“It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.”
This is one of W. Edwards Deming’s iconic tips of wisdom, one that has been quoted in a variety of domains, to advocate the need for change.
However, looking at the business landscape nowadays, what does it really mean to change, as far as one’s career is concerned? And how does survival connect, from a professional standpoint, with change?
Say you’ve been working for some years in a knowledge-based profession, as is the case with many of us reading and posting on social media networks, isn’t it? Of course there are pros and cons you could list for your current commitments - job, projects or some other kind of work-related activities.
But what about your overall career? How would you describe it, in terms of its present and future? Would you start from the benefits? The progress? The prospects for development? The feedbacks you’ve been getting from your colleagues or managers? Or maybe from some other point of view?
Moving forward, what do you feel about where it is going – your career – in the near future (this year)? What about the distant future (several years from now)? What is it that you do, or could do – besides, of course, the current professional commitments – to protect, nourish and grow your career, so that it moves… forward, despite all the stress, hectic, uncertainties and speed-of-light context changes of our modern world?
I see three different directions you could take to manage your career:
- You could enhance your professional value, through your present commitments (Focus on the job). That is, you could develop with the company you’ve been working for, where you get promotions as rewards for results and new opportunities.
- You could embrace more of a lone stance on professional development (Focus on your career). That is, you define your own path, and follow it. This could lead you through more companies, perhaps even more industries, that you stay with for a while and work, then you simply move forward.
- You could join a club of like-minded peers, sharing some common professional interests, where you can both get personal benefits to your career, as well as make meaningful contributions to the professionalism of your chosen domains of interest (Focus on the community value of your career)
Option 1 is rich in benefits, as long as all is well between you and the company, and as long as the company itself is safe and growing, and the external environment provides favourable conditions for the company and its markets.
Option 2 requires more effort on your part, since you alone are the architect of the success of your career. On the bright side, this option gives you more flexibility and autonomy, as long as you are willing to keep on changing jobs and migrate to better conditions.
Option 3 has been rather a rare possibility, until recent years. It requires both ability and vision on your part, to recognise the power of a professional community and to see the outstanding benefits on your career, that you acces by contributing your energy, time and ideas, into projects shared with others.
It is more than sharing is caring
Beyond caring, sharing is power, when the people you share with are valuable specialists, whom you relate to on professionalism and work quality principles, and who share back their own insights, perspectives and concerns.
Joining a club of like-minded peers is, nowadays, if you manage to find a club focused on professional interests that directly benefit your current job, a way to grow your career that includes all three options above!
Pragmatic Coaching Club is such a place for anyone who works complex jobs in technical environments, where the need to effectively and positively interact with other people is a catalyst for professional success.
The professional interest that our Club focuses on is precisely this: coaching, the new language of productive work relationships.