Don’t complain. Stand up. own your career & life

Over my years in the industry, there is one consistent aspect of human behavior I have observed is that around 70% of the people employed in the corporate world are dissatisfied, constantly complaining and appear to be unhappy with how their career is progressing viz. their aspirations. Another interesting facet that I have observed is that most people hold other people responsible for the state of their careers. There is always a punching bag and all issues are conveniently externalized.

People seldom look at themselves in the mirror and ask the hard question — What am I doing or not doing for this to be happening to me?

In my experience, most often the answer is within the individual vs. outside. The truth is that we as people always rate ourselves high. This is absolutely needed to improve our self-belief & confidence. But it creates a side-affect; we rate ourselves higher than we may actually be worth.

When we now compound our high self-assessment, with our high aspirations for ourselves (which is a natural outcome of our high rating of ourselves) it creates a complex scenario — “our aspirations are almost always ahead of our capabilities”. Now, my question is who has created this situation? It surely can’t be people around us who we end up blaming for all our sorrows. It is none but us!

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Now does that mean we should not rate ourselves well, do we not deserve to be confident, etc., absolutely we MUST. But the bigger question is — Would it not be better for us earn our confidence, self-esteem etc. vs. merely granting ourselves the same?

We all have a right to feel good about ourselves and have high aspirations too. However, to justify the same, can we also focus on “building our capabilities adequately” to ensure there isn’t a mismatch between how we think & feel about ourselves and how the world views us?

While we have a right to feel what we want to, we also have a responsibility to earn it; if we want the world to see us the way we see ourselves. This is possible, only if we constantly learn, add new skills, new capabilities and own our development & careers. For example: If I am a technologist who codes in JAVA or .NET, am I acquiring new skills in the areas of Cloud computing, Big Data & Hadoop, Ruby, R Programming or Angular JS? If I am a Sales & Marketing professional, am I learning Digital Marketing, SEO and Social Marketing? If I am in HR or Finance, I am skilling myself on Contemporary HR practices and changing financial regulations.

People are most often looking at their employers to invest in their development & growth. This is a shame. Why would anyone else care about you more than you would care about yourself? It is time for a professional who is gainfully employed to own their career, add to their skills and stay relevant. Being employable & contemporary is your responsibility not that of your employer. You as a professional need to invest in yourself; own your career and stay relevant to be counted. It is irrelevant if your employer sponsors it or not!

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PGC is a boutique Management Consulting firm engaged in the business of enabling its clients to transform their Org, Culture & Capabilities.

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