RSS Enjoy the Journey

I had a very interesting interaction with a team member the other day that I thought might make for a good blog article. It had to do with offering some career guidance, which is one of the most fulfilling things I get a chance to do. For me, it’s a chance to learn more about the hopes and aspirations of a team member, i.e. what they feel today is their definition of personal success. It is also an opportunity to manage their expectations both on the job, and in life.

You see, career aspirations are, in many respects, life aspirations. It’s not that our careers define who we are as people; it’s more that they allow us to define for ourselves what we want out of life. For team members who seek my counsel in this regard, many share common characteristics. They may be the primary bread-winner with a family to support; they likely have educational costs they need to leverage; and they share a desire to achieve a standard of living that helps them fulfill their immediate and long-term personal wants and needs.

I understand all of those things, and in fact, deal with them myself. The guidance that I feel is important to share with our younger talent is simply this, to not simply look at success as a quota to achieve, be it a specific job, title or monetary result. Rather, I recommend it is most important to look at their career as a series of successes, the sum of which defines them as an individual and has allowed them to fulfill both their short and long-term goals.

As I share my own career journey with interested team members, I am able to reinforce the fact that to have a fulfilling career means to enjoy the career journey. A career is not simply a destination to get to, but rather a series of mileposts that help you measure where you’ve come from and allow you to redefine where you are going. For me, I’m able to define these mileposts as a series of successes, those moments in my career where I knew I was making a difference. I explain that it is only by becoming significant in their current position, creating value in ways that are both tangible and intangible, that you move from one milestone to another.

If you are a leader in your organization, be it a formal or informal one, think about what advice you might give a team member who comes to you seeking career counseling. I’d be interested in hearing your anecdotes for keeping your most motivated team members engaged and encouraged, especially now when few opportunities exist for short-term, upward mobility due to tough economic conditions.

If you are a leader in your organization and do not regularly get team members to approach you for mentoring or guidance, it may be wise to take pause and question why. I think one of the reasons I have am given these opportunities is because it is apparent to most that I am enjoying my own journey. At this stage in my career these interactions, and the results yet to be measured, create an opportunity for me to reach for another milestone. I really am enjoying my journey!

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Home About Archive Mitch HagstromMitch Hagstrom
Executive Vice President
Chief Banking Officer
Pacific Continental Bank

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