Thursday, June 01, 2006

June is here....finally *phew...

It's been 5 months since my first internship started. It is fun but it is getting boring hehe.
And makes me realize...Man, I am so not into office job. I need to get out and meet people, I need to travel and HAVE FUN. Anyone can hire me with such JD? But I guess, you may want such jobs too.

And it's time to reflect and look at the future...what will I be? What I would like to be?
Thanks gosh I received this email from Jovin, a great @er who is now moderating the HR World Congress held in Singapore.

"Work has changed.
Employment has changed.
Careers have changed.
It's time you changed, too."

To our parents, careers were represented by a ladder: a set of horizontal bars of wood or metal fixed between two uprights. Today, the old career ladder looks increasingly like a cage. A career is no longer a long hard slog through the ranks of a single organisation. It is a series of career adventures: a journey of self-exploration.

Consider this: the average person has been with their current employer for just 3.5 years. Between the ages of 18 and 32, the average US worker has 8.6 different jobs. 40% of people would change their career immediately given the chance. These statistics confirm that we are all career adventurers now. We carry our own maps and blaze our own trails. In the new career landscape, there are 5 rules of engagement:
1. A career is not a job
2. Do what you are good at
3. Don't follow footprints
4. It's never too late
5. Carry your own kit

1. A career is not a job
A career is more than a job. It is an increasingly transient phenomenon. Most of us will do several different jobs during our lifetime. Some of us will do many jobs, in the same or different fields. A career is a collective experience of a working life. A job is a part, a career is the sum of the parts.

“A job is where you look at the clock, leave promptly at 5, and report to other people,”says one career adventurer. “A career is where you fully own your responsibilities. Even though you have other people that you answer, you are clearly responsible for the results that you produce in your own niche in the organization. I never went after a job; I always went after a career.”

2. Do what you are good at
The adventure begins inside your head, with some simple questions. Three in fact: who am I? What am I good at? And what do I really want to do with my life?

This may seem an obvious starting point. So obvious that that may be tempted to miss it out altogether. But that would be a mistake. Many people- the vast majority- never really confront these issues. The world is full of CEOs who harbour secret ambitions to be soccer players; hairdressers who want to be brain surgeons; and accountants who yearn to be pilots; ballerinas, lumberjacks or something other than what they are.That does not mean that they are unhappy with the way things turned out, or that they are in the wrong careers. What it probably means is that they didn’t explore the possibilities fully, or that they limited their own career horizons.

Know thyself and you will experience adventure. Ask Charles Handy, a former oil executive turned academic. Handy is now enjoying a glorious 3rd career as a populist social philosopher.It took handy many years to figure out what he really wanted to do. He worked for the oil company Shell Int’l until 1972 when he left to teach at London business school. He wrote a number of best-selling books on work and society. He coined the phrase portfolio career.

He observes: “I spent the early part of my life trying hard to be someone else. As school, I wanted to be a great athlete, at university an admired socialite, afterwards a businessman and, later, the head of a great institution. It did not take me long to discover that I was not destined to be successful in any of these guises, but that did not prevent me from trying, and being perpetually disappointed with myself. The problem was that in trying to be someone else, I neglected to concentrate on the person I could be. That idea was too frightening to contemplate at the time. I was happier going along with the conventions of the time, measuring success in terms of money and position, climbing ladders which others placed in my way, collecting things and contacts rather that giving expression to my own beliefs and personality.”Handy sums up the way many people felt.

Even those with successful careers can feel ill at ease with themselves. Deep down, they know that their professional persona is at odds with who they really are. Handy had the courage-and the talents- to do something about it. You can, too.

3. Don’t follow footprints.
Why don’t more people pursue their own career ambitions? There are 3 main reasons .
1st, most people don’t actually know what they want to do. Like handy, they either take the path that is laid before them, or follow the received wisdom of those around them.

2nd, those who do have an inkling of their true vocation don’t know how to go about making it a reality. They don’t know the work required to put it to the test. They may make a token effort in their youth, but they don’t apply any serious discipline to matching their aspirations with their talents. So although they may continue to harbour some lingering aspiration, most people settle for something else. It’s all part of growing up, they reason, or there’s no future in it. Both points may be valid, but you owe it to yourself to consider all the possibilities.

This is linked to the 3rd reason: fear of failure. Many people don’t pursue their true career aspiration in case they fail. Rather than chase their dream, they settle for something that seems more attainable. Subconsciously, they apply a perverse logic. It is better to fail at something that isn’t really what I want, they reason, that to fail at something that I really care about. This, of course, is nonsense. But, if they are really honest with themselves, a lot of people apply this sort of odd logic to their careers.Honesty can be incredibly liberating. It is a necessary 1st step to a truly great career adventure. If you are really candid with yourself about what you hope to achieve, then you can start to make it happen. You can begin to assemble the necessary tools and skills to make your journey. Some people may think, ah yes, but I’ve left it too late. But they are in the wrong.

4. It’s never too late.
For a career adventurer, there is no such thing as too late. History is littered with the stories of individuals who had an “eureka” moment that enabled them to change the career path they were on and to achieve their true ambition. A career adventurer may change direction many times.

Ray kroc was a late starter. He was heading for a comfortable retirement after a successful, if not earth-shattering career as a milkshake mixer salesman. That all changed when he walked into a small hamburger restaurant in san Bernardino, California, owned by the macdonald’s brothers. His visit, in 1954, was the catalyst for a global food revolution. Kroc’s vision extended a lot further than in san Bernardino. In 1963, the company had notched up to 1 billion burgers, and opened restaurant number 500. The company went public in 1965. by the 1970s, kroc had turned a $2.1m investment into a $500m fortune. By the time of his death in 1984, the MacDonald’s golden arches were recognized the world over as a symbol for convenient and cheap fast food.

5. Carry your own kit.
If you’ve ever envied someone who seems to have it all-the dream career, work-life balance, personal fulfillment- remember they actually did it. They made it happen.You can too. But no one is going to do it for you. It’s up to you.

Man..this is good. So, where are you heading towards? What are you up to?

Posted by Ddee at 10:47 AM

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