becoming your own career ceo her magazine

When it comes to your career, you are the Chief Executive Officer. Not your partner, family members or your boss. YOU get to decide what you want to do, how long you want to stay in one position or if it’s time to start looking for a new job.

“The skills required to be that CEO demands more than desire – it demands a sense of purpose, a sense of direction, and the practical tools to negotiate the journey,” says Tim Cole, author of The Compass Solution: A Guide to Winning Your Career.

Many employees face the challenge to embrace the notion of becoming their own career CEO says Cole.  After more than three decades working in the healthcare field, he saw thousands of people struggle in the “in-between,” often working in a role they no longer wanted but suffering through a decision process they were unable to negotiate.

“Most, unfortunately, fall into career inertia when faced with the reality of a dead-end position or a dying division. They equivocate – they delay – they struggle,” says Cole.

In his book, Cole outlines the “Corporate Divorce Ten” – fundamental questions to help others work the decision of leaving or staying more effectively. He shared 5 of those questions with HER Magazine.

Ask yourself:

  • Am I truly happy here?
  • Are this company’s values aligned with mine?
  • Am I passionate about what I do every day?
  • Do my skill sets align with what I do?
  • Is my role rewarding – and does it offer me a future?

If your current role isn’t allowing you to grow and develop critical skill sets, you might want to think about where your position is taking you. Where you are should be balanced first against where you intend to be – in five years, ten years, etc. Think about how your current role is helping you achieve those goals. Are you moving in that direction?

On a scale from 1-10, rate your level of passion you bring to your current job. What is the reason for that rating? Make sure you see yourself in a position that will expand your existing skills.

“No future – no dream. No dream – no stay,” says Cole.

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1) The culture – What is the culture at your workplace like? Is the culture supportive, nourishing, creative, opportunistic? Is this a place people want to be part of?

2) The leadership – “Transformative leaders affect change by appealing to the hearts and minds of their constituency,” says Cole. “Transactional managers (far more common) operate in a quid pro quo world where they compensate for services rendered and little more.” Think about what kind of leadership you want to work for.

3) The people – Do the people at your job work together or are they overtly competitive? Are they working together to achieve the common goal? “Most businesses (and most workplaces) can be identified by the emotional health of their constituents – and that pedigree also dictates productivity, profitability, and long-term success,” says Cole.

4) The vision – “We work best when we believe our contributions extend beyond that day’s efforts,” Cole says. Employees want to know they are part of a future that exceeds their views of what can be.

“The greatest financial investment of our lives is our career. For most there is not a close second,” says Cole. “Demonstrate the courage to move on with your life.”

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