nearby river and started moving to the depth. This person also followed and after some time when the water reached to the neck level, the saint took this fellow by surprise and pushed his head deep in water and did not leave him till his body turned blue. The man was startled and said to saint, what the hell you were doing? Saint asked gently, “When you were drowning –what was happening to your Body Soul and Mind and what you wanted the most? The person replied “It was “AIR”. That was the lesson which the Saint wanted to pass. Till your mind, Soul and Body works in the direction which you thrive for, you cannot be successful.
Most of us start with rigor in planning our career, but fail drastically as the planning is done in mind and with our day to day activities engrossing us, we actually lose focus. Majority of us even fail to document our career plan and competencies requried to succeed at each level.
It is imperative to understand that competencies required vary from one level to another. Hence what worked then would not be enough now and some of it would not even work at the next level. Hence the mantra is to identify what to Stop Doing and create bandwidth to add on competencies because if you keep doing what you did; you will keep getting what you got and there is a high probability that you will be stuck up to a level.
Strive for Excellence - We are more than happy to settle down with just appropriate. Trust me if you can develop excellence as a habit, you will be far more successful in your professional career.
Look for internal motivators - We always look for external motivation and are pushed to do our jobs. External motivators have a short term effect and the person falls back to his original self. If you are motivated within, irrespective of the situation you would not lose focus.
Develop critical thinking - Most of us are great doers and poor thinker. This is the irony of our education system in India; it does not help us in developing our thinking mode. I recall when one of my Colleagues’ was slogging during her VIth standard Son’s examinations wherein her complete focus was on the grade. This is true for her and most of us as we fail to understand that it is the life lessons which matter at the end of the day and early they are taught better it is. Let me ask, how many of you give even 15 minutes during the day to think as to how you can do the job better or increase productivity. How you can eliminate the non value added tasks? How you can plan your day? Most of us would not be able to justify productive hours vs actual hours put in for the day.
Critical thinking is hygiene for assured success in professional career. Without doing so you’ll never have your own opinion. Nothing is right or wrong in it; one should have a stand. Critical thinking helps us developing the niche “Thought leadership”.
Path for ordinary to make extra ordinary – It is just a difference of 5 letters for a journey from Ordinary to Extra ordinary. It takes a while to create the niche and the difference. Extra ordinary people do the same thing but they do them differently because their thinking cap is always on. Generally we avoid taking an extra effort for our own self development and keep stuck where we are.
Be open for discussions - We always tend to avoid sharing our thoughts with others though it has multi-fold advantages- it helps build your vocabulary, cross pollination, confidence and voluble expertise. You come to know about perspective of your peers, colleagues and are in a better position to analyze two different opinions and choose the best.
Introspection & reflection is the key - “Atma chintan” on regular intervals is a must. Periodicity is the key. Generally we avoid doing so, unless we take a stock of progress on career planning front. It gives you a clear cut idea as to where are you positioned and what is the road map?
While you aspire, be ready to perspire - If you want to be part of cream la cream you need to have your 10% of inspiration followed by 90% of perspiration to get there. We all know very few professionals become leaders and rest follow them. Choice is yours -you want to be part of successful leaders or you want to be bracketed in follower’s category.
Nothing comes easy in professional life, it is imperative that we never lose the momentum. Smell of pungent sweat always gives a satisfying feeling. While unhindered focus is the key, LUCK is also important which I term as Labor Under Correct Knowledge. If you have a Coach, who can help you shape up and can direct you towards your LUCK, path for success will be become clearer and easier.