The truth about your career potential

Have you ever considered your career potential? By this, I mean the potential to be happy and fulfilled in your career. Most people I meet are tremendously critical of themselves and their capabilities. This is true whether they earn £16k or £100K+. Most people don’t appreciate the job they are in or themselves and this can be a barrier to reaching your career potential.

Many people are focused on what they don’t have, on comparing themselves to others and on things like where they work, where they live, what car they drive, how many hours they worked etc. This focus doesn’t bring happiness into your career, in fact, often it brings the opposite. So, how to change it? In order to get a new role or to feel fulfilled in your current role (be it paid, unpaid or voluntary) then the key is gratitude. (Of course it is, I hear you cry!). Appreciating how far you have come in your career so far, what you have achieved and on who you are becoming.

Supporting our belief system

I know it’s easy to focus on the things you don’t have because that’s what feels most real to you right now. The danger is that by focusing on the negatives you are blind to the positives. Let me give you an example. If you believe that the current job market has no opportunities then you are less likely to look. If you do look it might be fleeting as you may be thinking you are wasting your time.

When we believe something is true our mind looks for evidence to back it up. We see our world with the ‘glasses’ that support our perceptions and we stack the evidence in our own favour. If we see lots of people leaving a company, we assume it’s a terrible place to work or that there are no opportunities there.

So if we are looking for what we don’t have then we will almost always find it.

Why am I telling you all of this? Well, in 2009/2010 when I was starting out in the field of careers advice I saw hundreds of people who were being made redundant. All around me people were saying the market was terrible – and it wasn’t the best. But do you know what? Over 99% of the people I saw got jobs. Most within 6 months which is the top end of the average for the current market. It was nothing to do with me, it was that they believed they would get something.

Focus on the positives

These people and the many more I have supported since they all (eventually in some cases) look at how far they have come. More than one has appreciated the situation, albeit after the event, and said how glad they were that they were made redundant. It is true for me too. As you focus on what you are thankful for, more and more things appear for which to be grateful. Like attracts like.

As you put on your ‘glasses of positivity’ you will perceive the world more positively and generally, this will make you happier. It will attract others to you and open doors (as I mentioned last week). This improves your career potential. Focus on what you have now, the opportunities in front of you and those you have been given. Your career has infinite potential (as do you).

One easy action is to make a career timeline and map out (or list) what has gone well in your career so far. Perhaps think about your colleagues – what do you like about them; what do they like about you? You may even go as far as to think about what you think your employer is good at and why.

Once you realise your career has potential then you can go about collecting the evidence to prove it.


If you are looking to enhance your career potential, get in contact with me. We can work together to create a positive career timeline and appreciate your skills and experiences so far.

2 thoughts on “The truth about your career potential”

  1. Showing gratitude is number one priority but also having rapport with those whom you are helping and displaying empathy goes a long way to developing a long term professional relationship.

    This in turn can lead to being recommended by others for the kind of work you are doing and lead to win-win situations.


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