If you’ve ever heard the expression, “skin in the game,” don’t worry, it’s not a reference to a condition you get if you turn into a zombie in the AMC series “The Walking Dead.” It is a condition you get however, if you ask yourself what is your long term commitment when it comes to your career and if you have what it takes to stay the course. Many of us think that by focusing on the meeting or the resume or the job offer, we’ve done our best to commit to the process of establishing our career goals and job search when little else seems to matter. When you have skin in the game when it comes to your career, it means are you committed to the long-term plan and asking yourself, Do you really know what you want and how to keep it?
Believing it’s enough to go through marathon interviews all over town is all you need to do in order to secure your career, is a big mistake. Knowing what you want out of your next job, whether it’s a certain salary, working for a certain company, a title or position vs. just getting another job means you are committed to knowing what you want and you are determined to get it. Having skin in the game when it comes to your career is knowing that you have the ability to commit to yourself and not to just the immediate fix you get when you accept any job, any time, any where.
If you are in doubt about whether you are committed to your current job, here are some ways to identify and define your commitment to your career:
1) Are you committed to your current job path or do you always look over your shoulder for the next opportunity that comes along?
2) How motivated are you by your salary, position, title and career goals?
3) Are you distracted by offers from other companies or constantly interviewing for other jobs hoping for a better offer?
4) Do you feel discontentment in any area of your career and feel the need to bolt at a given notice?
5) Do you begrudge your boss, co-workers and others who are happy in their careers and look for the negative in every situation?
If you can relate to any one of these scenarios then you likely don’t have what it takes to commit to your current job and the skin to stay in the game. It’s not up to your employer to keep you motivated and content in your job or offer you something that keeps you there. It’s up to you to know what you want and what will make you happy so that commitment to your career whether in this job or the next is your long-term advantage. Keeping yourself honest about your motivations whether it be money, title or position, helps you to know yourself better and understand what keeps you grounded in your job. Having skin in the game means you are not only committed to the job at hand, but you are committed to you.
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