The Five Basic Elements of Career Mastery
by Charles R. Martin


Adapted from Charles R. Martin, Quick Guide to the 16 Personality Types and Career Mastery: Living with Purpose and Working Effectively *Used with permission.


Career Mastery is about living with purpose and working effectively.

Career Mastery is about discovering and walking your path of lifelong purpose; finding, creating and managing your career along the way; and working effectively in any given job or role. In this book, you will find activities that will help you do both-to manage your career and work effectively in your career.

Career Mastery is a process, not an end. You can master your career through the activities of choosing a career or changing a career, as well as through developing in your current career so as to increase satisfaction and success. You may find that mastering your career means some combination of modifying the job you do, adapting yourself to the job, moving upward or laterally, or changing jobs.

The Five Basic Elements of Career Mastery Career Mastery asks you to

Element One

Be proactive and take concerted action
Get Active

Element Two

Know yourself and connect with others
Get Connected

Element Three

Identify options and gather information
Get Informed

Element Four

Make decisions and set goals
Get Focused

Element Five

Wake up to your potential-know your habits and draw on all elements as needed
Wake Up

Embodying and using these different elements will help you take charge of your career development and will lead you to greater opportunities for career satisfaction and success. Needless to say, these elements are all interrelated. As the circular image suggests, it is not necessary to engage the elements in a lockstep way. We can and will cycle through all of them at different times in our career development.

What Are the Elements of Career Mastery™?

The Elements of Career Mastery™ are five processes that capture the qualities, skills, and activities commonly found in all career development work. You can also think of the elements as behavioral options in your toolkit of Career Mastery. You can't be a master craftsperson if you use only one tool-you need to use all the tools that are available to you, each at the appropriate time. The Elements of Career Mastery also describe practices that can help you increase your satisfaction and effectiveness in your current work role.

The Elements of Career Mastery are linked to the Elements of Powerâ„¢, a model of personal development and effectiveness that builds on the insights, experiences, and research of both traditional and modern psychologies.

In this section, I'll give you a brief overview of each element. In the next section, we'll go into more detail, walk you through the steps, and offer recommendations and exercises to stimulate the activities associated with each element.

Element One

Be Proactive and Take Concerted Action
In this element you take responsibility to get motivated, go after what you want, and take action every day.

Element Two

Know Yourself and Connect with Others
In this element you learn more about who you are, the importance building and drawing on your network of relationships, and your style of interacting with others.

Element Three

Identify Options and Gather Information
In this element you explore the actual career options available to you, how to learn more about them, and also your preferences for gathering information.

Element Four

Make Decisions and Set Goals
In this element you evaluate your options, settle on a direction to take, and set some concrete goals, and you also learn about your preferences for making decisions.

Element Five

Wake Up to Your Potential-Know Your Habits and Draw on All Elements As Needed
In this element you commit to waking up to the true you and awakening from your habits of personality style, and you take responsibility for uncovering how your style may help or hinder you as you engage the other four essential Elements of Career Mastery.

The fifth element is about waking up-waking up to your habits and waking up to your potential. The fifth element encompasses and underlies the others and represents your ability to pay conscious attention to, and to draw on, the four elements as needed, when needed. In a sense it is a measure of your willingness and ability to step outside of yourself and assess the degree to which you are really drawing on the potentials of all four steps. It also represents your willingness and ability to grow and develop yourself, as opposed to simply building on and acting out of what you know. This is where the real power of personality type comes in. Type gives you clues to which activities of the four elements you might naturally be inclined to do and which you might neglect.

The fifth element includes levels of awareness and development. At the first level, you are your habits-you do what you do based on some habitual ways of thinking, responding, and behaving that may or may not help you live on purpose and work effectively. At the second level you consciously try on and learn alternative behaviors for fun and/or to achieve some different career outcomes. At the third level you have increased freedom to draw on each element as needed-and as a result you are freer to live on purpose and work effectively.

Throughout your career development, you'll draw on each of the elements repeatedly and cycle back through each one at various points. For example, being proactive and taking action are not limited to the first stages of career development. Likewise, decisions and goals an ongoing part of your career development. The order given in this book represents a starting point and a guide-but you will cycle through all of the elements at various points in the process of mastering your career.

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