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Blog : Is your career a journey or destination?


Is your career a journey or destination?

Recently I was asked if I viewed my career as a journey or a destination. This was not the first time I’d come across this question, in fact it’s something I often ask my delegates when delivering learning. The long silence following my questioning  suggests these individuals have never thought about their career path in this way. More often than not it’s merely a case of ‘climbing the corporate ladder’; with the end goal as reaching a position of leadership.
Destination and journey are two very different ways to look at career progression. Those who view their careers as a ‘destination’ tend to have a specific goal of working their way up an organisation; achieving a level of proficiency or achieving a specific position, award or other measurable goal. By setting their sights on specific and measurable milestones, they outline their path in advance and follow the more traditional view of a ‘career’.
On the other side people who view their careers as a ‘journey’ are the adventurers and explorers – setting small, yet achievable goals, through a collection of experiences. They go thoughtfully from organisation or role to another; moving horizontally and vertically in order to fulfill their expectations of progression. They still have a clear focus on where they want to be, they simply recognise that it doesn’t have to be arrived at in a traditional manner. They are able to achieve their end vision through natural progression, identifying strengths and weaknesses, allowing them to move in to a role that is a perfect fit.
As more Generation Y’s enter the workforce, we’re seeing a boom in ‘explorers’; considering many options and ‘pathways’ in order to arrive at their final destination. For employers and leaders, it’s important to recognise and nurture the skills and abilities of individuals; encouraging them to look at all the options. Focus on individual strengths and ensure they are developed and engaged along the way – be it a journey or destination. By making sure this happens, employers will ensure the right people are in the right roles, resulting in increased performance and achievement.
How are you managing your journey and that of your people?

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