(For someone close to me who is starting off in worklife – Diana)
This wise advice I found on a sign in a store in Kennebunk Port Maine. It reminds us that we need a skill set that will serve us in changing times and changing conditions. Strangely few of us consider developing ourselves for the future. We are generally more comfortable focused on the present. And to be fair the present does give the immediate results. However, I have worked for years with people who wanted to successfully prepare for their future, and they did this very well. Here are some of my observations.
Firstly, these people worked out their passions and interests, and they had a clear understanding of the values they wanted to embody in their work and personal lives. This part of the preparation did not always come easy, many people had struggled with personal, family and professional disappointment before they identified and articulated the “do’s” and “don’ts” of their future. However, once identified these values became the “x” factor that carried them through tough times (boring, frustrating, non productive) to success.
Secondly, theses people identified both the knowledge and skills they would need to succeed. They may not have known all the complexity and detail but they had a broad understanding and interest in the concepts. This made it easier for them to focus their attention on learning more and becoming increasingly capable in their chosen field or profession.
Thirdly, they had a supportive network of people who understood and enhanced their choices. Initially, this group may have been very small, say one or two people. However, over time the group grew and changed. The group was made up of individual contributors who all brought something small, but powerful to the person. One person may have contributed “a good ear” to listen to problems. One person, may have acted as a professional mentor, and one person may have provided free child care. All contributions were of value and greatly appreciated.
Fourthly, the person became smart at collecting, selecting, reflecting on and directing resources towards their own success. I have known as many systems of doing this as I have people, but everyone had a system that worked for them. Some systems seemed chaotic to me, but they worked for the person, and I cannot argue with that. However, today I know that I can support and contribute to individual’s personal growth by suggesting a portfolio as a resource base to enable someone to collect, select, reflect and direct. Even better than that, I can suggest an online portfolio, that has a range of privacy features. To find out more about performance portfolios click here.
Now here is the hard bit. Everyone of those people did some of the tough stuff. They were disciplined in two things, practice and reflection. In other words, they practiced their knowledge and skills until they had attained a high level of performance and competency. Secondly, the regularly reflected on their own performance and sort feedback from trusted others. They used this evaluation to improve their performance and hone their practice. They never lost sight of their core values, and they learnt how to sail their ship through all kinds of sea.
We can learn from these simple processes. Take 10 mins of quiet time to work out the answers to these questions.
1. What do you want to do?
2. What do you definitely not want to do?
3. What three values are most important for your future?
4. What knowledge will you need?
5. What skills?
6. Who do you need to support you? What can each person contribute?
7. What will you use for a resource base?
8. What is your plan for practice? Reflection? Who can assist with this?
If you would like some assistance in setting up a career portfolio contact us.
- Paul David Walker: Leadership Insights: Sail Away from Your Shores (huffingtonpost.com)
- The Priceless Gift of Personal Growth (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- Have Patience (somefoo.net)