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The Necessary Elements for Multiple Fulfilling Career Acts

Your fulfilling career acts will be personally, professionally, and financially rewarding and based on what you love to do. Although no two people have identical career acts, great careers share five fundamental elements:

  • Self-awareness—Your interest in occupying various professional roles and the centrality they are given will change over time. Know yourself well and identify your talents, interests, hobbies, passions, needs, motivators, and how you like to work. Give yourself permission to expand or change your career acts if you are not fulfilled or as your life changes. The goal, if you will, is the growth and movement toward ever-increasing career happiness.
  • Continuous self-development—No one is born with the knowledge, skills, and abilities for every possible interesting career act. Be honest in assessing your knowledge, skills, and abilities and be open to actively learn and develop. You might need to practice an act (in an unpaid internship or volunteer situation) to gain the necessary skills. You might need to accept a starter career act to gain skills. Remember, this is a dynamic process to move you closer to a career that is well integrated into the life you want to live.
  • Unique and critical roles (especially critical for those in single-act careers)—It might be the case that your ideal career has only one act: one great career act where you will derive 100% of your career satisfaction—either as an entrepreneur or while working for an organization. This is the riskiest approach to managing your career for all the reasons mentioned earlier, but certainly not impossible. If you want a one-act career, please be amazing, make it a career you love, and have a safety net. This safety net is your uniqueness to your business and your centrality to your employer, your customers, or your clients.
  • Well-managed time, money, and human resources—Multiple-act careers grow strategically, with one career act funding the development of another, more interesting act. One career act might free up time for another. Make a career plan, revisit it frequently, and revise it when needed. Your career plan will have some logical steps with financial and professional goals as milestones. If you like to cook, you can think about developing your career acts in the same way you would prepare and cook a dinner. Each dish needs some different ingredients and needs attention at various times.
  • Harmony among your work, family, and personal life—Multiple-act careers leverage interests, needs, and motivators. When done well, your career acts are purposeful and you are in control. As the person in control of your life, you are in charge of where your time and energy will go. Your career is only one piece of your overall life, and no one other than you (especially not an employer) should be crafting how you want to live your life.

The next five chapters delve deeper into each of these elements, offering some practical advice on how best to create and manage your multiple career acts.

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