Working towards mastering your career allows you to feel a sense of purpose and drive.

Executive coach for Change Partners, Lindiwe Mkhondo, says it requires you to possess competency, autonomy, initiative, and creativity. “Being in control of your career means that you aren’t merely running, but you know why you are running, what you are running for, and where you are running to.”

She adds that becoming a master of your career goes beyond your personality style, cognitive ability and interest in your job.

“People who master their career are intentional in crafting a foundation for their career greatness. They take pride in making this foundation part of their story and narrative and they celebrate their success stories. They nurture and review their behaviours, priorities and decisions constantly.”

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Mkhondo identifies six pillars of career greatness:

Discern the purpose of your life

It takes practice, courage and discipline to pay attention to the purpose that seeks to come through your life. Strive to find a connection between your job or career and your personal purpose.

Distill your vision

Self-author your vision of greatness. It’s crucial to picture what greatness would look like. Picture a future that is different from the present. You need to paint your vision, aspirations, dreams and desires to achieve greatness. Understand and internalise this vision, own it, and embody it through your behaviour.

Set realistic goals

Goals keep you focused and give you clarity of direction and focus. They will fuel you to move towards what is important. Compelling goals make you feel challenged, inspired and they commit you to make a meaningful difference and contribution.

Commit to continuous growth and self-improvement

Make a commitment never to compromise on your personal and professional development.

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Keep up to date with developments in your industry and learn to adapt to changing circumstances. Strive to impart knowledge and mentor others. Be humble and interested in making a positive impact to the organisation and people around you.

Clarify your values

Values guide behaviours and decisions, they provide an anchor, and they give meaning to life. Good employees know who they are and what their values and beliefs are. In everything they do they are authentic, show passion and hunger to fulfil their true selves. It’s important that your values align with those of the organisation you work for.

Build good relationships and coalitions

Failure to invest time in building relationships can isolate employees, build hidden agendas, conflicts, egos and can breed toxic work environments. Building solid corporate relationships fosters a healthy atmosphere of trust, cooperation, belonging, and supportiveness.