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About The BookAbout The AuthorsWhat Others Are SayingSample ChapterBook Group
Table Of Contents
  • Great Work, Great Career
  • Part 1: What Will Be Your Contribution? 27
  • Know Your Strengths
    • The Singular, Irreplaceable You
    • Identify Your Portfolio of Strengths
  • Discover Your Cause
    • The Fire
    • Become a Volunteer, Not an Employee
    • Become a Solution, Not a Problem
    • What’s the Problem?
    • Make a Need-Opportunity Presentation
    • It Never Ends
  • Contribute Your Best
    • Become a Trim Tab
    • Write Your Contribution Statement
  • Part 2: How Will You Make Your Contribution? 93
  • Get the Job You Want
    • Be Strong in the Hard Moments
    • Work in Your Circle of Influence, Not Your Circle of Concern
  • Build Your Own Village
    • Contribute to the Village
    • Identify the Members of Your Village
    • Create an Emotional Bank Account
    • Carve Out Space on the Internet
    • Practice Synergy
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Closing Thoughts
  • Notes
    • Acknowledgments
    • About the Authors
    • About FranklinCovey Services
Chapter 1 (pgs. 1-3)

Great Work,
Great Career

How to Create Your Ultimate Job and Make an Extraordianry Contribution

This book is about creating a great career.

You might be saying to yourself, "I don’t want to talk about a career, much less a great career. Right now I just need a job. I need to eat!"

Well, if you're looking, we’re going to show you how to get that great job now. That’s the first, short-term step.

But the day will come when you’ll want to do more than just eat. And beyond that day will come another day when you look back at your life and take measure of your entire professional contribution to the world.

This book is about today and tomorrow. It’s about getting a great job now and enjoying a great career for life.

When we say a person has had a great career, what do we mean? That he or she made a lot of money? moved spectacularly up the corporate ladder? became famous or renowned in his or her profession? What about the familiar comment from every movie star on every talk show: "I can't believe I get paid for doing this!" Are only a few people entitled to feel that way, but not the rest of us?

And what about you? Are you looking forward to a great career? Would you describe your current career as "great"? When you get to the end of your productive life, will you be looking back on a mediocre career? a good career? a great career? And how will you know?

Furthermore, just how do you create a great career for yourself?

Would you describe your career as great?

As coauthors of this book, we are fascinated by these provocative questions. We have been associated in our work for many years as avid students of what it takes to build a great life and career. And we bring two different sets of experiences to the issue, so occasionally, we will speak to you directly in our own voices. We’ll share with you our discoveries and provide tools and insights that will help you find answers for yourself. Whether you’re looking for a job or want to make the job you have more meaningful, this book is for you.

Anyone Can Have a Great Career

To begin with, anybody can have a great career. It doesn’t matter what your line of work is.

It's all in how you define "great career." If you define it as something that brings you a lot of money and power, then you might or might not achieve that "Alexander the Great" level of greatness. Of course, a livable wage is important, but isn’t there more to a great career than just a paycheck?

A person with a great career makes a distinctive contribution and generates a strong feeling of loyalty and trust in others. Anyone, regardless of title or position or profession, can do these things.

We invite you to think about the most effective, influential people you have ever known professionally. Focus on one face for a moment. It could be the face of a teacher, a co-worker, a friend, or a leader you have worked for. What contribution did that person make to your life? to the organization? to the world? And did it necessarily have much to do with wealth and power?

Now, how do you feel about that person? Do you feel a strong sense of loyalty and trust? Do others feel that way?

We believe these are the two key hallmarks of a great career. A person with a great career makes a distinctive contribution and generates a strong feeling of loyalty and trust in others. Anyone, regardless of title or position or profession, can do these things.

Your distinctive contribution is the "what" of your great career. It rises from within yourself, from your unique mix of talents and passions. It is what you alone can create, no matter your line of work.

Loyalty and trust arise from the "how" of your great career. It is the fruit of your character and your conscience, of your highest and best impulses. It comes from doing what you know deep down you should do in the way you should do it.

Let us illustrate with one example of a great career. Fiona Wood was a young English athlete who wanted a career in medicine.1 She followed the usual track through medical school, married, and while raising six children, completed a specialty in plastic surgery. After moving to Australia, she went to work in Perth at a clinic for the treatment of burn victims.