Do we build careers? Or do we adapt to expectations?

There are several professional paths— in a certain way, we could even say that there are myriad of them and that possibilities are infinite. In fact, when starting a journey, whatever the profession, it is difficult, not to say almost impossible, to predict the final outcome or even the different stages we will go through with relative success or failure. 

It is true that, in multiple locations, industries and specialisations, there are more straight and predictable career paths. Often we find a professional qualified in the financial sector who develops their career, acquiring more knowledge and experience in their fields. Likewise, this applies to engineering, arts, sciences, medicine and other professions essential to our lives in community, too.  

It is also true that those who work in talent recruitment, training and development, like us, largely emphasise the predictability of such destinies. When looking for financial responsibilities, they look for professionals with previous experience in the area (and, preferably, in the same type of sector) and, if it’s not too much to ask, even in a competitor, equivalent or similar company. Likewise, when we try to adapt to the expectations of employers and their prospective teams, the talent previously assessed in identical responsibilities and circumstances, we strengthen this specialisation. We emphasise this vocation, should it ever have existed.  

It is worth reflecting on this. Do we build careers or adapt to expectations? We have a single vocation inherent to the very essence of our profile as a species: to experiment, try, explore, discover, supplement. 

Curiously, for financial and efficiency purposes, the need for specialisation worked, but now we demand from people and professionals multidisciplinarity and re-training, which often deeply changes the initially qualified vocation towards a vocation later developed by the market.  

It is important that we know our profile, delve into this knowledge, and work on, discover, improve and develop it. Somehow, we must embrace and adapt it to the expectations we have for our journey.  

Having taken part in assessments, I recognise such advantages and challenges from my own experience. And, after having carried out some of them, with hundreds of professionals with different years of experience and expectations, I am able to understand their areas of opportunity and potential. 

They are a versatile and useful instrument that properly planned, prepared and built, leads to a wide range of possibilities to reflect on the past, present and future path. This reflection, properly considered and with the help of specialists, contributes to self-improvement and, thus, to the collective improvement of teams and organisations to which said professionals belong. 

In this way, we will also realise whether we have been building careers or not, how much have we adapted our expectations so far and what needs to be done in the future. In practice, how much and how have we invested in our professional and life path.