Rock climber

Think of a significant career achievement. What skills did it draw from you? What helped you to achieve the objective?

This level of detail and self awareness is valuable in determining your career development and potential. Many people describe career highlights as being times when they were challenged, often really stretched. They gained a greater sense of their own competence and a sense of pride in their achievement when the challenge was met and the goal achieved.

Job satisfaction tends to fluctuate depending on complex workplace influences and conditions.  These days extra responsibilities and ‘stretch’ projects present opportunities to grow skills and career capacity, yet caution is needed. Its important that you are aware of the skills you bring to the job – and that you clearly understand the objectives of the challenge – before you accept the opportunity.

Getting in the zone

Successful people know how to get ‘in the zone’ to achieve their goals – top athletes know this well. They intuitively know how to balance the degree of challenge with the degree of skill they have – and have the confidence to ask for support if required.  If the challenge is too much – or too little – for the level of skill or capacity offered and there is limited support or training – apathy or disengagement can happen. No one wants to be set up to fail.

In his best seller, Flow, The Psychology of Optimal ExperiencMihali Csikszentmahali explored this, coining the concept of ‘flow’ as describing the state that happens when things are going well and the belief in a successful outcome is present. Check out more about the state of flow at work .

Are your skills up to the challenge you are faced with?  Career success requires you to know your capacity and to have the confidence to ask for what you need to succeed. Most importantly career success depends on your self-belief.


Kaye Avery

Career Coach