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Career Success in the Digital Age

Debbie Goodman-Bhyat, IRC South Africa | 13.11.2018

What’s going to put you ahead of the other 1 billion talented people out there? We’d all like to believe that a combination of talent and hard work will lead to career success. This is partly true. Talent and hard work may lead to some success – if you measure success according to a good job at a solid company.

But, in the digital age, to truly differentiate yourself from the other millions of hard-working, talented people on the planet, you’re going to need more. Because your unique strengths and a bit of slog are just not going to be enough to set yourself apart to achieve GREAT success.

For greatness, the secret ingredient is Emotional Maturity.

This may sound quite simplistic, possibly even a little fluffy and non‑technical. However, it’s one of the most vital skills to cultivate if you have big ambitions and massive career success goals.

Scott Galloway, in his book ‘The Four’, unpacks Emotional Maturity in detail. Daniel Goleman dives deep into this topic in his work on EQ. Hundreds of research papers and books have been written on the topic. It’s emerging as the single most significant skill to predict and support substantial career (and personal) achievement.

And while it may sound like a piece of cake to acquire (you don’t need to go to an Ivy League school to qualify in emotional maturity), its cultivation takes real work, self-awareness, and ongoing coaching and mentoring.

Here’s how emotional maturity shows up in the real world of work:

  • You have multiple bosses, direct and indirect reporting lines – you adapt quickly to different management and leadership styles
  • Your role and job content is somewhat fluid, expanding and shifting rapidly – you’re able (and keen) to learn new things, absorb additional responsibilities, and prioritise your time according to the internal changes
  • Your day consists of working on multi-functional, cross-departmental projects – you’re able to engage and communicate effectively with a broad range of stakeholders at different levels of seniority, experience and skill
  • Things are moving and changing FAST – you remain poised under pressure and keep your ego in check.

There are ample opportunities for you to display your emotional maturity at work every day. And to practise this on the job. When you can overlay THIS on top of talent and hard work, to use a cliché, that’s when the sky’s the limit.

IRC South Africa

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