The Principles Approach To Shaping Your Professional Career

There are many ways to shape your future career. These include pursuing the following routes.

The Principles Approach

Some people follow their principles and aim to do positive work on the way towards shaping their professional career. The principles they follow may be eternal but the way they express these may evolve to deliver excellence in the changing world of work.

The Personal Strengths Approach

Some people build on their personal strengths – the specific activities in which they deliver As rather than Bs or Cs. They aim to find sponsors – employers or customers – who want what they offer and then use their strengths to help these people to achieve success.

The Professional Skills Approach

Some people focus on the kinds of professional skills that employers may need now and in the future. They aim to add these skills to their repertoire – plus get the relevant qualifications – and apply these to keep shaping their career.

As mentioned earlier, there are many ways to shape your career. This piece focuses on the principles approach. Let’s explore how this can be translated into action.

The Principles Approach In Action

Imagine the scene. A person is being interviewed for a specific role in an organisation. At some point the interviewer may aim to clarify the person’s ambitions by asking some of the following questions.

“Where do you see yourself in five years? What is the role you would like to be in then? What are your career goals?”

Some individuals answer such questions by saying they would like to have gained promotion and be in a senior role. They may take this approach to show they are ambitious.

A person who follows the principles approach may answer such questions in a different way. They may say something along the following lines.

“As we know, the world of work is evolving, so it is hard to describe the actual job I will be doing.

“What I can say, however, is that it will be a role where I am following certain principles. For example, it will be a role where:

“I am working with a pacesetting company that is doing pioneering work in its field.

“I am leading a superb team that does great work that helps the company and its customers to achieve success.

“I am creating a positive environment that enables people to develop and, in some cases, move on to take more senior roles in the company.

“As I said, I am not sure what they actual role will be, but it will be embodying those principles that I have tried to follow in my professional life.”

People who take this approach have clarified the principles they want to follow. They then aim to express these in doing positive work and, in the process, shape their professional career.

Such individuals aim to keep developing and are also good at reading reality. As mentioned earlier, they recognise that:

The principles they aim to follow may, for them, be eternal;

The ways they express these principles may evolve, however, as the world of work also evolves;

They may need to keep developing as professionals in order to deliver excellence.

People who take this approach believe in a certain kind of consistency. They involves them following consistent principles that come from within themselves.

They are committed to development, however, and are able to apply the principles in pragmatic ways. They take this approach to doing superb work and delivering positive results.

They recognise that the world of work is changing. There are fewer predictable career paths anymore, but there will always be projects. Bearing this in mind:

They focus on how they can follow their principles in their present work and help their stakeholders to achieve success;

They focus on how they could follow their principles in the future to help potential employers or customers to tackle challenges or achieve their goals;

They focus on how they can continue to express their principles in modern ways in order to deliver excellence and help people to achieve success.

Different people obviously follow different principles in their work. The principles I have tried to follow, for example, have been to help people:

To build on their strengths, follow strategies that work and achieve their picture of success.

This is an approach I began following in the early 1970s when running five day courses on strengths coaching. Since then I have continued to follow these principles when working with individuals, teams and organisations.

You will have your own set of principles that you follow in your work. You may then express these in different ways when shaping your professional career. If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things:

To describe the principles you aim to follow in your work;

To describe some of the ways you may aim to express these to do positive work;

To describe some the things you can do to keep following these principles and shape your professional career.

Here is the exercise on these themes. It invites you to complete the following sentences.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>