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The Great Realization #6: Envisioning the Job

Visualize the Future

After so much has gone into establishing our job and all of the efforts along the way in our employee life cycle, we do reach a place where we start to see something take shape in our future steps. Maybe it’s a snapshot into the future about how we plan to grow into the organization. Maybe it’s feeling like, “Now that I know what I know, I am ready to take a step into a new direction, doing something completely different.” Or maybe, the future looks like exactly where you are, developing your influence, and investing in the job culture and the people around you. If and when you realize it’s not a job, but start envisioning it as a career path, you start to treat the job a little differently. 

Let’s go back a bit. Have you ever been asked, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” I have never been a fan of that question. Not about its intention; I understand that. It’s more so about how hard it is to answer. We live in an immediate gratification current scene, and seeing what we may want to be doing in one year, let alone five, can seem daunting.  

If we have started the job, fully engaged in it, and leveraged to grow ourselves in our position, it stands to reason our confidence in the future elevates. And when that elevates, so does our ability to see, even a little bit more clearly, what we see ourselves doing.  This job, maybe another job, creating a new job, tapping into our passion, being entrepreneurial, or encouraging others in their path…it’s all possible.  

Part of the employee life cycle is envisioning the future.

Asking the Question 

Two types of questions; internal and external. One that challenges what we need to do next or what we want to evolve in ourselves and the job. In a way, it’s unpacking the five-year question of where we are. The next is the one we ask our boss about how they see us evolving. This might be a tough question to ask; either there’s nothing obvious or maybe you don’t want to seem pushy or ungrateful. It’s about growth and pushing your capabilities…they need to know your interest and drive. 

Crafting Your Brand  

How do you see yourself and how do you want to be seen? When time, tenure, and confidence elevate, I contend, this is when you start to stretch. You need to stretch and begin defining who you are, who you are becoming, and what gifts and value propositions you offer. Personally speaking, after doing the consulting and facilitation thing for a while, I began to see my niche. I began to craft the best things and greatest attributes I could offer others focused on that. Turned “I can deliver anything and everything you want” into “I deliver this and will provide value here”. I branded my strengths. 

How do you see yourself and how do you want to be seen?
Guy looking at his reflection in a window.

Mentoring Others  

I believe the true test of competency and confidence is when it is seen by others, and they ask, “How would you handle this?” Or “I’d like to pick your brain about how you have done ‘x’…tell me about your story.” I also believe there is time in your job when it’s time to develop others; either out of necessity (succession planning for the next-gen) or out of a heart to help others and lift them up (servant leadership, even if you’re not a leader by title). Either way, our future may be about others so they also can begin to envision the future. 

There comes a time in your job when it is time to start mentoring or training others.
Woman training another woman on a computer.

Taking a Small Step 

We’ve tagged taking risks in an earlier share. Well, that is also a prominent aspect of envisioning forward. To see yourself doing something – maybe something untried, unexpected, or unbelievable, and then taking a small step of action to start doing it. Maybe it’s something you are passionate about, and then aligning it with your job. Or maybe it’s taking some research of interest and applying it to your day-to-day. It could be presenting a case study to expand what you do. Just to see what happens next. 

Take steps toward the vision of your career.
Feet on the ground, take a step.

Painful Realization 

The reality is, we may very well come to the belief and understanding that it’s time to move on. While yes, the impression is, if we do all these things in the employee life cycle, we will become one with our current job, that is not always the case. We may conclude, it is time to move on to the next chapter of our professional journey. And, by the way, it may not be such a bad thing for all parties, just a necessary one. 

Sometimes you come to a place in your job when it is time to move on.
Man carrying box of items backed up from desk.

You know, I wasn’t sure what to call this episode. What comes after leveraging and expanding our job? Then a colleague shared a word: envision. The definition…to imagine a future possibility. To visualize or expect something to happen, appear, etc. in a particular way. Envisioning the job, more specifically, seeing the future seemed to make sense. 

Five years seems like such a long time. And yet, think about the last two years, and all that has happened. What might we have said about our job before COVID and all the ripples it created? Is it conceivable that all of that changed our trajectory and did it force us to realize what we really wanted and why? I am not sure if my five-year vision for the future changed, but how I engage in it has. At least, that’s how I see it. 

This is the sixth episode in the series, The Great Realization. From leveraging it to envisioning the future. 

#greatrealization #greatresignation #greatregret #selfdiscovery #employeelifecycle #russellcellular  

Then check out my article on LinkedIn

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