Firstly, I need to point out that I am no Zig Ziglar. This article isn’t designed to have the reader jumping off their chairs in a moment of wheel reinventing shaped enlightenment. It’s just a little bit of help for anyone who is feeling a bit of confusion about their career and the path they are taking. The following thought comes from the perspective of a recruiter but can be applied to any career and any industry.
Let’s start with at the very beginning. Recruitment*. Why does anyone wish to follow a career path into the recruitment industry? (Do a list relevant to your profession if recruitment doesn’t apply):
- You want to earn good money. You have a lifestyle you aspire to or wish to support.
- Career goals – you can see it’s possible to work hard and progress.
- You possess exceptional sales skills and wish to further develop these within a professional environment.
- The role is varied and you don’t have to spend hour upon hour at your desk.
- Friends work in the industry and have said that you have all the traits of a recruiter.
- This is what you studied and qualified for.
- You were talked into it when they were being interviewed for a totally different role (my own personal route)
What converts initial sparks into a long term career prospect? Usually, there is just one answer. Passion. You are passionate about driving to achieve your goals, passionate about doing an exceptional job, passionate about hitting targets (this isn’t just about money as targets are usually activity related), passionate about professionalism. The list goes on. If passion for your chosen career isn’t there then it isn’t a career, it’s a job. It isn’t the same thing.
“The Difference Between a Career and a Job. … A job is something you do simply to earn money; a career is a series of connected employment opportunities. A job has minimal impact on your future work life, while a career provides experience and learning to fuel your future”
Passionate people generally apply this quality to more than one area of their lives. Family, further learning, hobbies, clubs and societies, charity work, social activities, travel… One of the most difficult objectives to achieve is a balance between the things that matter in your life. It’s a difficult task to that ensure one aspect of your life doesn’t engulf another leaving it neglected or committed to the archives of who you used to be. It’s also difficult to balance your passion for your career with a colleague or managers personal objective to achieve their own success. It is easy to be swept along and end up with their unrealistic ambitions becoming your problem.
There can come a time when your passion for your career can be called into question. Sometimes you just don’t want to do it anymore. Sometimes there are factors outside your control:
- You might be missing your targets due to huge budget hikes.
- You might feel as though you need more autonomy.
- Goal posts get moved.
- You are working too many hours for little reward.
- You can’t achieve a promotion.
- You don’t get a promise delivered upon.
- You feel undervalued.
- Your efforts go unrecognised.
- You start to lose faith.
- Personnel changes occur and the culture changes
- Life balance is not being achieved
- Nobody listens to your ideas
- You’ve hit the ceiling and cannot progress
The soul searching begins. Is it you? Have you changed? Are you still driven? Has your focus depleted? Do you enjoy any elements of the role? Has your passion shifted? Is the passion still there?
Pinpoint the problem and take steps to address it. Get perspective. At this point, it can help to speak to a neutral professional in confidence who may help you to gain proper perspective and help you place YOUR life priorities into proportion.
Your career is a large part of your life. Many professionals work many hours each week, fuelled by their passion to be successful but this can disintegrate if you don’t regularly check to make sure your goals are on track. Don’t let it be at the expense of your family, your personal experiences, hobbies or interests. Everything needs to be in proportion. The tide of working 70 hour weeks has turned and many recruitment businesses appreciate the need for balance. If your employer doesn’t recognise this then there are others that will. (Having said this, you really need to give your current employer the opportunity to address this rather than leaving before they have the chance)
Many businesses are just as passionate as you are about the same things; the quality, the professionalism, the ambition. You just need to find each other.
Always remember “a career is a series of connected opportunities, providing experience and learning to fuel your future”. If this is not happening for you then you need to take steps to make it happen.
*Insert your career here