Recently one of my team members approached me for some coaching. She wanted to grow into being an Account Manager in the next six months. As part of our discussion, we identified the skills that are required for her to fulfill the role, ascertained the gaps and set down to create a plan to bridge these gaps. Good – so far.
As we set down going through each of the gaps, she started slowly started objecting to some of the gaps – this was not aligned to her core areas; she didn’t like doing some stuff; tasks that were routine and administrative…
If we look at any role across the industries and the people who are performing it – we learn that each role requires us to perform a multitude of tasks. Some of these are very obvious (e.g Steve Jobs introducing the new iPhone to the world as CEO of Apple) while some of these might be less exposed (bitter boardroom fights for control). We can look at many examples closer to our work place – a manager handing out performance appraisals, customer meetings for a delayed project, attending meetings across time-zones etc.
When we chart our career path, we sometimes make the mistake of identifying future roles based on the outside view (glamour, control, authority, fame, power, working hours, work-life balance etc). Even when it is obvious, we sometimes overlook some parts to convince ourselves. While determining the next role or charting a long term career – trick is to look deeper to see what was not observed at the first glance. Asking yourself about conflicts, workload, time pressure, importance, resources, time zones etc. It is helpful if one can talk to someone who is already performing such a role. Also, studying the weekly routine of such a person can sometime provide insights which they themselves cannot.
Once all the Do’s for a particular role are identified, there will start a process that will help reach a judgment about suitability of a role. To start with, there will be activities that one will not like doing. One needs to ensure that higher gratification is driven from the activities that are liked vs. the dismay of performing those that are not liked.
Does it mean that one fails in the roles where this gratification is not higher than dismay or is success guaranteed for perfect gratification score? Actually no, real life is not black-n-white, but played out as mostly grey. Depending on the gratification/dismay you start with, a number of real life factors, personal strengths and Murphy’s laws – one will perform the role with varying degrees of success. It is very likely that the chance of success will decrease as dismaying activities increase. It is also very certain that if the score is not tipped in favor of gratification – one will not enjoy, even if one if successful.
A very likely possibility while evaluating a role is that we come across one, where one will like doing all the tasks associated for the role. When that happens, we know that we have found our Dream Job, where one will succeed and enjoy immensely on the way. And that will be the time to bring everything together to get there.
Contributed by: Abhilash Bhanot