How much does being interested in your career influence how well you’re performing or what rewards you’re earning? Can you really be effective if you’re not interested? Over the lifecycle of your career how has your level of interest coincided with what you were doing or what moves you’ve made or your general performance level.
To demonstrate this, take out a piece of paper and prepare to make a graph. The x-axis is the time when you began working till today. The y-axis is interest level from low to high. Now determine some key milestones in your career (big new projects, new bosses, promos, job changes, etc) and make sure you have them listed out and where they fall from the timeline perspective.
Now try and graph your career based on how interested you were (in your career) as you’ve progressed through the years. Make sure you don’t fall in the trap of correlating interest to hours. Being interested in your career is about being engaged and excited, it has nothing to do in this instance with hours.
As I’ve played with this with many people it’s been interesting to see the insights that can be gleaned when seeing their career according to this graph. Are they more interested in the months or year leading up to a promotion, or right after? Were they more interested working in group X vs. group Y – why?
After you have your graph also put in some life events to see what that might have done to your interest level as well. Did moving to a new house, with that great new home office, make you even more interested? When you were doing that hobby a couple years ago did it make you more interested in work too? What could you do in your personal life to continue to be more interested at what you’re professionally doing?
Based on that, is the secret to high performance just being interested in what you’re doing? With what you learned from the patterns in the graph, how could you become more engaged and excited by what you’re doing?