Know What You’re Really Doing at Work

Tech and social media guru Seth Godin just wrote a blog post on who will save publishing…or newspapers. His answer in a nutshell—no one will save things as they are, and therefore no one will save the jobs as they are. He wrote: “We need to get past this idea of saving, because the status quo is leaving the building, and quickly. Not just in print of course, but in your industry too.”

A depressing statement. And flip. And apparently callous as jobs are a bit more than categories to eliminate in the name of social or technological or any other kind of progress.

But his point is a good one—as he concludes, “no saving is needed to save the joy of reading…” In other words, what people really care about will continue and in new, hopefully, more powerful ways.

So what does this mean for you in whatever job or career you have?

Your Main Career Mission–the Big Career Idea

It means you need to recognize what you are really about at work beyond your job title and listed duties. You are not about project management or accounting or in my case, coaching.  Those are convenient labels. But you’re about how you are contributing and love to contribute through work. If instead of seeing yourself as project manager, you see yourself as the person who gets information and people working together in some way for some result, then your career may change, but it isn’t about to disappear. It will only change in the tools you can use and the industries where you may be using them.

If you’re in marketing—there’s been remarkable changes in the tools available and in the entire model of how to engage and reach possible customers or clients. These range from Adwords to Twitter to giving products to people who influence their groups. If you only know about magazine and newspaper ad placement, you are indeed in trouble. But if you understand you are about connecting people to products and engaging people emotionally through creative use of resources–and you keep updating your skills to match that mission, then you are not going to be just kicked out the door as obsolete.

In my case, I help people get unstuck, get motivated, get a vision. I help them solve problems to make their vision real regarding careers. If career coaching becomes a passé idea, I do not necessarily need a new lifework mission. That’s because people have always gotten stuck, lost their way and motivation, and thrived when they have a vision. I just need to continue to help people resolve those problems in a new way that fits the times.

The key to all this is a clear mission, a lifework statement that can act as a rudder so you don’t get away from what you love. That rudder can also keep guiding you to any new skills you need to learn. If you go beyond your job description this way, and understand what you’re really doing and accomplishing, you’ll stay motivated, and you will keep up with technology and changing industries. You won’t need saving, either.

If you don’t yet have a clear Lifework Statement or sense of career purpose and direction, contact me about ways I might help you get there.

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