As we discussed in our last post, we’ve all been taught a number of myths about how to be happy and successful in our career. Here at Crafted Career Concepts, we believe the key to a fulfilling and yes, even happy, career is professional alignment. Professional alignment happens when our interests, talents, values and requirements intersect.

It’s time we challenge another personal assumption and consider that this intersection may be different than we’ve always pictured. That perhaps it’s not about more, higher and better. Perhaps it’s not about the elite road. Malcolm Gladwell seems to agree, according to his best-selling book David and Goliath. Gladwell is the leader of turning traditional notions on their heads, and this time it’s no exception.

According to Business Insider,

“Gladwell’s basically against anyone attending a famous university just for the name, or really doing anything for the sake of prestige. To choose something elite is, more often than not, to choose being a little fish in a big pond, he says, since only a select few will shine among the best. He believes people are generally better off choosing to be part of a lesser known organization where they have a greater chance of standing out.”

In the world of work, competition is inevitable. We’re up against each other for promotions, we’re competing against other businesses to earn clients and contracts. Simply put, when we are competing at an elite level, we are more likely to be the underdog. For some of you, that may be very attractive. Perhaps competition is your driving force. Perhaps the quest for excellence and prestige gets you out of bed in the morning. For everyone else, it can be a losing combination. Competing for the top level position within the most powerful, elite organizations can mean being stuck in lower level positions and contributing less than you’re capable of. It’s the ultimate irony – Shooting for more can lead to less.

Don’t get us wrong – We are not trying to squelch your dreams. We are simply posing the question: “What are you after?”. The arena may be just as important as the position. Choose wisely.