Right before report cards were due to go out, one of my high school patients told me an elaborate scheme of how he was going to make sure his parents didn’t find out his grades. I doubt his plan worked, but it gave me a good laugh all the same.
He needed to figure out his parents’ email password to intercept the email that grades were up and then he needed to figure out his parents’ password to the school site. Once he had those, he could delete the email and block the ability of logging on the view the report card. He could get to the password by entering the name of his Mom’s first pet and also the street she grew up on. He’d then change the password and the security questions making it impossible for them to access the site. Wow.....that's an elaborate plan!
I haven’t gotten a chance to ask if it worked, but I admire his creative problem solving.
I don’t miss getting report cards, but in a weird way I kind of do. They gave me an appreciation for where I stood. They were a representation of the hard work I put in and exposed the areas that still needed more work.
I miss them because I’ve often had some difficulty appreciating where I am in my life and in my career. Am I making progress? Am I where I should be? Am I working on improving the correct things? I wish something told me if I was doing well (or not) in some of biggest areas of my life.
The Career Growth Index (CGI) is the first step in answering some of those questions. Broken up into three main dimensions, the CGI gives quick score for our career, wealth, and health. It acts as a quick screen to determine areas to focus on and also areas that we’re good in. It is not as inclusive or comprehensive as the Professional Vital Signs Assessment that we offer in the Bulletproof Career Rebellion, but it is a great place to start.
Here are the three biggest reasons to take the CGI now:
1. Our biases are invisible
When we were discussing the questions on the CGI, I outright disagreed with what was was considered the healthy amount of caffeine consumption. I love coffee and there are no redeeming qualities in decaf. I’m into my third cup right now and find absolutely nothing wrong with that. So, it has to be the question that is wrong, not my relationship with caffeine. Yet, after a long debate with Phil including multiple research points I have accepted that I may just be blinded by my love for caffeine (an unyielding, unshakable love where I by no means see any issue).
Anyway, I think that we all have these blind spots when it comes to our health, finances, and career path. Sometimes they are quite literal too. I didn’t realize how poorly I could see until I put on a friend’s glasses to see how I would look. Apparently I need to be less concerned with how I look wearing glasses and more concerned with how I see wearing glasses.
We need an unbiased appreciation for where we are so that we can determine where we need to spend our energy and get where we want to go.
2. It doesn’t matter how you compare to Mary or John
I have spent entirely too much time trying to compare myself to others around me. I know it is not ideal, but I needed some sort of metric to measure where I was compared to where I wanted to be. In order to like John took the SFMA, a manipulation course, AND Mulligan. I had to make sure I fit Mulligan in somewhere (even though my biggest deficit was not my manual skills and I should have probably taken something else -- even though it was a great course).
The problem with comparing to other people is that we are all individuals on unique paths. What I need and what Mary needs is different. If we chase what others have or what others deem important, we often lose sight of what is meaningful for us.
We need to be able to compare our previous self to our current self. Any other comparison or judgment is a waste of emotional and physical energy.
3. It is good to know where you are to know how far you’ve come and realize where you need to go.
I was paying the minimum on my loans for the first three years before I even looked at my principle. The realization was devastating and this is and will be a story for another day. But long story short, I recognized that sometimes we go on autopilot and overlook important things that need attention.
Sometimes we can’t help but become myopic in what we are working toward. We do the minimum in areas that could greatly help us if we made them a priority. I wish I had the same drive to pay off loans years ago, but I never realized the need.
We need an all encompassing way of appreciating where we are so that we don’t become consumed by very specific areas.
I’ll be honest, I scored lower than expected on my CGI. But, I think that proves all the more reason I needed it. I needed an unbiased, objective way to measure where I was (and that reality was not quite what I thought it would be).
I encourage everyone to take it. The difference between where we are and where we want to be is not always what we expect. So, just like I always believe in testing and retesting what I am working on with my patients, it was time to apply the same concept to my life and career.
So, go take the Career Growth Index and let me know if you also disagree with the caffeine question… if I can’t win the debate with logic, maybe I can with more numbers.
P.S If this sounds like an intriguing way to approach your career and life, join us at the Professional Rebellion. There are a lot of free resources, challenges, and newsletter updates. Check out our PT Rebel Starter Kit and Bulletproof Career Rebellion 3.0 which starts February 22.