Discernment - a Critical Skill You Need...

Optimism is great; however blind optimism, while neglecting risks, can make you misguided and turn your career into a sequence of victories and losses. We tend to emotionally attach ourselves to the outcome of our undertakings. Further, once we meet success, a sweet cruize-control takes place, and we'd like to just do what we did before, pretending the circumstances supporting our first success will be there unchanged for the next attempt.

Discernment is the ability to see the "real picture," - take video-rental chains demise as an example. If their executives properly interpreted the seriousness of the "on-demand" video threat, perhaps timely and fresh move into that market could have allowed them to survive.

Another example is unions - they have marked inability to grasp that people are seeing them as an exclusive club, "why should they have a life-long job security, when I don't", perpetuating their fall from favorable public view.

In your career, assess the environment, realize the potentials the new movements offer - a software developer sticking to desktop-only technology (and ignoring Tablet and Phone platforms), will find opportunities severely diminishing. Understand the trends and ride them - if your industry is outsourcing work to India, get good at managing projects or business expectations and results.

And as a biggest trend right now is social media - to ignore it (for business purpose) would mean lack of discernment. So look around, your career is not about your comfort zone, what you like (or would like), your success is about assessing and adapting to the changes in your environment.

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