Gone are the days of continuing education, company jumping, graduate degrees, and ass-kissing to fast-track your career. According to the Harvard Business Review, jobs at large corporations are increasingly volatile, employee engagement is decreasing, and anxiety about career growth is increasing.
1. De-emphasize Prestige and Compensation, Prioritize Impact.
Money is important, but not at the cost of doing something you love. Without a doubt, the individuals I met who emphasized meaning over money tended to be happier overall than those who didn’t.
2. Get International Experience and Start Experimenting.
Commitment is important, but so is flexibility and intelligent experimentation. Try new things; try hard things. This way, you’ll keep challenging yourself and avoid that feeling of being locked in (p.s. Experteering is a GREAT way to experiment!)
3. Define and Reflect on Your Passions.
It is a difficult psychological achievement to find what we want. The pursuit itself is hard, and it takes time. Spend an hour a week thinking about what you’re passionate about. You’re allowed to be passionate about different things, so consider more than one option. Adopting a portfolio of passions, rather than racking your brain for that one answer, will help you move away from impossible optimization and enable you to move forward.
4. Focus Your Strengths Towards Making an Impact.
Take your desire to make an impact, your experience experimenting, as well as your passions and muddle them all together to create a short-list of job types, companies, and work you are driven to do. Then go do ti.
At the end of the day, the best way to accelerate your career is to be driven to over-promise and over-deliver. Need more inspiration? Watch this video from Daniel Pink exploring the surprising science of motivation