Remember the Clash’s song? Should I stay or Should I go?
Well what resolutions will you take in the new year? Every 365 days or so it is the same song… What should we do to enhance our life(style)… We may be mixing work and pleasure here… Is that the way to go? Well according to David Pink’s 3 great motivators, the answer is yes.
We must be searching for our next role, our next level, our next… target on our way to get to the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, right? Well maybe we are already there… But what is self actualisation really?
When I happen to teach, which is quite often these days, I always start with a little mind stretching/warming wisdom-sharing on the first day. On the following days, I start with something funny to watch or hear, as the mind opens up and is way more receptive when we are joyous. In essence, I strive to keep my below “students” interested and entertained during my fairly advanced and demanding courses like say TOGAF for instance. Consequently, I never delve straight into it, I rather allow them to get on board with such very intense course, nice and slow, by asking them if they actually know, who they really are…
Sounds weird? Well not quite so if you remember the good old ancient Greek principle “GNOTHI SEAUTON” (know thyself). Or maybe, you are more familiar with the S.W.O.T technique.
Except how many of you out there have ever addressed this for yourself? So the question is, how well do you know yourself? And if you do know yourself, how can you tell what is good or bad for you? It is time to look at your life in a different light.
So in terms of techniques, you have tried the rest, so now try the best… The architecture way!
I make my beloved peers in the class THINK! Yes you read this right… if you train with me you WILL have to think. I prefer to teach you how to fish for yourself rather than feeding you one fish at a time everyday, so not keeping you dependent upon my very presence… Sounds like a poor business model as a consultant you are thinking, well it all depends if you are going to be successful with my training material or not. Because if you are, then you will be one happy chap telling the world how life changing (for the better) my classes are. And that, my good friend, if not just good practice, but it is top marketing stuff and it makes me very happy for you too. Your success is my success.
So I keep sharing! That’s my secret. sharing goodwill, positiveness, curiosity. I have a broad knowledge, so my classes will give you a very broad view of the picture, the WHOLE picture in fact. You will learn how to sell yourself so you can sell your work, your art, your skills! Just beware though, this is NOT a technique to score high on interviews, as this is not what I do nor what I am remotely interested in. My audiences ask me about that sometimes and how I could advise them to land their next job as an architect for instance. I am afraid this is a very tough question to answer.
See, when I teach or consult, my audience is already acquired to me as an architect, they are either clients or peers so people who want to see a glass half full, not people who look at the glass half empty… They want my help not find the “perceived and very subjective flaw” that they can use to cull out the candidate in front of them. So not quite the same state of mind here… In front of clients and peers you MUST be honest, think also of THEIR win equally to yours and work out a way to keep them in the game. During job interviews, on the other hand, you probably should think only about landing the job, so do and say whatever it takes… It is quite a different perspective.
But I am digressing slightly here, so to get back to my sharing with my classes and for my “magic” to work on you, you must be prepared to enhance your vision on life and your surroundings. You need to “grow” continuously. You need to be and STAY curious!
Does it mean that the growth zone (in the first pic), is an elusive target? Me think not. Again following the 3 great motivators of David Pink, one MUST focus on one’s own natural abilities and ensure that a job is turned into a career (you know, something you do with pleasure, not for the money). Once you you are in the right role, trust me, you will know when that happens; if it has not already, you will feel safe and in control of your “destiny”.
Then Dunning-Krueger impostor effect will not be an issue for you any more because you will remove the lack of self confidence naturally, while focussing on moving forward into your learning zone. This is when you decide which path you want to follow and what you need to do to get to your target in life. Will it be financial comfort, personal comfort, both? This being said, my very first advice is never go to a job for the money…
If you are naturally good at something, you will surely do it extremely well, with passion and it will never be a chore. This, ultimately, will make you great at it and the world will take notice, eventually. Reversely, remember that if doing what you do, does not make you somewhat happy, then keep searching… Your perfect role is just around the corner and no one can find it for you but yourself, and yourself alone. So be curious, keep looking everywhere, all the time.
In the end, continuous learning is key to your fulfilment. Keeping steady is what causes angst and stress. Opening new ‘doors’ is what the human quest is about. Try new things, search a new skill, but first think about what is right for you. Don’t just collect certifications for the sake of it, design a path to success for yourself based on your SWOT results and self analysis of your natural abilities, skills (soft and hard) and pure instinct sometimes too.
I also help my people through this exercise, so if you struggle with it, let me know. Good training companies like mine offer more than just a set of courses, they offer a career path! Most training courses cost a fair bit and must therefore be a valuable investment giving you return on short to mid term.
Start your planning today, make a visual plan. Ask around what people think of their job and what it entails doing it every day. You could be surprised by what roles actually do that you probably did not know.
Personally I love EA. It is the best thing I have every learned to practice and I DO practice it every single day from the way I do my shopping to the way I organise my holidays and when I am asked to help clients with it out there, in their business environment, I promise you that it makes EA implementation so much easier.
Have a great festive holidays with your loved ones, good people. Stay safe, enjoy some time off if you can and see you all back in the new year.
by Axel Dancoisne – “Enterprise Architecture every day everywhere evangelist”
Author of the SIRF, how the little swiss knife of strategy can make your job/life much easier.