Years ago, Pablo Picasso was sitting in a café in Paris doodling on a napkin when an admirer of his work excitedly approached him.

“Can you draw a quick sketch for me? I’ll pay you for it.” she asked.

“Sure” said Picasso. He proceeded to draw a quick sketch and then handed the napkin over to her.

“Here you go. That’ll be twenty thousand dollars.”

“What?!” exclaimed the woman in shock. “It took you two minutes to draw that.”

“No ma’am it took me over 60 years.” He shoved the napkin in his pocket and walked away.

The moral of this folktale is that it takes a great deal of time to become an expert in a particular subject and that competency and proficiency have incredible value.

Are you feeling stuck in your career? Do you desire to propel your career forward, but aren’t sure what steps to take?

Here are three ways that you can unleash the power of your career potential:

  1. Choose a Career That is Meaningful to You

Do you dread going to work every day? Do you cringe when people ask you what you do?

Having a career that can offer you a desirable salary, benefits, and favorable schedule is important, but having a career that is personally meaningful to you is vital for your personal and professional success.

The Energy Project, a company that engages with organizations who are struggling to execute a strategy, achieve a goal, and fuel higher performance, conducted a survey to discover the reason people hate their jobs. Over 12,000 people worldwide were surveyed, and the results were that employees who derive meaning and significance from their work were more than three times as likely to stay with their organizations—the highest single impact of any variable in the survey. These employees also reported 1.7 times higher job satisfaction and they were 1.4 times more engaged at work.

How do you find a career that is personally meaningful to you?

In a recent interview we conducted with Jeanne Patti, Owner and Founder of People Dynamics, she pointed out that:

“The thing that comes easiest to us is our greatest value, but we don’t often think that it is valuable because it comes so easy to us.”

The first step in finding a meaningful career is realizing what naturally comes easy to you and what type of work you personally enjoy doing. A helpful tool that can assist you in choosing a career that is compatible with your personality and interests is taking a free online career assessment test.

Maybe you aren’t currently facing these issues and do find meaning and value in your career choice, but are unsure of how to advance your career. If this is the case, one of the most beneficial things you can do is to:

  1. Become an Expert in your Field of Interest

An expert is, “a person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area.”

How do you become an expert in your field of interest? To become an expert, you must:

  • Become comfortable with failure.

Neils Bohr, a Danish Physicist who received the Nobel Prize in Physics said:“An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.”

Failure is inevitable, you can’t control that. You can however, control your reaction to it, learn from it, and be resilient and tenacious despite any failures that come your way.

When Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, it took him 1,000 tries before he was successful in his endeavor. When a reporter asked him how it felt to fail 1,000 times, he replied that he didn’t fail 1,000 times, the light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.

  • Practice!

There’s no substitute for hard work. John Hayes, a cognitive psychology professor at Carnegie Mellon University spent decades investigating the role of practice in top performers. He studied successful composers and analyzed thousands of musical pieces from the years of 1685 to 1900. His question was: “How long after one becomes interested in music is it that one becomes world class?”

He discovered that not one of the people that he studied produced awe-inspiring work without putting in a decade of practice first. He referred to this period as the “Ten Years Silence.” He continued on to study famous painters and poets and found similar patterns among them.The point is that in order to become excellent in your career, you need to be willing to invest a great deal of time and energy before you can consider yourself an expert.

  1. Create a Mission Statement

Lastly, in order to truly propel your career forward you need to create a clear mission statement for yourself.

William Arruda, author of Ditch, Dare, Do: 3D Personal Branding for Executives says, “Think of yourself as a personal brand. A personal mission statement is a critical piece of your brand because it helps you stay focused.”

Just because you are employed by a company, doesn’t mean that you can’t create your own mission statement. Formulating a mission statement for your career gives you something to aim towards at every stage of your career and gives you the power to say no to things that are distractions.

Your mission statement should be short and to the point. Spend time contemplating your values and priorities and write them out. Once you have a clear understanding of what your career goals are and who you strive to be as a person, incorporate the two and write them as succinctly as possible. Here are some mission statements from successful CEO’s:

  • Denise Morrison, Campbell Soup: “To serve as a leader, to live a balanced life, and apply ethical principles to make a significant difference.”
  • Amanda Steinberg, “To use my gifts of intelligence, charisma, and serial optimism to cultivate the self-worth and net-worth of women around the world.”
  • Richard Branson, The Virgin Group: “To have fun in my journey through life and learn from my mistakes.”

Starting today, you can take action to have a meaningful career that challenges and inspires you, and hopefully helps others along the way.

Looking for a little extra help defining your career goals? Contact an Insight Talent Solutions’ recruiter today for a free, confidential career consultation! We have over 25 years of hiring experience and keep up-to-date with current hiring trends in the areas of IT, Sales/Marketing, Supply Chain/Logistics, Data Analytics, eCommerce, Recruiting/HR, and more. We can help you figure out if you’re being compensated competitively, what certification would be most beneficial for you to start working toward, how to move up in your current role, or whether you should be exploring other career options. Contact Sandra Smith at (262) 782-7255 or for help bringing your career to the next level.


About Insight Talent Solutions

Insight Talent Solutions is a full-service recruitment firm that has successfully been serving the greater Milwaukee, Madison, and Chicago areas for the past ten years.

We offer a comprehensive portfolio of services to fill roles ranging from the board of director to executive and professional level searches. We use a creative, respectful, and engaging approach to enable us to find the best candidates for our clients. We have a genuine passion for people and take time to understand your unique story so that we can help lead you to even greater success.

About the Author

Amy Roesch is the Copywriter at Insight Talent Solutions. She uses her creativity and passion for writing to help develop Insight’s blogs, job descriptions, eBooks, white papers, and more. She enjoys researching current job-related trends to give professionals the tools they need to manage and improve their careers. Connect with Amy on LinkedIn!


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