Career Goals – The Window Seat

by | Oct 21, 2010 | 0 comments

What is your career goal? Lately, I have been reflecting and reading about this question – and how people answer it.

Several things I have read and listened to have been written by people who have ideas and have shared them with others via various forms of communication. Not just a Facebook posts – but something bolder – taking part in the larger conversation – making a statement. These “bold” people – who we call authors – are all businessmen and women – outselling what they have to offer the world. Some I like, some I do not, and some are just plain crazy. Yet, they are the voices that set the trends and steer the conversations – if only for a moment in time.

But they are not important here. What I wonder about is the silence. What about those are those people who are afraid to speak? What are they saying? Or perhaps they are not afraid – they are just too busy working – often for those people who do speak.

I have interviewed many people in the past few years. I was interviewing them either for acceptance into the IEM program or for a position for which I was hiring. I often ask them where they want to go. I am not sure if they think the question is some interviewing trick or what – but they answer is often something like “I want to take the next step.”

What is the next step? For many, it is a move into management. For another, a move one rung up the ladder in the corporation. But where does it lead? Where are they heading?

I was interviewing a candidate, we can call him Douglas, for acceptance into IEM. I asked him what he wanted – and instead of telling me what he wanted – he explained what he did not want…

Douglas has been working for a large company for two years. Recently a set of personnel changes left a window cube open – and one of the 25-year veterans was given this prime piece of real estate and proudly went around telling everyone he had finally made it to the window seat. Douglas was stunned – after 25 years all you have got to show for your effort is a window seat? Douglas told me this is NOT want he wanted – he wanted something more!

Yet, day after day, I see people jockey for the window seat. Political battles sometimes ensue. Long hours and even backstabbing take place. It can get bloody. Sometimes the window seat is really a job title or a perk – but the reality is it is never the freedom to call the shots.

What is your goal? Is it a window seat, a job title, or other perks? But the bigger question is “Why?” Is this “perk” really what you want? Come on – really? You have the option to define it – so have you done so?

About the Author

Dale Callahan

Learn more on this topic

Related Posts

Join in the conversation

Leave a Comment


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *