The Journey to your Career Aspirations is Equally as Important as Achieving your Ultimate Career Goal

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” — Confucius

For many people, career means employment.  It means the various jobs they may hold during their lifetime. However, these definitions do not fully capture the meaning of career.

In a broader more life-encompassing way a career can be defined as the sum total of decisions that direct an individual’s educational, social, economic, political, and spiritual endeavours and reflect their unique personality characteristics and basic life values.  

The idea of a career for many people means moving up a ladder. Each job they do enables them to gain further skills and experience, which in turn also enables them to go for promotions in the same organisation or better jobs elsewhere.

However, not everyone wants to climb the company ladder – and why should they? It may be that this is not their objective in life, and they get job satisfaction from other things, such as helping people or being creative.

So, a career should not just be about ladder-climbing, it should be about finding out what’s your passion is, what you are good at and making sure you excel in that area.

“Work to become, not to acquire”Elbert Hubbard

The workplace in the 21st century has become very competitive and a less kind place than it used to be. In some instances, old-fashioned values such as honesty, hard work, and dependability are no longer widely valued as they once were.  

For some, the pursuit of the highest possible earnings is the sole criteria for success. We can see this in TV programmes such as “The Apprentice” where winners and losers are judged each week solely based on which team produces the most profit for the company.

Traditional values of loyalty, compassion and a generous spirit go out of the window replaced by aggressiveness and backstabbing in order to win the grand prize!

A career goal should not be about acquiring temporary pleasures of wealth and status focusing on self – those are just by-products – it should be about having a deep, meaningful and lasting joy in the work we do.

For some of us, a career might last for our entire life, so be careful about your career choices.

It should be about the path you take in order to fulfil your professional goals and ambitions. You may require a certain level of education or training to achieve these goals but it’s also about the benefits you gain on the journey beyond money, such as personal pride, work satisfaction and self-worth.

“I want to look back on my career and be proud of the work and be proud that I tried everything”.  – Jon Stewart

Everyone would like to have that long-term professional journey based on their passions.  Sadly, a large number of people never realised their career aspirations for a number of reasons, one of which is that necessity forces them to take whatever work they can get.  

They are grateful for the salary they receive at the end of the month even though the job does not give them any personal satisfaction or feeling of fulfilment. For these people it is just a job and not a career – a means of survival – a way of putting bread on the table and keeping a roof over their heads.

The journey to your career aspirations is equally as important as achieving your ultimate career goal.

“Because if the decisions you make about where you invest your blood, sweat, and tears are not consistent with the person you aspire to be, you’ll never become that person.”— Clayton Christensen

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