The normal progression of a person's career starts with just trying to survive. We often leave the world of education with bills and the need to establish ourselves as contenders in life. The first thing we need is a job, so we an survive. This Survival Phase typically carries us through our 20s and 30s, but then we begin to want more out of life. we want Success.
By age 40 we have proved we are survivors, but we want to be seen as a success. So during our 40s and 50s we turn our efforts toward proving we are successful, that we are one of the best in ou chosen field, that we can contribute value to our profession. By the end of the Success Phase (around age 60) we look back on a successful career with justifiable pride. But, we begin to desire more than success. We want Significance.
As we enter our 60s and 70, success no longer provides the motivatiation it once did. Our thoughts turn to leaving a legacy, and we enter the Significance Phase. Just having a job and a career no longer inspires us to great achievements, what we want is a true calling. Thus, our job gives way to career, and career gives way to calling. Fulfilling our calling creates significance.
So, are you seeking survival, success, or significance? Where do you find yourself in this normal cycle of work?