Hello world!

The grass doesn’t have to be greener somewhere else!

At some point, everyone looks for another position, another job, another way to spend the hours between sleep and play.  The ‘grass is always greener’ syndrome is one that some folks spend years with, always looking for that place where the work is better, more satisfying, more…something, even if they don’t know exactly what.

This space is for Career Owners–those who create their work, the environment, the path that is better and more satisfying. Career owners are ususally thought of as entrepreneurs and business owners…and they are. But this space fosters a broader idea of ownership, and includes every individual who takes responsibility for his or her work, particularly those within organizations.

As we’ve moved away from the top-down, assembly line work of the industrial economy, organizations are doing limited or no career planning because the old definition of career doesn’t work anymore. Little stays the same, and careers in the service and information economy need a continual stream of upgraded knowledge, skills and capabilities. A career path isn’t defined any longer by tenure, dues paid or natural next steps and in most organizations is defined informally or not at all.  So for individuals to continue to lease or rent their careers is a poor investment of, literally, their time and their # 1 financial asset. But long-held beliefs and comfort with a paternalistic environment make this move a challenging one for most.

Career owners are those who have or who want to take responsibility for defining their best work direction, one that aligns with their talents and authenticity.  Career owners inside organizations are able to support both their own best direction as well as the direction of the organization. While the process for taking ownership is challenging, it is not difficult and the possible outcomes have broad-reaching benefits.

How could organizations compete in the global economy with “all brains on deck”? When innovation and collaboration are not just supported but encouraged, when individuals are respected for their talents and contributions and when every person owns the outcomes, the emotional connection to the significance of the work drives excellence. Challenged, engaged workers create satisfied customers who drive business success.

Over the next weeks and months, we invite career owners and especially those who want to become career owners to visit us, post responses, opinions and questions and open a dialog that empowers those who want to take responsibility to do so.  We hope that human resources and talent management folks jump into the discussions and help identify forces within organizations that provide impediments as well as support for employee career ownership. For our part, we’ll outline and discuss the building blocks of career ownership and steps, approaches and thoughts on how to use those blocks to move forward.

We’re excited to get started, and to help people with the desire and the commitment to truly own their career paths. When you grow your own green(er) grass, there is little reason to be frustrated, bored or powerless.  You have the security, the challenge and satisfaction of work that feeds your soul, and a certainty and pride that your work matters. Organizations get your energy, your creativity, your best work and the respect that comes from a valuable partnership.

Here’s to doing work you love…

Janine

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