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How to build a career path that works for you?


My peers are aspiring to get into CXO roles. I understand that it takes a lot to get there. Somehow I don't have the drive to put in the effort. While it should be obvious next step, why is it hard for me to be motivated to do the same? If this is not what I should be aspiring for, what else should I be investing my energy on?

All career paths need not look the same. Each one of us can create a unique one that aligns with who we are. The obstacle that comes in the way of this creation is comparison with other's paths.

The path has to make sense for the person who is treading it. It doesn't have to make sense to anyone else. In fact, it won't.

So how to build a career path that works for you?

  1. Your need

Your need has a significant bearing on what your path should be. Your needs from work could be:

  • A means to earn livelihood (Job)

  • A means of personal accomplishment & growth (Growth avenue)

  • A means to serve a larger purpose, create impact (Calling)

If you view your work as a job, you will tend to maximise the financial returns, optimise your time and look at ROI.

If you view your work as a means of growth, you will look at a speedy growth trajectory, status, roles, learning.

If you view it as a calling, you will look for impact, the cause & people it serves.

If you view it as a combination, you need to at least know the percentage priorities based on your importance scale.

Knowing this will help you choose the path wisely.


2. Your investment

Anything worth creating needs time & energy. At different points in our life we have different levels of time & energy to offer to our work.

For eg, in the initial stages of your career, you may have a little more time available than when you have a young family.

Being well aware of how much time & energy you are ready to invest at this point in your life, helps you make prudent choices on your path.


3. Your Opportunities

When there is a match between your career intentions (need) and what the world needs, what you will have are 'opportunities'.

This is an "unknown" element in defining your path. This requires a level of openness and flexibility to receive.

When you are stuck in the web of overthinking, opportunities will just pass you by. Creating a practice of emptying your mind to look for opportunities may help you spot them faster.

Your career path is a function of your need, investment & opportunities. In systemic view, it also needs to align to your larger life path.

Considering this, chart your vision of how you like to make it work for you.

What will you consider to create your own career path?

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