Tomorrow, we’ll celebrate our nation’s independence. While we may be far removed from any colonial experience, we’re reminded that there are certain things that we refuse to give up – things that we feel set us at our best. They could be physical things, ways of living, opportunities, or property. When we’re asked (or told) to give these things up, everything tends to go south for everyone involved.
So, while we’re trying to do our best – achieve our individual goals and be successful by our own definition – what do we do when we’re asked to help someone else accomplish a goal or be successful on their terms? Rather than just filling a role they’ve defined for us, we can offer them us at our best, and make decisions that most closely align with our idea of success – decisions that aim for the greatest mutual benefit – while remaining focused on the shared goal.
Often, though, we don’t carry with us a complete picture of the things that we consider inalienable. They’re an aggregate of our values, motives, and competencies. When they’re all working together, we’re happy, high-performing, focused, effective people. When we move away from them, we’re adrift, out of our own territory, and more susceptible to the elements (negative influences, misdirection, dissatisfaction). They’re our anchors.
Now in its fourth edition, Career Anchors is a soft-skills training program that addresses employee engagement as it is shaped by values, motives, and competencies. Unlike a lot of corporate training materials, Career Anchors focuses on the big picture of our work-life: where we are, were we want to go, and why.
When we work as part of an organization, we understand that the value of our actions is measured by their alignment with organizational goals. Just the same, the choices we make concerning our own jobs and careers are measured against their alignment with our “anchors.”
Career Anchors can help us make those choices count. It can remind us that we can create the most positive outcomes when we are at the helm of our own career – self-aware and ready to give our best to those who need us.