Your career is a thing of your creation. It is not something that is happening to you. You outlast your career–you existed before it, and you will hopefully exist long after it’s over. Career growth is shaped by three things: what you attempt, how you treat others, and how you define progress.
Pay attention to those things. Keep it that simple when you set about analyzing your career. Let the complexity come from the world. It will bring you all that you can handle and, at times, more. Keep your inner world simple. It’s the secret to keeping your head in the midst of chaos. Calm in chaos requires a simple inner world. It may be mistaken for ambivalence, lack of understanding, or even arrogance. These external judgments have no place in your mind. They are background noise.
External definitions of success and failure are irrelevant when you attempt things of your choosing. Career growth happens naturally when you operate with intention. You learn about yourself, others, and the world when you try to bring about a specific outcome with a consciously chosen process.
It’s not about getting it right–choosing the right job or the right assignment–it’s about making conscious choices and adjusting your approach based on their outcomes. Conscious choices aimed at progress will allow you to make the adjustments you need to be successful.
Attempt big things. Treat others with empathy and respect. Focus on your definition of progress.
The rest will take care of itself.
How do you define career progress? Are you shaping your career, or is it shaping you?