At the beginning of this series I introduced five core questions that can steer you towards high performance and self-management:
Learning your answers to these question will help you build a life of excellence.
In Part 4, let’s address the question – “where do I belong?”
Where Do I Belong?
Successful careers are not planned. They develop when people are prepared for opportunities because they know their strengths, their method of work, and their values.
Most people don’t know what they want to do with their lives. They stumble along until something clicks with them and they move forwards in their career. Unfortunately for many people, what clicks is often the path of least resistance.
Most people don’t take the time to engage in self study and learn about themselves. They haven’t taken the time to address the first three parts of this series to build towards asking themselves this question:
Considering my strengths, preferred work style, and values, what kind of work environment is best for me?
It’s extremely important to be able to answer this question if you want to find a workplace that is satisfying both personally and professionally. Knowing what your ideal work environment is also necessary for you to become a top notch performer. It’s unlikely that you will perform well in an environment you don’t enjoy.
If you’re in a work environment that is anathema to you personally – your strengths aren’t utilized, you can’t work the way you do best, is contrary to your personal values – then it’s unlikely your or your employer are going to get much out of you being there.
It should also lead you to bigger questions:
- What is your integrity worth?
- Your self-respect?
- Are you working purely for money or do you want something more?
This also isn’t to say that as an employee you should try to change the culture of where you work, rather you should take the time to find a workplace where you can excell. Don’t bother trying to be a square peg fitting into a round hole. You might eventually be able to do it, but at the expense of being able to put energy into more productive affairs.
If you can find the right fit, you’ll transform from an acceptable employee into a top performer. Or if you want to work for yourself, it can help you transform from a worker bee into a renegade killer bee.
We’ll wrap things up in a couple of days by addressing the final question, what can I contribute?
Aside – if you like strained analogies like the killer bee scenario, you should grab my book. It’s about becoming a lawyer but is largely applicable to anyone starting down a new career path.