What is concerning is that very few professionals see a need to have Career and Corporate Life Management Project that is informed by their life purpose. Many are caught napping when things do not go as expected. They find themselves reacting and in many cases the steps taken are misplaced.
A mentor will alert you, especially when everything seems to be happening smoothly and you are enjoying harmony. That is when you should be preparing for all the possibilities. This does not mean that we have to be paranoid. It is necessary to make our lives happen, rather than chasing after events when they have already happened. We must direct our lives as we wish them to be. There will be times when we do not succeed. But when we make a miss we will not fall far from our targets.
Career Management ought to be an activity from cradle to grave. The corporate life is just part of our bigger life journey. It should not be allowed to throw us out of balance and run havoc with our lives. It must add to our holistic life journey, and not become our journey by itself.
If we had a solid foundation early in our holistic human capital development, guided by our early life mentors, through to corporate and beyond, we ought to be victors in our journey. I have never heard of anyone who has succeeded in life without being assisted by others. We forget such mentors and supporters by choice and ignorance. But we are often reminded of such people when things fall apart. It is often difficult to go to them when we are in trouble, because we are ashamed that we cut connections with them. Mentorship must be a life-long practice, and be accessed through all our holistic human capital development stages.
The best gift for your mentors is to be successful in taking your life forward. The mistake you must not make is to think that you no longer need other people’s help, and you can make it on your own. Life will humble you. Everyone in your life is a gift and they matter until the end of your life.
Career and Corporate Life Management is not a straight line. However, we must master the following generic phases: career development education → enter first job → technician → admin → functional → specialist → supervisory → management → leadership → executive → directorship → board role → retirement → post retirement roles.
At any of the above stages one must be able to exit and take other opportunities that might present them. It is this detour that could throw one out of complete balance, or take one back and fro.
In many cases our career growth is disrupted by ourselves as a result of misreading unexpected developments. For example we resign from our current jobs thinking that we are accelerating our growth or maximizing our earnings, only to find that over a long-term we might have taken our growth ten steps backward.
On the other end the detour is necessary and could be a calling to enter entrepreneurship, self-employment, consultancy, academic, professional, and a complete career change. Such developments must be anticipated and find us ready when they happen. Sometimes the window of opportunity is so small and we must squeeze in momentarily.
Corporate life has its own dynamics. There are many sub-cultures that may not be obvious to us. We cannot be blind and naive to such complexities. Mentors are valuable in helping us deal with such dynamics.
Corporate savvy is what we all need to survive in corporate life. We must also know when we have become corporate change agents and play such roles with responsibility. Take strategic decision to influence the culture of your corporate progressively. If you are not cut out to handle corporate dynamics and complexities you must also be aware of your limitations. It is wise to accept your limitations and make decisive steps to take a different direction that enhances your career management project.
Do not leave your career and corporate life management to chances. Own up and be guided by your bigger purpose in life. Let your mentor be your daily partner. Invest personally in your mentorship program. The returns will surpass all the investments, efforts, and energies spend on your holistic career and corporate life management.
Your attitude to corporate politics, dynamics, and culture determines your success or failure. You decided to apply and join the corporate on your own. Nobody owes you anything. Be a player of the corporate game. Be the best at it. But remember you are not special. You owe it to yourself to be successful.