Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Racquetball Player - Finding Yourself in Your Career

I have a colleague at work who is an avid racquetball player.  She's also very good at what she does in the workplace - facilitating organizational change.  I was flattered the other day when she asked if she could talk something through with me.

She had been presented with a job offer at another company, and she was seriously considering it.  It offered her more stability, more opportunity to advance her career, and potentially more opportunity to travel.  However, the position also potentially required her to hob-knob with big wigs at events and make speeches.  She wasn't entirely comfortable with this.

She found herself questioning whether she should stay working where she is now (safe, comfortable, secure in her position, and happy with the contacts she is making) or move to this new position that would be more challenging, stressful, risky, but also have potentially more prestige and more of a learning opportunity.

She was asking herself great questions.  But which of the positions was a better fit for her personality - who she is on the inside?  I asked her this, and she laughed and told me about something she observed about herself with her racquetball playing.  She's a pretty competitive person, and likes a rip-snortin' racquetball game.  However she noticed that she had been avoiding certain players that she had played with in the past.  When she thought about why she trying not to schedule a game with those people, she realized that they were only there to win.  She didn't have any fun playing with them - they were playing like it was a serious competition.  She wanted to play hard, but she also wanted to enjoy herself and have fun too.

I wondered out loud if she could see herself being able to do that in this new position?  Was it all about climbing the corporate ladder and getting the position, or deep down inside did she want to be able to enjoy the work she was doing?  It's great to take a challenge and learn, but if it wasn't a fit for who she really is as a person, should she really do it?

While you're here, don't miss our 'Career Resources for Graduates and Young Adults' page on the right.  It has several good links to videos, articles, and web sites that you may find beneficial.

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