We hear all the time that we shouldn’t be just looking for a job, that we instead should be looking for opportunities to build a career. It sounds great and successful but… What does it mean to build a career? How do we do it?
So many of us are going through an MBA program to make a career change or take our current career to the next level, but it is not always so clear what does that mean and how do we do it. I was recently reading The Wall Street Journal Book of CHIEF EXECUTIVE STYLE and stumbled upon a quote by Edwin Lupberger, former CEO of Middle South Utilities, that said: “It’s like you put on a suit of clothes and you can’t get out of it. The better analogy is you’ve put on a different skin.” He was referring to what it takes to be a CEO, the level of integrity and commitment that is needed.
"The actions that we repeatedly do will tell our story"
To me that line explains what it means to build a career. It means that we must have congruence in our thoughts, feelings and actions. And we can do that in several key steps:
- Identifying our “Why”, which will guide the way we feel about what we do and keep us committed when challenges arise.
- Stating and internalizing our top Values, which will lead our thought process to identify the environment that is in line with these so that we can be part of it and perform at our best.
- Building great Habits, so that every action that we take can speak consistently about who we are and what we stand for.
Consistency is key. The actions that we repeatedly do will tell our story, will say what our values are and what our passion is. The way you walk, the tone of your voice, how you dress, how you treat other people, all of these actions are sending a message. By being congruent with our actions people will get a clear picture of our personal brand.
It is not coincidence that this steps are aligned with what Dustin Peterson talks about is his book RESET: How to get paid and love what you do. He states that to build a Profile of Self (or Personal Brand) the three things you need to know are your Values, Talents and Ideal Environment. This will help you be clear about who you are and how to use that knowledge as a source of energy. If you are struggling with identifying or building a personal brand I recommend that you read Dustin’s book.
By taking this steps we will be able to identify where we currently are and the direction we have to take to start walking in the path of success.
Tag someone that you want to help by providing them with resources to identify their Personal Brand and Build a Career.
Alejandro I. Sanoja