CAREER DEVELOPMENT / OCT. 02, 2014
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How To Gain Clarity Regarding The Legitimacy Of Your Career Aspirations

In our personal endeavours to outdo ourselves in our careers, we’ve had our fair share of success and failures. But no one can experience both extremes unless a yardstick of aspirations is placed upon their career hopes and dreams. And that’s because life itself is so full of challenges and unexpected changes, that we’ve found it necessary to use career aspirations as a necessary motivation to keep us going. Moreover, we’ve learned to factor in internal and external forces by anchoring ourselves with personal capabilities while at the same time fine-tuning those capabilities to suit ever-changing job market needs. Yet, despite our best efforts to do so, we’re bound to...

Make Human Error
You’ve got to really admire the human aspect in us. Reason being that our thinking capacity is not limited by the reality of our capabilities. In fact, thanks to imagination, humanity has evolved over the years in science and technology by leaps and bounds. Even the great Albert Einstein once said that "Imagination is better than knowledge". Though imagination sounds inspiring, it’s also an imperfect yardstick that’s bound to manifest lots of error. I need not mention how inventors to this very day have experienced countless mistakes before finally realizing concrete results.

And on that note, we’re essentially inventors of our career aspirations in our own unique capacities. But most of us find it hard to limit those aspirations by binding them within the precepts of our actual capabilities. In any case, we can’t experience exponential progress in our careers unless we habitually upgrade our aspirations beyond the reality of concrete capabilities. It therefore dawns on us that...

Imagination is a Necessary ’Evil’
It might be safe to say that our career aspirations should be strictly bound by the reality of our capabilities. Yet that statement in itself is flawed considering the fact that we’re not fully aware of the job market reality on the ground. Because unlike supercomputers, we lack the exact facts figures regarding ever-changing job market statistics and dynamics.

Moreover, despite humanity’s best efforts to harmonize such facts and figures, we’re yet to fully realize that. So before we hurriedly dismiss the erroneous aspect of imagination, we can’t deny the fact that faith and sensation inspires us to believe in our individual capabilities to achieve ambitious career aspirations. Yet we’ve got to still go full circle and grapple with reality, which begs the question....

How does one gain clarity regarding the legitimacy of their career aspirations?

#1 Discern the Authenticity of Hot Air Careers
Hot air careers shouldn’t be rocket science because we’ve all come across them on several occasions. Big shots that look so successful in the limelight but in actual fact are the most miserable lot you’ll ever come across. Indeed, there are hot air careers that make it quite convenient to lie as long as you’re looking good. Yet the tangible results leave little to admire.

Why are we even thinking that far? In our own individual capacities, we’ve at some point in our careers been involved in jobs that made us wear these good looking expensive suits but in fact, we were broke and miserably overworked. So before you aspire for certain career goals, first do an independent investigation to discern aspirations with tangible results. You’ll be surprised by the sheer magnitude of misinformed perceptions regarding hot air careers.

#2 Factor in the Resources and Connections at your Disposal
Well, to be honest, life is unfair. But in our limited capacities, we’ve got our own share of resources and connections. Unfortunately, many think that resources and connections that matter are those that directly place you in lucrative careers. But that doesn’t have to be the case.

Sometimes, it’s about someone who knows someone who knows something. Other times it’s the combination of personal resources and connections that bring about tangible results. For instance, maybe your reputation might seem under-appreciated in your current preoccupation, but with the right connections and a few vocational courses, you might actually end up in a company that finds your competence quite outstanding and exquisite. As long as you exploit your resources and connections to the maximum extent possible.

#3 Dare to be predictive about Job Market Trends
Besides the obvious capability to embrace the reality at the moment, we’ve also got to think long term. Farmers get to realize exceptional profits by not only studying current weather trends, but by also predicting what produce will be in demand at a certain point in future. Sometimes they factor in historical trends in the food sector or even the direction that market growth is bound to take.

Same case applies to the legitimacy of career aspirations. Just because they’re not concrete at the moment doesn’t mean that they’re unattainable. At times, it calls for one to have a daring spirit that’s ready and willing to predict future trends, sail through uncharted waters and bring outlandish career aspirations into fruition. Because for every new thing in this world, there’s always that first person. Someone’s already landed on the moon, are you daring enough to be the first human on Mars? Think about it...

I tend to think that the fear of failure is the number one impediment that makes people to be quite cautious about their career aspirations. Yet what we always overlook is the fact that failures are significant AND NECESSARY in shaping unique career destinies for each and everyone of us. As Michael Jordan once put it, "I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying."

Sourced Image: Clarity

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