As I explain in my book, we move through several stages of character development over the course of our careers. A critical transition occurs when we move from the Fear stage to the Authenticity stage. This marks the first transition that is proactive and intentional.
Prior to this point in our development, movement from one stage to the next is reactive, prompted by various events and our reactions to them. But then, a beautiful thing occurs. We begin to crave more.
We recognize that approaching our careers fearfully or defensively doesn’t prevent difficult situations from happening at work, it just weakens our mental and emotional stamina for dealing with those things. We speculate that if we pursue work we enjoy and do things that fulfill us, we will find more satisfaction and a greater capacity for taking on new challenges.
How do we pursue work that fulfills us during this stage? It starts by getting to know ourselves anew. We try to get the hang of what it means to be real, sincere, and genuine. We focus on the development of our mental and moral qualities, our character, in a manner that allows us to express our authentic selves.
As we (re)discover ourselves during the Authenticity stage of character development, we are compelled to honor ourselves in a new way, including the pursuit of assignments or opportunities that align with our interests and talents.
Have you made the transition to the Authenticity stage yet?