Career Magazine

How Fast Your Career Should Be Moving

Posted on the 22 May 2014 by Rebecca_sands @Rebecca_Sands

Multitasking on Daily Inspiration Board

If you make sure you’re loving what you do, you will inevitably do your best work and the money and status will come.

Why the rush?

So many of us feel like we need to be at a certain level or have particular credentials or status by a given time in our lives. It’s really hard not to compare ourselves with other people and yet it’s exactly the thing we must not do to ourselves. Every situation is different, and every one of us is on a different path. What works for one person in a given career may not work for the next. Life does not have a set script and it is constantly moulded by the energy that people put into it.

Setbacks affect the best of us

You can get your confidence knocked, which can set you back. What some people consider your weaknesses may actually be your best assets in other areas. Although you may feel overly challenged by a specific type of task, you probably excel in other areas and take that as a given without really recognising the excellence of your own work. It could also be true that you are working in a job that you perceive as your ideal job but which actually isn’t, when you consider your values and the way you want to live your life. All of these things can contribute to a non-linear career path. That – and the fact that sometimes you just may realize that you don’t like your job any more! That can definitely be a setback.

The most important measure for your career progress is not speed

The most important measure to give to your career is the comparison with yourself: how far have you come? Are you being true to your values in your current role? Where can you expand your expertise? Are you building confidence in your skills and abilities? Do you feel that you are on a path of growth, or are you stuck in a rut? Is your career evolving or is it stagnating? Do you enjoy your work and feel positive getting out of bed each day? Do you like, or at least respect, your colleagues? All of these things are more important than getting to a certain level in a particular time frame. I would also argue that if you feel your career timeline is going too slowly, it’s probably because one or more of the answers to the above questions is a firm negative. If you make sure you’re loving what you do, you will inevitably do your best work and the money and status will come.

Careers last for 45 years – or more! 

I read an article a while back – if only I could remember where! – that talked about careers in terms of three stages of 15-year increments. The first stage is learning, the second is growing and the third is giving back (or teaching). When you look at it like that, it actually does throw things in a new light. If you’ve ever hit the three to five-year mark and wondered when you were ever going to get ‘there’, this concept may have a particular resonance for you.

If just one of three career cycles lasts for 15 years, it seems that you may have a bit more time than you thought.

Too often we feel as though we need to have everything achieved by 30 – anything later and we’re too slow. This is definitely not the case. It’s great if you can achieve a lot in a short time, but it’s not for everyone and it shouldn’t be the goal. Having a fulfilling career and taking on new responsibilities when you’re ready for them and have figured out what you want in life is far more important.

When have you felt like your career is moving too slowly? Were you frustrated? 

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