While in the process of watching a political debate this week, I recalled the opening statement of an Independent vice presidential candidate. The candidate, a US Navy Admiral, opened the debate with the now famous comments, “Who am I? Why am I here?” At the time these words released the tension of the moment and provided a good laugh for attendees and a national television audience.
Using these questions as a lens concerning your professional career, the Admiral had sound advice. Who are you? How did you arrive where you are? Does your current role meet your career expectations and vision? Is this position leading you forward? Why or why not? The truth is everyone is his or her own leader. Every person at every company and at every level supports a role in leadership. Another truth; other people may have control over your tactical employment, but not your career. As an illustration, Steve Jobs is perhaps the most brilliant technology leader of our generation and was fired from the company he co-founded! The board members of Apple could control Steve’s employment, but not his career. Jobs went on to even greater success with his next company appropriately named “NeXT”!
So who are you? Why are you in your current role? Do you think you are where you should be? If the answer is yes, the next question is where can you improve, develop or grow? If the answer is no, then the next question is what action will you take right now to correct your situation? What should be your “NeXT” step on your career path?
Great companies are employee centric. They provide answers to the above questions. They continually support career continuity and professional development. Creating career enhancing opportunities, creating a win-win work situation is a market differentiator for the best organizations. There is always something “NeXT” for you!