I love alliteration. I also have a fondness for superhero movies, and in light of the recent release of Superman, ‘Man of Steel’, I wanted to recap on the some of the most important influencers on your career development. Recognise, nurture and be grateful for them – they’ll be the ones that help towards your overall success.
Superman is probably the best example of the influence family has on your development; not only does he have his Kryptonian side teaching him how to be super-powerful through Jor El and the fortress of solitude, he also has the grounding influence of Jonathan and Martha – both sides inherently a part of becoming ‘Superman’. Your family have a considerable influence on the choices you make and they’re always a good stop along the way to making important career decisions, whether it’s deciding what to study at university or which job to pursue as a Graduate.
Where would the Karate kid have been without Mr Miyagi? Ok so he’s not strictly a superhero, but still, he’s a great example of how important great teachers are to your development. Keep in touch with the people that have taught you something over the years, they know you better than a lot of other people will and have directly influenced the way in which you learn.
Your first boss
The first person to manage you will have an influence on the rest of your career, the line manager/managee relationship is different with every boss, but the first one you make is often the one that helps you to determine your working style, your key strengths and weaknesses, and your preferred management style. Now most superheroes, being vigilant justice seekers, tend to work without bosses, but nobody can deny the impact on their caped crusading that their early bosses have had, what about S.H.I.E.L.D on The Avengers? Or Odin on Thor? (see parental influence above) or Clark Kent’s first editor?
Your first mentor
Spiderman had Uncle Ben ‘With great power comes great responsibility’, Batman had Alfred, Iron Man had Yinsen – mentors have an important role to play in your professional development. Whilst this may not be a formal relationship, they’re those people who help to steer you towards your goals even if you’re not aware of it until a later point.
Your first direct report
Another of the most important influencers on your career success is the first person who reports to you. You will learn huge amounts by managing somebody else, not just about other people but about yourself. Take Batman & Robin as your example here, Batman goes from having to worry solely about himself to thinking about not only how his own performance can be improved through having a sidekick onboard, but also his responsibilities to another person and to working as part of a team. Whether you’re a fan of the sidekick or not, you’ve got to admit that expanding your viewpoint outside of your own sphere can only be a good thing.
Your mortal enemy
And finally, one of the key influencers in your career is your friendly rival – most people outside of the Superverse don’t have a mortal enemy – but the people you feel are your rivals can often spur you onto greater heights, so don’t discount a bit of healthy competition. Don’t take it too far, nobody likes a total jock, but pushing yourself is an important way to improve so don’t be afraid to play the game a bit.
So there they are, the six superheroes of your success - it's not the definitive list as there will always be other key people along the way that make a difference to your career - but it's a good starting point when thinking about the people that influence you. Have a think about your own superheroes and how they can help you to achieve your own personal brand of world domination!