Archive for the ‘personal growth’ tag
As usual, my view of success is not just about material acquisition or being in positions of influence, its about achieving what you set as a goal. The concept of clarity is very important in this process as it means that you identify your own niche so to speak in what you want out of life. In fact people can be successful in some ways without actually achieving clarity. This means they go around with this unfulfilled feeling in their lives.
Here is a great discussion on the topic from Success.com – The importance of Clarity.
Once you get clarity sorted out then you need to focus and execute to achieve that goal of yours. That three prong attack is really a winner if applied for your personal success.
Just want to share a few ideas earlier this week on how you can grow yourself going forward
1. Choice – Everything you do is a choice, not an “Have to”. Lets look at the job situation with most people not being happy. They have chosen to perform that job, they do not have to do it. Now we could argue that they would not choose to do the actual job they are in now but they may have chosen it because they need to provide a living for their family. This means you have different values that drives your choices in life. That does not mean they should not explore finding a job that they actually want to chose for professional satisfaction.
If someone insults you, it does not mean you have to respond with revenge or vindictiveness, you can chose to be calm and point out where they could have done things better.
Whatever case you are in now, just do your best at it. Don’t use a mismatch situation to sabotage the job. Always examine what choice you can make.
In the end, you “chose to” do things not “have to”, that is the plain truth and an important way to look at your daily life.
2. Personal Growth – If you look at inventions and major breakthroughs in life, you will see that the people who caused them may not have been the best in their field or even close. Take a look at the wright brothers, they were not even trained engineers by the standard at the time. What made them create an industry? They saw a possibility that they could make happen. They did not know how to do it but they keep trying and refining their craft.
This is how you will grow in life. You have to decide on a vision and work hard to make it happen. Lets hope that vision is for the good of others as well.
Hope these are helpful
It just came to me that some times we can misplace self-confidence as in our potential versus confidence in our applied knowledge of a specific field. To give an extreme example, an Engineer can feel very good about him or her being a very good Medical Doctor. That is fine actually as you can do something that you feel motivated about once you get the training. However, for that Engineer to feel confident about actually being a Doctor, they would need the training and experience to get to that point.
What I am trying to say is that career confidence means you have prepared yourself with the competency required of this field that you are into. The first step is to always find out what is required to get that confidence then accomplish through various means such as school, work and whatever ways available. Outside of that people are being arrogant if they don’t take the time to stock up on the latest and most relevant knowledge in the field.
In closing, I think one of the best means to acquire knowledge is through books. Yes, you can read a lot of books and know nothing but if you chart a course to where you want to go and read the relevant books to fill the gap, the experience would be amazing.
Well, work on building your confidence through hard work and smart learning.
The last post even though I think very good was a little too general from what I had in mind to write, so let me try to be a little more specific in this one.
The general mid-career professional could be in different fields but mostly find themselves in technical areas. This could be accountant, engineer, nurse or whatever similar titles. At this point you are thinking of whether you should move into corporate management or become the main technical guru in the company.
In each company there are limits in terms of either management or very senior technical positions. While you can have tons of top performers they cannot all become VPs or Architects, so you have to bear that in mind. There is always an option to move on to other companies with openings.
Now what if you feel stuck? Before you start focusing on getting your resume out there, go back again to that whole thing about goals. Get that clarified first as you may just end up in a circle between jobs.
What options do you have to move forward? discuss this with your manager in terms of what the company has to offer relative to your goals. Sometimes people get afraid to discuss with their managers as they feel that if the goal is too far off what they have it may back fire on them. Another option is to seek out a mentor and get some ideas from them.
Look into joining professional bodies in your field. This gives you opportunities to network as well as they have information on options in your field. Attend the local meetings and participate in whatever way you can.
Based on the option you selected going forward which could be very technical or management, you should look at some formal training or certification to build your case. For example in Management an MBA would be seen as a serious commitment. If you do not want an MBA then you could look at the Certified Manager or PMP certifications as one means. There are several accredited MBA programs below $10,000.00 with reasonable quality.
In terms of technical growth, it all depends on your current background. If you already have a Masters, you may just need to start looking at ways to get more responsible experience on projects. Create your own project such as writing white papers or try to publish in technical journals. These will give you a better feel and confidence to step up to the challenges out there.
If you don’t have a masters, you could look at taking one locally or by distance learning. As a mid career professional this gives you an advantage as you can pick the courses that will really serve you long term. Again, Certifications are all over the place so pick the most respected one in your field as well.
What I have found is that ability is not the issue in most cases. The biggest issue for people is to have that goal to focus on then to have confidence in achieving it. I really think a good mentor is one take away from this post that will help you get some sanity in your path forward in your career.
Hope you like it. Please share.
Found this great motivational video on how you could easily become an expert by sparing one hour per day. Check it out – One hour a Day. This means with this approach you would become an expert in 5 years maximum
Well, hope that helps to get you started.
This could have been titled, changing your profession without a pay cut which means be ready to hit the ground running. I am no expert on this topic but I can give some pointers from experience and observations of best practices. This whole issue of career transitioning could be very important for lots of people at this point in time due to the economic situation that we are in.
The first step about transitioning is the whole issue of passion for what you have in mind. Now, people may pursue a new career because it pays well but that may not mean its their passion and that can be a long term time bomb. The focus of my post will be mostly on mechanics. There are many books and guides on issue of discussing passion and strengths.
