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Posted by Niall O'Kelly

How long is a piece of string?

7 Nov 2018
….the only solution is to measure (and pursue) it.

A thriving career has a different meaning for every individual, as everyone is motivated by different factors, which change and evolve throughout their career. It is not an exact science, nor does one size fit all! However, if you feel you have the answer to it, then you are thriving in your career in more ways than one!!

The verb to thrive means “to flourish and grow vigorously”. A thriving career to me is one where you are constantly progressing, learning, developing and making steps towards your career goals and optimum performance. This highlights the elephant in the room – the end goal. When trying to put your finger on what is a thriving career you must establish what the end goal is. If you don’t set career goals, then how can you measure if you are flourishing and growing vigorously or if you are stuck in a rut?


Goal Setting to Measure Progress

Based on my experience, it strikes me that there is a common theme in the careers of many in the modern-day workforce. People don’t set measurable professional goals. People have no problem setting fitness goals or sporting goals but when it comes to their professional life, they can be non-existent. This is quite alarming. Particularly, when you think that people spend a minimum of 40 hours a week in work, which equates to 36% of the time they are awake (based on sleeping 8 hours a night).

From my experience, the setting of measurable goals is a priority to build foundations for a thriving career.


How to Set Goals

This is not an easy as it appears (trust me!!!!) and you will need to ask yourself some difficult questions. You might want to begin with the following:

  • What motivates me?
  • What are my core values?
  • Do I know what my “dream job” is?
  • Is my “dream job” achievable?
  • Where am I on my journey to achieving my “dream job”?

If you can answer the first question clearly and continue through the remainder of the questions in the same vein, then you can put this blog post down!!! If you are not, then don’t worry. You are in the majority. Filling in the following quadrant has helped me make some decisions in my career to date:

The right-hand side of the quadrant may start to populate a lot quicker than the left, but give it time and things will come to you.

Once you have fully populated the quadrant you will now have some critical information at your disposal. The next thing to do, is decide what to do with it:

  1. do nothing/stay as is;
  2. go after a role that focuses on your strengths/likes;
  3. pursue a role that focuses on your weaknesses/dislikes;
  4. pursue a role that combines some of your strengths/likes and weaknesses/dislikes.

It amazes me that a lot of people feel they need to focus more on their weaknesses in order to progress. Have you ever stopped to wonder if you focused your energy fully on pursuing a career that facilitated you to focus on your strengths and improve them, where would you be?

It’s the best foundation to work off to thrive in your career…..

Niall O’Kelly, Partner, Darwin Hawkins

Originally posted: http://www.inspo.ie/2017/08/15/how-long-piece-string/ 

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