The Secret To A Good Career
October 18, 2021
You can think of your career as a series of experiences you encounter in your professional life. When you envision the kinds of experiences you want and work to attain them, you are actively managing your career. In contrast, if you let your experiences define what you will do at any given time, you are passively managing your career.
I know of people on both sides of the divide who have experienced great success. However, regardless of whether one actively or passively manages a career, I have observed two essential characteristics in people who have had long, meaningful careers.
They Are Positive When Things Are Not Going Well
Taking a cricketing analogy, Sachin Tendulkar is considered the greatest modern-day cricketer. He played a total of 700+ Innings in his career and scored a half-century or above in about 120 innings. That is a success rate of approx 20%. Putting it differently, for the majority of his career, he was not successful. What made him a GOAT was how he managed his mindset when things were not going his way- when his form slumped, and he suffered from injuries. He was always positive, sharpening his skills all the time.
Careers are no different. Throughout your career, there will be good days and plenty of not-so-good days. There will be periods when things don’t go as per your plan-Market share will slump, campaigns will fail, teams will not perform, and mistakes will happen. Whenever that happens, you have to remain positive and keep doing what you have to do, and wait for the tide to turn.
They Are Paranoid When Things are Going Well
People with promising long careers know that success or failure both depend on a lot of factors. Some of the factors are within their control, and some are not. So, when success comes, they know it is because their efforts coincided with a host of other factors that were also in their favor.
Successful people do not take anything for granted and never give in to the comfort of thinking their success is all due to them. Instead, they are paranoid. They are constantly thinking about what could go wrong and how to protect themselves and others from the downside. They see success as a constant process of improving and ironing out perceived weaknesses.