It is very difficult for any of us to be totally realistic about ourselves. Yet the nearer we come to a state of realism concerning our strengths and weaknesses, as well as our problems and our opportunities, the better our chances of attaining our career goals.
We never can hit the bull’s eye so long as we overshoot or undershoot the target. We have many more Career Help Articles Now Available.
There are many examples of the point.
Tom Lincoln was a competent general counsel for a Fortune 500 company. He carried out these duties as the chief legal counsel so well that he soon earned a position on the corporation’s board of directors. Buoyed by his success, he soon began to cajole the CEO, his boss, and board members for greater responsibilities in making decisions about how to operate the several businesses of the giant conglomerate and make acquisitions.
He failed to realize that he had no expertise in such matters. He soon overextended himself and lost his position.
Consider the plight of Steve Freeman, who lost all sense of reality when ownership of the medium-sized service company that employed him changed hands. When he learned about the sale of his company he went immediately to the new owners and demanded a promotion on the grounds that they couldn’t do business without him.
As a matter of fact, the new owners had already determined that they had no need of the young man. When he delivered his ultimatum, instead of getting a bigger position, he was given 30 days to find another job.
Those who are inclined to challenge the need to strive for realism will immediately argue that career success requires the dreaming of big dreams and the setting of stretch goals.
A Foundation In Reality Is Necessary
But to be attainable, career goals must have a foundation in reality.
Nothing will be gained, but a waste of time and frustrations, by daydreaming about a career path that bears little relationship to abilities and resources.
On the opposite end of the scale, there are as many career shortfalls occurring every day as a result of people being unrealistic and underestimating their talents and resources.
Most sales managers agree that their major challenge usually is getting sales representatives to realize just how good they could be and how many more sales they could make by applying their full energies and abilities.
Don’t Sell Short
How many people do you know who constantly sell themselves short because they can’t – or won’t – face the facts about how much more they might attain?
While we may never be totally realistic about our own abilities and our opportunities we can move closer to that goal by taking some practical steps.
It follows that if it is virtually impossible to see ourselves objectively, then we need to find someone else who can. This means finding a mentor who will be candid in helping us to see the realties of where we are and where our would take us.
Take A Reality Check For Career Success
A pencil and sheet of paper are important reality tools. Write down an inventory of our present situation and then describe our career goal. Do these components fit? Do we really have what it takes to get what we want? If not, what do we need to do to make a winning connection between our abilities and our goals? Do we need to scale down our dreams or improve our assets?
Take action based on these realities. We have many more Career Help Articles Now Available.