I want to put forward to you a case for a connected career. Allow me to first offer a definition for the term, a connected career. Then I am going to share three reasons in support of its pursuit. So let’s start with the definition.
For me, it’s really important to explain the term as simply as possible. So please be unphased when I say that the explanation I’m offering has it roots in the definition of meaning by Positive Psychologist, Martin Seligman. In his book, Authentic Happiness, Seligman describes meaning as “using your signature strengths and virtues in the service of something much larger than you are”. A connected career is where, in work, you use the best of what you have towards something greater than you that you are personally interested in.
So why pursue a connected career?
Following on from above, Seligman’s research shows that meaning (I’m going to use the word connection rather than meaning, as meaning has many connotations) is the greatest contributor to an individual’s happiness. On average, work is the single biggest activity we devote time to each week. So by having a connection to our career, we can ensure we can generate positive emotion and happiness from our work. This positive emotion and happiness that we generate in those 30/40/50+ hours a week has a positive knock-on impact on our outlook, energy and happiness in our everyday lives.
A video podcast a couple of years ago by the Financial Times caught my eye. In it, they interviewed Warwick University Economics Professor, Andrew Oswald. Oswald explains how his research is providing evidence to show that happier people are more productive in the workplace. So by being connected to our career, not only are we improving the happiness we generate from the time spent there, we are also likely to enhance our productivity. This is hugely important in terms of achieving the goals and ambitions that we each have for our career.
3. Role-model/Positive impact:
“The greatest gift you can give someone else is your own personal development” – Jim Rohn.
By following, and continually investing in maintaining, a connected career, we automatically become a positive role model for others considering their own career choices. Outside of work, the positivity we experience in work organically contributes to us being a positive, happy and warm person to be around (most of the time anyways!). All the people we spend time with during your day see and feel that. Thus our company has a positive impact on them.
These are three compelling reasons to support the case for a connected career. This supporting case, along with the explanation of the term a connected career, are useful references to self-reflect on our own career path. In particular in answering the question, what direction do I want to go to maximise the connection to my career?
The personal prize for establishing and maintaining that connection is a great one.