Throughout my career, I have met two kinds of professionals – professionals who have chosen two very different paths to travel. This led me to understand how crucial it is for every professional to create his/her individual career map.
Now get ready to hear two very strange terms that I coined. Be’s and Are’s – these are the two kinds of professionals I notice every day! The Be’s are people who are willing to take risks, challenge the status quo, and do what needs to be done to become a better version of themselves, create better teams, and build better businesses. The Are’s…well, the Are’s just are what they are. This is not to say that the Are’s aren’t productive people, but they will probably always stay exactly where they are today – their tomorrow is no different. Both Be’s and Are’s could be equally good at getting things done, but one of the main differences between the two is that the Are’s lack a map and the Be’s create a clear map for themselves. A map, as you know, is simply a tool that helps you get to different places and makes sure you stay on track even when there are roadblocks.
Here are the main character differences between Be’s and Are’s:
Are you one of the Be’s or Are’s?
You could be from the best business, media, or medical school in the world, one of the brightest hires at your company, and have the best credentials, but you can still be one of the Are’s instead of one of the Be’s.
Do you sit and wonder how others are succeeding and growing or look at how other companies are succeeding? Great, many success stories start with inspiration. However, if all that you do is sit and wonder and fight to replicate someone else’s success, then you are one of the Are’s. You are comfortable choosing a tried and true method for success.
Be’s, on the other hand, get inspired and tend to forge ahead to create their own success stories, instead of just replicating an existing model. They use tried and true models as a reference point and tend to experiment more.
Creating an Orchestra vs. Creating Noise
Hey, if you are happy with where you are and how things are working for you, then that’s fine. But remember, businesses are inherently organic and dynamic – they tend to change, grow, and challenge the people involved.
Are’s tend to resist change and are slower to react to change. By not fully understanding the changing reality of business, the Are’s are unable to ensure that what they are doing maps to what the organization’s needs for success. This ultimately leads to their failure. Unfortunately, people who fail in an organization normally fail themselves more than they have failed a company. They leave an organization feeling defeated, frustrated, and confused. When Are’s work with teams, a lot of times they can create noise instead of music.
People who are one of the Be’s are not only able to align themselves to changing organizational goals or business challenges quickly, but are able to motivate others because of their positive energy. The Be’s end up creating a beautiful orchestra.
Creating your Career Map
Choosing the path that leads you to become one of the Be’s is the rougher road and is oftentimes you may need to be a trailblazer. Along this road, you may have some speed bumps, you may make mistakes by taking wrong turns, and sometimes you might even have to retrace your steps. But I assure you that at the end of your journey, you will be better off, as will your team and any organization you work for.
You would mostly prefer sticking to your comfort zone if you are one of the Are’s. You may be better suited for professions that call for more independent work, rather than working with a team or within a dynamic organization. You would do well in careers where not too many variables challenge the status quo and where textbook methods can produce desired results.
But no matter what type of a professional you are, I urge you to map out your career for the long run – I am not talking five years from now, but 25 years from now. You need to decide on the path you want to take, consider your areas of interests, strengths and weaknesses that you want to address, and necessary skills you want to develop. And here’s the most useful tip I can give you – don’t just chart your career map once and forget about it. Revisit your career map once every year and at the beginning of a new job, and update it – this way, you do not miss any new developments along the way to achieving your goals. Here’s wishing you all the best as you take your career to the next level!
Edwin has authored 9Lenses Insight to Action:A Social Approach to Business Optimization and Snapshot9 What’s Your Picture?:Accelerate Your Business Performance. Click here to download the first chapter of 9Lenses Insight to Action for free!