Your career from the inside out
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The principles and process outlined in Make It Workare truly transformative. It offers the most targeted and impactful approach to career reinvigoration. In Make It Workyou will walk through a process to establish what you love and need in your career, and the practices to effectively navigate your company and realize sustained career success.
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A LOOK INSIDE…
—Henry David Thoreau
Through our years of helping leaders and professionals develop, we have constantly confirmed the following fact – most adults perceive that they are in the midst of a mediocre career within their organization. We find this fact disturbing. As adults we spend the biggest part of our lives working in organizations, so a mediocre career often translates into a mediocre life, an existence that is just okay with some ups and some downs. And unfortunately, those who want a better than average career and life are often frustrated as they work hard and follow the accepted career advice but still experience little career mobility and or a constant sense of dissatisfaction. When their efforts don’t bear fruit they give up hoping and trying, and start treating their job as a “nine-to-five necessity”. And, they start looking for another “better” job in a “better” organization.
In looking for greener pastures to build a career, you are probably assuming that the problems with your current career are caused by your circumstances – the bad leadership, problems and lack of opportunities in your current organization. Based upon this assumption, you invest the time to find and move into another organization, often expending significant effort and even money in learning to navigate your new company, reestablish your credibility and networks, and move your loved ones to unfamiliar geographies.
Along with the numerous tangible and intangible costs of moving to a new company, is risk! Most of the time the greener pastures that we left for are not so green after all. In fact, a few months into the new job and company you will probably find that the career issues you were leaving in your previous company will start re-emerging. This is because in your zest to improve your career, you focused your efforts on changing where you work instead of staying and aligning with the truths of career success.
The career related patterns and issues that you constantly find yourself in are not a result of the problems in your company. They are largely a result of the way you think and act. Trying to improve your career success by simply finding a new place to work is like trying to run faster by finding a new track to run on. Your career success will come from adopting the beliefs and behaviors that drive career success in every organization you choose to be in.
If you keep doing what you’ve done, you will keep getting what you’ve got. The same career beliefs and behaviors will get you the same results in every organization you choose to work in.
Achieving career success begins with a clear understanding that you don’t need to, and probably shouldn’t, leave your current organization. Instead of wasting your time finding and transitioning into a new role, invest that time in adopting the principles and practices of what we call “career wealth.” “Make It Work” is dedicated to helping you find passion and success in the organization you are in. The diamonds you are looking for are within you and your organization. So don’t return the headhunter calls, stop updating your resume, and invest this time in learning and navigating the path to career wealth in your current organization. This path starts with your heart.
Your Heart Your Organization = Your Success
As authors, the subject of careers and career transformation is both personal and professional. Personal in that like you, we have at times struggled to find career fulfillment and financial reward within the companies where we have worked. And professional in that our personal career transformation has put us in leadership roles building people and talent systems in organizations.
Over the last two years we have spent thousands of hours using our unique perch in organizations to test and refine the principles of career transformation and success. The principles we have unearthed are universal and powerful. And, they find their source in the same place – the heart. Quite simply, your career fulfillment is not to be found in the latest career success books, tapes and “systems”. Instead, the answer is in you, or more specifically in what you love.
Every person who achieves sustained fulfillment in their career has made a choice to do what they love.
W.H. Murray, in The Story of Everest, says, “Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth – that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.” When you make that deep choice, it generates opportunities through both predictable and unpredictable and even amazing ways. Although simple and intuitive, this act of effectively bringing what you love into your work and life is not always easy, and in fact is quite rare.
Looking For Love in All the Wrong Places
Broadly speaking we all want the same thing – a great job doing what we love to do and being supported, that is, recognized and rewarded, for it. So, if we all want it, why is it so elusive? Why do most of us find career success at times, but often feel we have to make tradeoffs, even give up some of what we want and love to do to survive and get ahead in our organization? Why do we feel we have to leave our organizations as if we were trapped? It points to a pervasive sense of career unrest that is largely the result of two consistent facts.
1. The companies and organizations we work in are not in the business of considering and aligning with our loves and passions
Instead, they often separate us from what we love and even need, causing us to conform to what people in the organization want from us. This happens subtly. When in an organization, as with any social situation, our innate response is to do what is necessary to fit in and “get along” with others, especially those in authority. In doing so, we often give up what we love and need and become a slave to an impersonal thing called the “company”.
2. Much of the widely accepted career advice is false and even toxic.
In fact by following the conventional precepts, people are assuring they won’t achieve sustained career fulfillment and wealth. In the context of history, modern organizations are relatively new – you are probably no more than three generations removed from ancestors who either worked on a small farm or had a career within a smaller family owned business. Perhaps because of this we are still in the corporate dark ages, collectively struggling to understand how organizations really work and how more people can find success and fulfillment within them.
As authors, our position in organizations has allowed us to look at careers and career wealth with a critical eye. We have seen what works and what does not work. We have identified the misunderstood; even counter intuitive, principles that drive real career success. The principles that help people effectively bring their loves to work are the guideposts for those few people in organizations who constantly realize sustained career success and fulfillment. Because many of these principles directly contradict conventional career wisdom, they go unnoticed by the vast majority of people. Instead, tens of millions continue the career and company grind, never fully realizing love, passion and fulfillment, and they don’t know what to do about it.
