Three Elements for Career Resonance

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I’ve found that there are 3 key elements that can help you choose the career that will allow you to be happy and productive to reach your career resonance. However, I would like to start by explaining what I mean by resonance. According to HyperPhysics, resonance in physics and sound systems refers to the natural frequency of vibration, determined by the physical parameters of the vibrating object, at which it reaches peak vibratory performance (2000).

Now let me explain how resonance applies our careers by elaborating on the 3 key elements.

Aptitude

This is our capacity to adequately perform a specific type of work. It is influenced by our thoughts and preferences (pragmatic or creative, multi-functioning or single functioning, numeric or wordy, extrovert or introvert…etc). So, the first critical step is to know our self which could actually be done by taking psychometric tests like Myers-Briggs, Jung Typology, MBTI and others. In conclusion, knowing our personal aptitude will help us identify what makes us tick hence our “natural frequency of vibration”.

Type of Work

This element is about knowing what type of tasks we enjoy. A job usually contains numerous types of tasks, not all of them which are pleasant. Thus, it’s important to know which type of tasks we really enjoy: is it dealing with people,developing content, building mathematical models, or doing research? Once we are able to actually list the type of tasks that we enjoy then we’d probably have narrowed down the type of jobs that we’ll apply to. Therefore, knowing our preferences in terms of type of work will allow us to choose the type of work that is in tune with our personal aptitude.

Work Environment

Last but not least is the work environment: the actual place you’re working in. Some of us enjoy a 9 to 5 job, others prefer a more flexible schedule. Some people prefer to work in big teams, others prefer small groups. Some prefer to work in a well-structured big company, while others prefer a more dynamic and less bureaucratic small company. All those play a major factor in making us comfortable to do the type of work we like to do.

Knowing the type of work environment that suits us allows us to really pinpoint the places we prefer to work in and thus complete the chain of “Career Resonance”.

So as an example, here is my own breakdown of the 3 elements:

Personal Aptitude Type of work Work Environment
  • Multi-tasking person
  • Extrovert
  • Night Owl
  • Pragmatic
  • Fast paced
  • Hyper focused
  • High emotional intelligence
  • Bad Memory
  • Un-interested in routine/mundane tasks
  • Challenge Seeker
  • Researching & writing
  • Setting strategies and plans & follow up on their implementation
  • Training
  • Consulting
  • Mentoring
  • Coordinating numerous team members and tasks
  • Individual work if it requires focus and a fast pace
  • Teamwork when it is about ongoing tasks/responsibilities
  • Prefer small teams and minimal bureaucracy
  • Friendly/family like work environment where professionalism isn’t about rigidity
  • Flexible work schedule, with possibility of work-at-home over-night

So as you can see, using the above 3 elements to find the right career for me in the right work environment is definitely a challenge.However, I’m already in a workplace that fulfills quite a lot of the above; thus I’m being able to achieve much more than in my previous job , Also, despite all the challenges and risks that I had to take to start achieving my career resonance, it was absolutely worth it!

The same applies to you.So, go ahead and define your preferences and needsand make your choice to leap towards your career resonance.

Human Capital Management in NGOs

To be honest I’ve researched for a while to get my hands on some useful material about Human Capital Management(HCM) in the NGO sector, especially in managing volunteers…not just staff. Yet I’ve failed to find substantial and relative material to build on. Therefore the following is a compilation of my personal experience in HCM in NGOs, specifically in Lebanon, through Aie Serve and other NGOs/Clubs that I train and consult.

To  make the discussion more meaningful I’ll separate HCM into 5 discussable stages, read on for the details:

Organization’s Structural Design

To truly create a Human Capital strategy for the organization, work needs to start on the Organizational Structure first. In this context, a lot of NGOs have a staff based structure, or volunteers structure, or simply committees or even no structure at all aside from the “Board”. This will need to change since adopting an HCM strategy, the structure will need to be redesigned to better fit the current needs and provide space for growth in the future.

Crucial questions to ask at this stage are:

  • What is the current structure and is it really implemented on the ground?
  • Does the structure provide space for further growth or does it need total make over?
  • Do the positions fit in and complement each other or are there gaps?
  • Is the NGO based on volunteers, staff or both? Do they know how to interact?
  • How is the decision making done and who has it in the organization? Centralized or diverse?


Setting Roles & Responsibilities

After setting the structure, its time to know what does each and every person do exactly. The interesting and surprising part here is that many if not most of the NGOs I work with have incomplete roles & responsibilities description of the team. Many people are left without clear delineation of what tasks shall they do, what are they responsible of, who do they report to, what decisions can they make …and so on and so forth.  Therefore it is essential that each person in the organization not only knows where he/she fits in the structure but also know what role do they play. Moreover, if they wish to grow..then the path they should follow need to be clear.

 Crucial questions to ask at this stage are:

  • Are there Duty Descriptions or Roles & Responsibilities documents for the positions?
  • Are people aware of each other’s role’s and responsibilities?
  • Is regular updating and upgrading for those documents done?
  • Who is involved in drafting and modifying those documents?


Setting & Implementing Recruitment Processes

Now that the structure is clear and so are the roles & responsibilities of everyone, the challenging part is how to get those people onboard. Having a consistent and clear recruitment process is essential to ensure that all potentials are tapped and the right people are recruited.  To do this a recruitment process needs to be designed in a way that it reflects the culture of the organization, the way people will be dealing with each other. The process should be clear for all those in the organization so that they understand what shall they do if they want to recruit more people.

 Crucial questions to ask at this stage are:

  • How do people apply for the NGO?
  • Does the NGO recruit volunteers or staff or ?
  • Do members of the NGO join by invitation only or do they have an entry point?
  • Is there a standard procedure of interviews and applications or ?


Training & Coaching

Once everyone is onboard and in place, the time comes where people need to better understand how to do what they’re supposed to do. At this point, training and coaching all the new recruits comes in place. So developing a clear and flexible training program and coaching process are necessary to ensure that the new recruits are empowered with the appropriate information, skills and tools to do their duties properly. Moreover, the coaching process shall allow the recruits to not only do their roles properly but also to excel and grow as a person, and perhaps suggest improvements to the process.

Crucial questions to ask at this stage are:

  • How will the new recruits know what to do and how?
  • Who will be training/coaching them?
  • Is there a training manual in place?
  • Is there a clear coaching procedure and standards?


Performance Evaluation & Enhancement

After having set everything and people are performing and excelling, it’s very important to measure the overall performance and growth of both individuals and the organization. It is important to ensure that both individual and organizational goals are synchronized for this process to work. Moreover, assessment metrics will need to be developed either at the “Roles & Responsibilities” stage or throughout the process of execution so that a clear evaluation can be done at important turning points and end of year assessments.

Crucial questions to ask at this stage are:

  • How would you know or measure that someone is doing their role properly?
  • Who is responsible of assessing/evaluating?
  • Can a follow up and training process be designed to build the skills and fill the gaps according to the results of the evaluation?

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