Graduate. Get a well-paying job. Get a promotion. Lead a fulfilling life. This is everyone’s desire, but is this always the outcome?
Research shows that the majority of people who are already working are disengaged from their jobs while many others have stagnated in their careers.
According to Mbugua Mumbi, a corporate trainer and CEO of Rebranding Minds, many professionals are passionate when they start working, only to lose this zeal along the way.
From the moment you lose your enthusiasm, become detached and allow others to take charge of your growth, you start parting ways with your career progression, Mbugua says.
He discusses some of the deterrents of professional advancement and how to avoid these for a fulfilling career and life.
Have a destination: It is regrettable that many professionals embark on their career journey without a clear vision of where they want to get with their career.
If a pilot does not know the destination, it would not be possible to chart the flight path. You need a roadmap if you hope to make any significant strides in your career.
Knowing where you want your career to go makes it easier to work towards that goal. You are able to acquire the necessary ingredients for that goal, which may include going for further studies, training and mentorship.
Without a clear and inspiring purpose in your profession, there is minimal driving force for career advancement.
You are accountable for your growth: You must realise that as a professional, your career progression is your accountability. Your employer, if employed, is not responsible for your growth.
After all, they have provided you with the opportunity and infrastructure to demonstrate your worth. Even as you contribute your unique values and expertise to the company, focus on developing your personal brand.
Always view yourself as a consultant. Be as aggressive as you would be if you were working for your own brand.
Be patient: A major grievance in the job market today is that many young people are impatient in their careers. Millennial professionals find it hard to delay immediate gratification for long-term success.
You cannot incubate an egg and expect it to hatch in 15 days. While it is okay to shift from one job to another, being on the go all the time costs you opportunities that could spur your growth. Remember that a rolling stone gathers no moss.
Have a plan: You must have a strategic plan of what you hope to achieve within definite timelines. If need be, interrogate why your set goals were unachievable and then make the necessary adjustments and give it another go. Moving on after failing to attain your set targets is not the solution.
Check your attitude: Unknown to most professionals, the primary determinant of your success and happiness is your attitude. Employee disengagement is the number one challenge facing organisations globally.
The mentality that “I am working for them” is a destructive philosophy for a professional who desires growth. Your employment needs are the reason you are working in that company.
When you are disconnected, you are not only blocking your growth, but are a liability to your employer as well. A massive shift of the mind is necessary to achieve professional gratification.
Focus on earning life rather than monetary reward. Seek to offer solutions to humanity. Move from job compliance to serving with commitment.
Start regarding your workplace as a school that provides knowledge, skills and experience as the path to your desired life.
Love your job: A 2017 Gallup Poll survey showed that a staggering 85 percent of people, including professionals, hate their jobs. They go to work not because they are excited about their jobs, but because they have to.
This lot views the employer as bloodsucking and thankless. It is not possible to flourish in an environment that you detest. You must love what you do to progress.
Research has also repeatedly shown that passionate employees with a positive mindset and self-drive are less-stressed, happier, more productive and relate well with their colleagues.
If you dislike your job, you will complain about it incessantly and occasionally fight with your workmates and bosses. Low productivity, career stagnation and a miserable life will soon follow. This way, you will be like a frail and loosely-rooted plant that yields little and eventually withers away.
Having the feeling of ‘things can’t change much here’ leads to loss of hunger for performance, your sense of belonging wanes and eventually, your performance plunges.
Re-evaluate your progress: If you have stayed on the same job or level for too long and are constantly struggling with burnout, it is time to re-evaluate your progress to save your career from collapse.
Nurture emotional intelligence: To advance your career, strive to acquire emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is a vital success skill in the 21st century where most workplaces are struggling with digital distractions, which are a threat to productivity. Emotional intelligence is essential in self leadership, relationship building and productivity.
Adapt fast: Unlike in the past two decades, the world today is fast-paced, and requires you to be equally fast in continuously learning, unlearning and relearning as you pursue your aspirations.
Enhance your value: Enhancing value is a key factor in your professional growth. Let your career not be just about yourself. Light up other people’s lives as well.
Once you understand that your calling is service to mankind and that true passion comes from a conscious and deliberate effort to enhance and transform lives, then you go beyond money as a reward. You are also inclined to take on any professional hurdles in your quest for growth.