Pushing beyond career limitations


Is your environment helping you toward success, or is it holding you back?


American businessman W. Clement Stone claimed, “you are the product of your environment, so choose the environment that will best develop you toward your objective… are the things around you helping you toward success – or are they holding you back?”

I joined Dartmouth because I wanted to push the boundaries of what I thought I was capable of accomplishing, in an environment where everyone was pulling toward the same thing.

An unfortunate truth, in business and in life, is that many people struggle to find their limits, simply because they fail to push themselves.

In the recruitment world this can come in the form of candidates not taking the decision to make that big move that will be the step up in their career when it is offered to them – paralysed by fear of the unknown and of change.

One of the most important lessons of business and leadership is to recognise your own limitations so that you can counteract them with the appropriate people around you. But if you have no idea what those limits are, how are you going to be successful?

We often use descriptions such as “solid” or “a safe pair of hands” to reference someone who is good at their job, reliable and steady. Indicating you know what you’re doing and you execute well, so why not step out of that comfort zone and look for the next challenge in your career?

You’re not growing. Some people simply don’t want to, and that’s fine. The individuals we deal with as a business, from graduates to seasoned professionals, mostly do not accept that. They are constantly seeking the next challenge and the next opportunity (that’s where we come in). That is why they will be future leaders, market makers and innovators.

Whether you’re looking at the evolution of an idea, a business, or a living organism. All these changes will be based upon the continuously changing environment. The concept of evolution is based upon adaptability.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” – Charles Darwin

Taking yourself into consideration, are you just good? A safe pair of hands? If so, why aren’t you doing more? What does your current environment look like – is it helping you toward success, or is it holding you back? If you’re plodding along and not seeking new challenges in this current climate, you’re eventually going to get left behind. 

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