Sustainable careers require bliss, demand, and unique skills

flowers on lakeNever working a day in our lives because we love our jobs is the nirvana many of us have been seeking since college.  Now, Monique Valcour, a professor of management at EDHEC Business School in France, who has spent 15 years researching careers, adds dimension to following your bliss.

In a recent Harvard Business Review blog cited in a Huffington Post article, Valcour advises that,  when it comes to building sustainable success in your career, all of the self-awareness in the world is of little use if you can’t pitch your passion to a buyer.  A sustainable career is built upon the ability to show that you can fill a need that someone is willing to pay for.”

So what would a sustainable career even look like? As Valcour describes it:

Year after year, you perform work that makes full use of your skills and challenges you to develop new ones. Your work not only interests you, it gives you a sense of meaning. You enjoy opportunities for learning and development. You work with people who energize you. You are confident that your skills and competencies make you valuable and marketable and that you can access opportunities through your network. You are able to fit your work together with the other things in your life that are important to you, like family, friends, and leisure.

And… you get paid for it because it has value not only to you, but to others.

The article also offers five effective ways to be happier at work and build a sustainable career:

1. Analyze the data of your daily life.  Be aware and very observant of your daily experience at work.

2. Find a workplace that supports your priorities outside the office.  To me, it’s not really work-life balance; it’s more about work-life INTEGRATION.

3. Don’t underestimate the power of learning.  Continuous learning and growth is key to staying happy and fulfilled in your career over time.

4. Work with inspiring people. Work alongside smart, energetic, connected people who have taken an interest in you.

5. Develop rare and valuable skills. Develop passion around your work through the cultivation of rare and valuable skills. People who end up loving their work often follow a pattern of creating these sought-after skills, and then using them to better leverage their career trajectories.

I encourage you to read the whole article – it’s a valuable new perspective.

 

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About Jaya Koilpillai Bohlmann
Global corporate communication, business, and organization behavior executive; author. My blog, DesigningCommunication, offers inspiration, insight, and tips for all professionals who want to express themselves effectively, and lead with integrity.

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