Sunday, December 16, 2007

For Susan and Susan

I found another interesting article about the world of work in the Sunday Times today.

What better occasion than using the summer break, while lying at the beach, to reflect about your place of work and where you want to go with your career.

Jonathan Cook, from GIBS, suggest contemplating seriously a change of work, based on the following considerations:

1. at work, you are mostly bored or fearful

2. in the new year, everything seems set to continue as in all the previous years

3. to the question, 'why do I work?', all I say is: 'it is a necessity!'

4. thinking about 2008, you immediately want to go back to 2007

5. you don't have any goals for 2008

If thinking about this issues, while slurping a caipirinha and contemplating the ocean, suddenly the coconut drops, Cook suggests to go through the following questions:

A. The first and most important question is what do you want to contribute? Clarify your most important objectives: to write a book, to have more power, to earn tons of money, to sit quietly in an office, to help others, to have a family, to launch a business, to conquer the oil market, to launch a new product or service, and so on.

B. Now, is the moment to ask yourself what you are good at. Review your qualifications, your skills, your knowledge and your experience and write down what gives you the edge. Ask where your intelligence lies: verbal, numerical, perceptual, musical, physical, interpersonal or personal.

C. What is your style? Do you like to have it quiet with as little contact with others as possible? Then you rather opt for a writer/researcher career over being a marketeer or a teacher/trainer.

D. What is your personal capacity? Its not only about making the right choice, getting the right job but also what you are capable of doing given your circumstances, in your position to advance your career and improve your job satisfaction.

E. What are the opportunities you face? This is about what your dream is but also about making realistic choices. Think about who you are and where do you want to go. Before you take on that seductive offer, think if it fits your values and matches what you believe in.

Fo sho, I am using this summer time-out to think harder about where I want to go and what I have to offer. More than ever, satisfaction in life and at work relies on constantly interrogating yourself and your ambitions. What really matters is the question, not the answer.