Career Success

The Context: Career Success is at the intersection of organizational and personal goals. Employees who enjoy their careers are more productive, more innovative and more effective. Organizations that promote career enrichment resources get to the finish line first.

As an executive, one has a dual role:  To make sure her career is successful and fully engaged and, as a corollary, to make space and create conditions for those she leads so they can be fully engaged. A successful executive must, by necessity, have engaged his workforce with his vision of the organization.  There has never been a successful executive who had not created conditions for the career success of his people.

For both the leader and the associate career success is a dynamic process rather than a formula.  A successful executive is aware of his own callings and intuition. Isolated cases of career dissatisfaction at the lower rungs are not something that catches up with the organization’s survival.  Career dissatisfaction at the executive level is another story. A senior executive, stuck in a career dissatisfaction track, affects everyone he leads and, eventually, everything that is done in the organization.

Career success is more than success at work. Career is a part of life. As life moves on, executives need to integrate their current values into their work.  Careers are trajectories, pathways of a journey that is to be enjoyed for its own intrinsic pleasure. The pleasure of a hungry sales professional when she gets the "Yes" to the first major deal in her company, the pleasure of a senior executive who sees a major infrastructure project completed, the pleasure of a director who integrated electronic procurement systems with overseas suppliers, the pleasure of a manager who is coaching a group of supervisors to the completion of an IT project critical for customer service, the pleasure of a researcher who sees his dream come true when FDA approves the drug.

Harnessing the energy of powerful aspirations to achieve goals shared by the organization and the individual is the only way successful companies get things done effectively. When the connection between the executives’ aspiration and the organizational benefit is clear,  executives blossom and their employers prosper.

The complexity of career success comes from the art of connecting the person and the organization. Although both parties need to do their part, it is the person who needs to understand her needs first and foremost. Organizations have their own needs. They have roles that need to be fulfilled, projects to be completed, and products to be launched. But, if the person does not know her needs and does not set a direction how to actualize these needs, she will make the wrong choices. And this is what happens when people wake up to the hard reality that their job no longer energizes them.

The Solution: We, at NovAspire, Inc., believe that executive career success is essential.  Organizations need to spend resources to facilitate blossoming of career success for all employees who want to develop their careers. On the other hand, unless the individual assesses his needs, and has true aspirations and the energy to pursue them, the best career development programs in an organization will not succeed. One of our strengths is to lead the individual executive to the bridging of his / her aspirations with the organizational agenda.  An executive typically has fewer opportunities to assess his career success.  The reasons are obvious:  He is considered to have attained career success; he is busy with the running of the business and does not have the time to reflect at length about his career. Furthermore, who do you talk to when you are the leader?

We have worked with organizations to build successful career education and career development programs. What we mostly find exciting, however, is the work that executives need to do to identify and embrace what they want in their personal and work life.  And, once they have identified it, to make it happen.  To find the aspirations that energize them; to set out a plan to make them happen; to work their plan; to arrive at the new destination; to be happy and productive; to enjoy life in all its dimensions.

As coaches and mentors we have addressed the issue of career success with thousands of executives.  Some examples of our work include:

  • Decision making interventions.  Assisting the executive – when applicable with participation of her / his life partner –to decide whether to accept another position in the company that will take him to another functional role and perhaps to another part of the country.
  • Career Development group processes for Executives earning EMBA  to leverage higher credentials and capabilities upon return to their organization. 
  • One on one career goal clarification and planning for Executives pursuing an executive MBA or other advanced degrees to enhance their careers.
  • Decision making interventions relating to starting on a different career track (new employer, entrepreneurial track, not for profit volunteer track, partial retirement with limited consulting engagements, and other options). Participation of a life partner, when applicable,  may be appropriate for parts of those interventions.