Author: Future Manager Research Center
Success, self-realization, power and even money are among the most common thoughts that spontaneously arise in many people minds when they are asked: “What does it mean to you to make a career?”.
In some ways, this is a real shame. To understand the reasons for this statement, let’s try to dig and investigate the etymology of the term “career“. The origin is Latin, “carrus” and the term is also related to the Latin verb “currere” (“to run”). This shows how since ancient times this word was used in a competitive context, that of horse racing carried out with chariots. The semantic extension for which “career” means the course of one’s public or professional life appears at the beginning of the 19th century. In more recent times, therefore, its meaning is commonly associated with the path that an individual takes to reach a high status in the hierarchy of his profession.
In the business field, there is a tendency to consider a person who holds a rewarding position both for notoriety, for his/her earnings and for the decision-making power he/she holds as people at the top of their careers. Often they are individuals taken as a model of life: they brilliantly faced their course of studies, which subsequently led them to the occupation for which they have been educated. The past of these men and women at the height of their careers may therefore seem the result of a journey that, although slightly uphill, has always been linear.
In reality, things are quite different: the individuals we see being accomplished at a professional level very often have a human path behind them that disregards the considerable work goals. This is the reason why you should be satisfied with your career when it is understood as the achievement of individual identity, that is, when you realize that you have managed to reconcile professional life with family life, passions and aspirations.
The famous climb to success is extremely subjective and we should learn to respect those who have goals different from ours. For some, being recognized as leaders by their peers is more important than being salaried with astronomical sums; for others, however, remuneration is a symptom of personal fulfillment and a source of pride; others are interested only in feeling satisfied in private life, work therefore becomes a necessary accessory but nothing more than this. In each of these cases, humans can be considered career people. What matters is being able to evaluate one’s success; it is therefore important to channel one’s energies by investing in self-improvement, to escape from that social contagion that only leads to the creation of clichés and to clear the career-power combination.
True strength, fulfillment, and true power come from the most unexpected things. The writer Robert Greene invites all those who wish to assert themselves to adopt the “fearless approach”:
“[…] (Replace) the old stalwart symbols of power – the rock, the oak tree, etc. – with that of water, the element that has the greatest potential force in all of nature. Water can adapt to whatever comes its way, moving around or over any obstacle. It wears away rock over time. This form of power does not mean you simply give in to what life brings you drift. It means that you channel the flow of events in your direction, letting this add to the force of your actions and giving you powerful momentum.