For one of us, the static nature of common career thinking came into clearer focus earlier in the career timeline. While leading a group of professionals within a large multi-national technology company, I met with our Program Coordinator to discuss her performance and development plan for the coming year. As a normal part of this conversation, we discussed her longer-term career aspirations in which she shared her career anguish. She did not feel challenged by her work but felt she had no chance to move up in the company because she had not earned a college degree, and as a single mother she felt she did not have the time or resources to pursue that course.
When I asked what kind of work she enjoyed and what she would like to study, she seemed unsure. After further discussion, it became apparent that her basic belief was that career satisfaction would come almost solely from being promoted. The substance and nature of her work didn’t matter; it was the title and money that would signify to her and others that she had arrived and was fulfilled. In further conversations with members of my staff, I found that they were in about the same place – wanting and waiting for promotions to achieve career fulfillment. This was the attraction–the promotions they were waiting for–that they were willing to move to new organizations and locations to find.
This experience inspired an intensive look at the relationship between doing what we love and achieving career wealth. Over the past two years we have spent thousands of hours answering questions such as,
- Is it possible to do what we love and still get ahead in an organization?
- What can we learn from the relatively few whom constantly achieve career wealth?
- Why is job fulfillment and success within an organization so elusive?
For the knowledge and wisdom gained through this research, we thank the Program Coordinator who began this quest. And if we could have that same career discussion again, we would tell her the answer to her career anguish does not lie in a college degree, or a specific title or salary. Those are not bad things, but her ability to achieve these symbols of success will increase exponentially when she first dedicates herself to doing what she loves. The rest of the practices of career wealth can be learned and coached.
As we have assisted those willing to transform their careers, we have solidified our principles. We have also had the time of our lives as we have been doing what we love. Indeed, uncovering these career principles and truths and helping people transform their careers within their organizations is our love and passion. And it is with this passion that we share “Make It Work” with you.
Stay and Succeed
The first chapter introduces the fundamental role of love and passion in realizing sustained success in your organization and in your life. At the end of the chapter, you will assess your current level of career success by completing a short self-assessment called the Career Success Indicator. This self-awareness exercise provides the basis from which you begin to build your career. In chapter two we begin to establish the fundamental beliefs that set the basis for all successful careers by exposing the pervasive career myths that limit your career opportunities. In chapter two we focus on helping you understand and adopt the critical career truths will put you on the higher path to career wealth. Through the rest of the book, you will move sequentially through the career building process in two major sections – Your Career Foundation and Your Career Navigation.
Career Foundation, the first part of the book, will lead you through four steps for establishing your career foundation. At the heart of the four-step process is your heart – the things you actually need in your work to find passion and wealth in your company. In this process you will uncover your unique passions and the needs they fulfill for you, and you will identify and declare the career path you will take in your organization. The Career Foundation steps involve significant introspection through the use of discovery exercises. Once you have completed them, you will have the awareness, energy and direction needed to effectively shape your career in your organization regardless of your reputation, history or circumstances.
Career Navigation, the second part, will help you adopt six powerful practices for effectively working in an organization. They will enable you to shape your perfect role and have your organization support and reward you for doing so. Ultimately, you will realize career success while adding substantially more value to your organization. As with the process in establishing your career foundation, each of these practices is supported by a personal exercise.
“Make It Work” is more than a good read. It is a book that has been designed to help you transform your career within the organization you have chosen. So get ready for your own transformation. It’s absolutely worth the effort.
Let’s get started!
Excerpted from “Make It Work: Navigate Your Career Without Leaving Your Organization” by Joe Frodsham and Bill Gargiulo (Davies-Black Publishing, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Joseph B. K. Frodsham and William R Gargiulo III. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission of the copyright holders, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. Davies-Black is a registered trademark of CPP, Inc.
Create a life’s work; don’t just work a job! “Make It Work” gets to the core of career success for anyone whose work is more a nine-to-five reality than a passionate pursuit.
For the stressed, dissatisfied, and disillusioned everywhere, “Make It Work” brings to life the two essential needed to transform what we love into a career filled with enthusiasm and passion: a deep awareness of our core motivators and a new set of skills with which to navigate whatever political, social, and cultural environment we happen to work in.
Frodsham and Gargiulo challenge much of the prevailing wisdom about career success as they expose 16 pervasive myths that create major roadblocks and often limit career opportunities. In its place they offer real life career stories and a focused look at the real truths that lead to career wealth – the practices and principles that have proven effective in helping both the legendary and the ordinary create a rich and fulfilling work experience without leaving one organization for greener pastures elsewhere. With over a dozen Discovery Exercises, a powerful new model, and the authors’ Career Success Indicator Self Assessment, “Make It Work” presents a sophisticated yet profoundly practical four step process for identifying our passions, discovering our core, finding a career fit, and declaring our choices – and taking control and life happiness right within our current organization.
Don’t Leave Your Organization
Your Career Foundation: Four Steps for Starting on the Inside
Identifying Your Passions
Discovering Your Core
Finding Your Career Fit
Declaring Your Career
Your Career Navigation: Six Practices for Taking the Inside Out
Shaping Your Role
Being the Players
Knowing the Road Rules
“Make It Work” is dedicated to helping you find passion and success within your organization. So, don’t return the headhunter calls, stop updating your resume, and invest this time in learning and navigating the path to career wealth in your organization
Excerpted from “Make It Work: Navigate Your Career Without Leaving Your Organization” by Joe Frodsham and Bill Gargiulo (Davies-Black Publishing, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Joseph B. K. Frodsham and William R Gargiulo III. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission of the copyright holders, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. Davies-Black is a registered trademark of CPP, Inc