Individuals seem to have two broad attitudes with which they come to their careers.

One is an ‘acquisitive attitude’ or the ‘acquisitive career mindset’, in which an individual believes that the whole objective of his career is ‘to receive’, ‘to get’ for whatever he is doing: “I have to get higher salary. I have to get promotion.” Such people are constantly calculating what they will get next. So, their mind becomes confused, and unable to focus on the task at hand.

Another kind is a ‘contributor mindset’, in which an individual says, “Yes, I will receive, but let me first try to give, and make a difference.” For such people, everything about a career changes – their selection of jobs changes, the way they approach it changes, the way they present themselves in the job changes, and so on.

Individuals with a contributive mindset make wiser career choices along the way. They are also more fulfilled, as by doing something of value, their self-esteem and sense of confidence grows. As a consequence, they benefit tremendously, their organizations benefit, and the society in which they operate also benefits.

But, people with an ‘acquisitive’ mindset make terrible career decisions simply because they move from one job to another in the lure of more rewards and promotions. They fail to see the value of systematically building their capacity to make a difference, and, in the long run, get stuck and stagnate in their careers.

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