Let’s pretend to know our career and life goals!!!

HBR and Forbes have published a lot of articles about how “successful” people achieve their “career goals”. But no one has talked about the elephant in the room – Do we all know our career goals? Do we know what does success mean to us?

In this VUCA environment (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity), even the best of the companies (eg. Yahoo) are struggling to decide their goals and we expect individuals to be clear about their career and life goals. Is that fair?

Maybe we should start redrafting our career goals as the type of journey that we want to have. So here are 4 questions of 21st century that you should start to think about:

  • How many different things you want to try in your life or career? Not everyone wants to diversify their portfolio; focusing on just 1 thing is best for some people. There are big companies (eg. Crocs, Michelin, etc.) that focus on single product and there are also a lot of companies (eg. Samsung, Tata, etc.) that do everything under the sun.
  • How often do you want to revisit your skill sets? Not everyone can (or want to) revisit their skill set every year. Accountants often stick to their skillsets, but consultants tend to revisit them quite often.
  • Are you ready to fail? Be clear on your definition of failure. Defining success is hard, but failure is easy to define. Would you consider the temporary financial failure of solar companies (eg. R&R Solar Supply) as a failure? Or is your failure measured by spoiling the environment to earn money (eg. Peabody Energy)?
  • Does non-failure mean success? What would it mean to you if you haven’t failed? Think it over!

Don’t forget that Yahoo and Orkut failed because defining goals is unfortunately not as easy as we pretend. It’s your choice, either you stop pretending or you go extinct.

You can read more of my other posts at https://corporatecircus.wordpress.com/.


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