There are three basic areas that I would recommend for career transition at the moment. They are Mentoring, Reading and Research. I will use the field of computer engineering for examples but it can be applied to both related fields or any other profession.
Before I get into the mechanics of the three areas, its important to look at what you want in terms of the targeted position or profession. My simple advice is to go on the most recognized job sites and take a few job description and try to understand what are the basic skill requirements. Then you can use this as a guide for your plan.
This is a big one for either just starting out or transitioning in general. I am not talking about overly formalized mentoring arrangements but mostly on someone who is mature in the field and also with good hands on experience as well. You can pay someone to help with this at least to give you some pointers in the right direction but I do think its best to get someone is almost like a friend to interact and get feedback on steps along the way. This means you will need to buy coffee, dinner and lunch quiet often.
I chose the term reading as oppose to take a direct class purposefully. Classes are good especially if the transition is very radical but I do think reading the right materials can be good for someone with five or more years of experience.
There is reading of basic text books but I would say try to find the most recognized book in the field with real focused approach to solving problems and getting things done. White papers and some blogs are also good reading materials as well.
This could seem like an overlap with reading but lets assume it means practice. The word research here is to do with applying the knowledge and would mean when you read and have some knowledge put it to the test. This means to experiment and correct things as you go along. In the field of software engineering for example, one big boost is the presence of open source code for practically any field. With this in mind, setup a simple lab environment at home and focus on implementing one good challenging project.
Overall, I would say with good discipline you could be ready in six months to get positions based on your studies and guidance, the mentoring could pay a good role in getting this done really fast. You can also test your theoretical knowledge with many online resources out there such as brainbench.com and many others.
How do you advertise your new knowledge? one thing in mind, is to take on a project and complete it and add to your resume, of course you could mention the relevant keywords related to your profession. Some professions will do better with Certification or an advanced degree. An example are project management with the PMP or Business consulting with an MBA. I do think in most cases with good background experience, whats more important is your passion, mastery of the subject and ability to demonstrate your competence. The one thing I like and would recommend strongly is to start a blog on the subject and discuss your opinion on issues in the field.
Bonus Tip: If you have had patchy employment in the last few years or out of a job for awhile, I would recommend to register a business name and mention your professional research work as an employee of this business – For example if you did some relevant short term consulting, develop software, generate white papers etc. Add it to your Resume to cover the gaps.
Here is one great book to check out on the subject – Harvey Mackay
This inspiration for this blog post came out of seeing so many good talent getting stifled at the mid-senior technical levels and such bad experience with poor management.
What I can say for myself, is that I have been very attracted to technology to the point where I have made lateral moves in my career which leaves my at level thats less than what my experience could justify. Today, I will use the framework SFIA (Skills For the Information Age) guidelines on general levels of responsibilities in any organization to explain my points.
In SFIA, you have 7 basic levels and each level has its own attribute. For example each would have: Autonomy, Influence, Complexity and Business skills for that level.
The general levels are as follows:
5. Ensure, Advise
6. Initiate, Influence
7. Set Strategy, Envision
Notice this approach is not about specific knowledge at each level, even thought that is a critical part of the overall competency framework. It does focus on how the knowledge is applied in each case regardless of your job family whether its software development or pure project management.
In respect to accelerating your career to the next level . Here is the challenge, you may very well, have great skills for level 7 but maybe stuck at level 4-5 in your career. how do you break the deadlock?
Here are some general ideas you could explore.
1. Research the level you are after and gain as much knowledge as you can.
2. Confront your Manager to set clear deliverables and rewards to match your effort going forward. Asking for tasks that would allow you to demonstrate certain skills. Ask for feedback.
3. Find people at the level desired and develop relationship with them in order to learn how they go about work. This could turn into a full time mentor.
4. If your current job does not have any good prospects, start looking for another company or department.
On the personal skill side there many things you can do help your credibility on the relevant subject. Some of those I have are.
1. Start a blog to provide your opinion on the relevant topic. Link this your social networking profiles such as linkedin.com, facebook.com and many others. Also visit other blog in that market and comment on relevant postings.
2. Look for respectable training and/or certification in the relevant field. Some fields may not have certification per se, but a post-graduate course in the area could help.
3. Get proactive and talk to people on the topic in forums (online or in person). Maybe you could setup a mastermind group around the topic with like minded individuals.
4. Join online groups on the topic, then read and provide comments as appropriate on topics that is of interest to you. This is also a great way to publicize your blog or website.
In summary, the whole idea of this post is to first find out what you want, second develop a plan to get it and third, execute on that plan. There are lots of ways to acquire knowledge for free nowadays, but I think what you always need is guidance. In closing, the best way ever is to have a mentor in the specific area of interest.
Now, a word of caution is that some mentors will teach you short cut ways that can be good in some ways, but what you want is to really contribute value not just have a position. There are lots of people in high level positions whom do not have the qualities we discussed earlier, however wearing your moral hat, you will succeed long term even if it takes longer to get what you really wanted.
Again, not to lose this point, get a mentor or advisor.
This will be a short blog post but had to mention since I ran into this great article on one of those high flying guys that have fallen. He made the right choice and humbled himself and I am sure it will be a change for the better for him.
Humility can go with confidence actually, it does not mean you have to be cocky to be confident either. Most times it means understanding any given situation, get the facts and present your honest opinion. How many times you deal with people that presents an opinion that’s wrong which they know but will not back down? This is where humility comes in.
Here is the article again – Enjoy