If you’ve read my previous blogs, you know that I am a strong advocate of Self-Management. I believe a great many good things happen to individuals and organizations when self-managing skills and attitudes are being developed and given the room to flourish. In this blog, I want to talk about the relationship between career well-being and Self-Management. I will argue that career well-being is positively linked to the degree to which individuals are capable of managing their own careers.
First, we have to ask ourselves what career well-being is. At CareerCoach® we consider it a function of alignment with intrinsic motivators and of a long-term healthy balance between your job demands and your career resources so that they induce energy rather than stress. People who manage to maintain healthy levels of self-confidence, optimism, resilience and hope over a long period of time will experience positive feelings about their career and therefore report feelings of career well-being.
The second question is: “What is Self-Management in the career?” At CareerCoach® it is defined as showing high scores on the Career Attitudes. In a previous blog, I’ve explained in detail the four Career Attitudes we measure.
Both concepts - Energy-Stress balance and Career Attitudes - are measured in individuals. By now, I’ve done over 300 feedbacks and in my experience, there is a clear link between these concepts, which is also supported by statistical analyses.
High scores on Career Attitudes predict healthy levels of Energy-Stress Balance. Based on what respondents have shared with me during our feedback sessions, I come to the conclusion that people with high scores on Career Attitudes tend to do everything in their power to adjust their professional context to their needs, with higher scores on the Energy-Stress Balance as a result.
Low scores on Career Attitudes predict lower levels on the Energy-Stress Balance. In the feedback sessions with respondents, I notice a passive attitude towards the unsatisfying professional situation. More so, in many cases, the lower levels on the Energy-Stress Balance are chronic, increasing the risk of burn- or bore-out.
Of course, there are individual cases which don’t fit the global trend.
High scores on Career Attitudes and low scores on the Energy-Stress Balance. In these cases, the scores on the Energy-Stress balance are not so much really low, but they are strained. The respondent is usually very much aware of what is causing the strain and sure enough, in the weeks/months that follow the debrief on the CareerCoach®, the respondent has already taken measures to change the context. I like to think that it is because of their high scores on the Career Attitudes that these coachees take action to improve their professional situation.
Low scores on Career Attitudes and healthy scores on the Energy-Stress Balance. I don’t often see this situation in individual cases, but when I do, the respondents strike me as people with a limited awareness of their careers. They usually don’t have a clear sense of what is motivating to them nor do they have a clear career identity. They seem to have been lucky in the sense that they haven’t had to make tough choices concerning their careers in the past and that their current professional situation seems to suit them. I always find myself wondering what will happen if by no choice of their own they are forced to make career decisions…