As part of a professional development activity I was doing today, I was reviewing my Career Anchors. Edgar Schein suggests that every one of us has a particular orientation towards work and that we all approach our work with a specific set of priority and values. He calls this concept our 'Career Anchors'.
There are seven Career Anchors, and I had to pick the anchors that best represents my career. I selected two out of the seven:
Managerial competence – individuals who thrive off performing in a position of responsibility; tackling high-level problems, building relationships, and interacting with others; they require strong emotional intelligence skills to succeed.
Pure challenge - individuals driven by a need to be continuously stimulated by new challenges and tasks that test their abilities to solve problems. They will often seek to move jobs when their current position becomes stagnant or no longer possesses the challenges they need progress.
The last two years of my career have been very much a challenge. I have had to lift a team from being adversaries to working cohesively, and it has taken a lot of my emotional intelligence to make it happen.
When I did this exercise in 2015, I selected 'Pure Challenge' and 'Technical/functional competence'. With Technical/functional competence, I enjoy being good at specific tasks and will work hard to develop the particular skills necessary to complete them.
Though a challenge is still essential for me, the shift in prioritising 'Managerial competence' over 'Technical/functional competence' indicates that I now see myself as more of a fixer than a doer. The guy who can help blend the team and set them up for success. I guess I don't need to prioritise as many technical skills as I used to.
Which Career Anchors would you select?