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Why it takes a village to raise a career

You’re stuck in a career you don’t love. How did you get here? And more importantly, how do you get out...

Maybe you took this job because they made you a decent offer and you didn’t have many other great options. Or maybe it seemed perfect on paper, but in reality something is off. As time has passed, you’ve grown increasingly frustrated - the work isn’t energizing, the organization doesn’t inspire you, and you fear you’re letting your ambitions slip away.

You’ve known that you need to make a change, but it’s been so hard to find the energy to dive into the job search process. You find yourself mindlessly scrolling through job postings, unsure of exactly what you’re looking for but hoping something will speak to you. You feel tired, uninspired, and alone.

If any of this sounds familiar, you’re certainly not alone. According to Gallup’s “State of the American Workplace" report, about ⅔ of Americans report feeling disengaged with their work. Despite so many of us being in the same situation, we each insist on trying to figure our careers out on our own.

But there’s a better way. Building a career you love doesn’t have to be a solitary endeavor. In fact, it’s far more effective to design your career path with the support of a community of peers.

Here’s why you need to get out from behind the screen and start collaborating with others:
  • Validation that you’re not alone: While it may seem like work is “going well!” for everyone else, the reality is that most of us are also struggling. When you’re honest about how you really feel about your situation, you’ll quickly find that most other people share the same career frustrations and fears as you. Be honest and open about your career struggles; people will want to help you!

  • Uncover hidden insights: When you sit down to think about your career path, you’ll likely want to start by identifying your strengths, values, and interests. While we’ve all tried to do this on our own, it turns out that it’s way more valuable to go through these exercises with others. The people in our lives can often see us for who we really are better than we see ourselves. You’ll likely find that others pick up on attributes and themes that you never noticed yourself!

  • Accountability to stick to your goals: It’s far easier to break a promise to yourself than to someone else. When you share your career goals with others, you’re much more likely to follow through with them. Telling others about your plan to leave your day job within the next two months will make you much more likely to actually follow through with it.

  • Learn from others’ experiences: Turns out there’s a ton of collective wisdom out there! When you’re feeling stuck and trying to move forward, it can be incredibly helpful to learn from others who have been there before you. Talking with friends, family and even strangers can help you discover new perspectives, collect useful advice, and develop an action plan.

  • Expand your network: The more people you bring into your career design process, the larger your network of advocates and supporters becomes. Anyone who’s invested in helping you build your career will be willing to send resources and connections your way. Just by talking with people about your career ambitions, you’re opening doors to new possibilities.

All of this seems rather intuitive, but how do you actually put it into practice? Are you really going to hijack the next happy hour you attend to get everyone to help you sort out your career? (I’d love to hear about it if you try!)

Mission Collaborative provides a framework and community to help you build a career you love. We host workshops and programs that help you get unstuck and plot your course forward towards an awesome career. After 3 months and 150 participants, we’ve come to fully believe in the power of community to transform the career design process. Our programs bring together a highly diverse set of people united by the desire to help one another build great careers.

It takes a village to raise a great career. We invite you to join ours!

Grant Schroll is a co-founder at Mission Collaborative. He’s passionate about helping people build careers they love and redesigning higher education to better serve learners throughout their changing lives.

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