What Shapes Careers?

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    events that influence career successWhat influences career success the most?

    A McKinsey Global Survey asked executives about decisions or events that led to a significant long-term positive change in their work life.

    One of the most interesting findings was that both men and women said the single most pivotal event in their careers occurred when they were around the age of 30. That’s when they realized that success would not magically happen. That meant that they had to take responsibility for their careers.

    Career Check-Up

    I have found, working with successful professionals and leaders, that they regularly evaluated their career choices and career opportunities. The first of these career check-ups is in one’s late 20’s to mid-30’s. That’s when you might be asking these kinds of questions: Am I in the right field or how can I advance more quickly or should I seriously consider a recruiter’s call.

    Now back to the survey. Here’s what the participants said:

    The top four pivotal events that led to positve change in their work life:

    • Realization that they had become passionate about new roles or industries.
    • A new job opportunity at your current organization or a new organization.
    • Their current jobs had become less attractive and they felt they were going nowhere.
    • Realization that they were not leading the lives they desired.

    The top five individual responses that led to greater career satisfaction:

    1. Took a position in a new company or different industry.
    2. Decided to manage my career more actively.
    3. Took a new position in the same company.
    4. Decided to go back to school for postgraduate degree like a MBA.
    5. Revised my career ambitions or goals..

    So what influences your career the most?

    It’s the situation you find yourself in and most importantly your response to that situation. Successful people know where they want to go; are alert to changes happening in their career environment; and are not standing still but taking action to move their careers forward.

    When was the last time you did a career check-up? Don’t leave your career success to someone else.

    Do you want to develop Career Smarts?