Career management pundits get carried away with all of the tactical aspects of career management. “10 different ways to manage your career” or “5 ways to prevent being laid off” come to mind as good titles to reflect the tactical.
The tactical aspects of career management, of course, are necessary. But they are hard to implement unless you know your dream.
You know your dream, don’t you? The one where you are enjoying your work, working in the area you love, and successfully helping others? That dream.
Too often, we look at the job we are doing and think we are managing our career by looking at the next step up the corporate ladder. Or figuring out how to stay in our position a bit longer. Or how to navigate the shoals of surviving our poor manager.
Instead, we should be looking at the tactical moves in relation to how they get closer to the work we love in our dream.
It is the dream that makes you want to get up in the morning in spite of the obstacles in your way.
It is the dream that gives you focus on making your work better.
It is the dream that makes you reach out to others in your work to make your work more meaningful.
It is the dream that makes you create big goals and hit them.
If you don’t know your dream, completing the thousand tactical actions will still leave you empty.
The tactical is nothing without the dream.