The end of February is fast approaching. Easter is around the corner and then Q1 will be in the past.
The grand career plans for 2016….do you feel that you are in control of them? Or is your grip on your plans loosening? Or are you yet to take control?
If you’re giving it lots of thought without taking much action, then you’re not going to experience any change. Equally, if you’re acting without thinking…pointless.
This article outlines 3 stages for you – the busy, time-poor professional – aiming to achieve more in your career. Firstly, get clear on your intentions. Secondly, your motivation. Thirdly, kick-start your momentum to move forward.
Broadly speaking, we all fit into 3 categories in terms of current career ambitions:
- Comfort zones upset you. You like the business you are in and you want to achieve more. Way more. You’re fully aware that there is bags more in you. Time to move up through the gears in terms of performance (and/or position/role)
- If you don’t already have a plan to execute, then you’re all over the idea of getting one in place.
- Read on.
- You’ve achieved all you can achieve where you are.
- Or, you are not going to achieve what you know you can achieve where you are.
- Read on.
Not moving at all
- You’re not keen on much change. Preference is to avoid drawing much or any attention to the career situation. Carry on as is. Things are fine.
- And if they’re not fine, that’s your story and you’re sticking to it.
- You don’t need to read on.
You’ll sense a recurring theme in what I write. You’re the one in control of the amount of meaningful success you achieve in your career. As Henry Ford is quoted as saying “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right”.
You’re sure that your near-term future lies in your current business. Excellent. Be clear on why you want to stay and what you want to achieve – why is it important to you? Then crack on raise your game. Set new standards, targets and more effective habits for yourself. Stretch.
When you are on your death bed, are you going to say…I contributed greatly to the dreams of others by being a dutiful, competent and average employee.
Or will you have some pride in your achievements? Will you have been happier at home and at work as a result? Of course you will – life will be have been lived on your terms. I intend to be smiling like my donkey friend in the photo above when I am on my deathbed!
You know your future lies elsewhere. Why? Just ask yourself – what am I aiming for? Clarify the importance of that to you. Your dreams are your dreams. Far be it for me or anyone else to impose upon them. But don’t kid yourself into thinking that things will change for you without things changing in you. They won’t. Things will just happen to you. You have to get clear on your motivation.
Make a choice. Understand why. Take control. Go for it.
I’ve experienced this first hand over the last couple of years. I work really hard at consciously choosing the outcomes I intend to create. It’s beginning to pay off. But it took me a while to cop on to things, so I hope to help you cut some corners.
If you are intent and motivated to move up or move out, make sure you use this 3 part process as a sense check.
You cannot create what your mind cannot see. So grab a pen and paper and let the pen run wild in answering the following questions:
What does success look like to me? Put yourself in that place now.
- When is it? Year, time of year.
- Where am I?
- What age am I?
- What’s happening professionally and personally?
- Who is there?
- What have I done to achieve this success?
- What am I doing to grow it from here?
When you have some ideas down on paper (proper visualisation exercises require far more of a time commitment, this is simply to create momentum), then assess the following.
- What’s different about you then and you now?
- In what ways do you need to change to deliver into the results you desire?
- In what ways are you already well equipped to deliver the results?
- What other resources do you need?
- What skills do you need to develop?
- Who can support you in getting there faster than you would alone?
Where the gaps exist, what are the most effective ways of closing them? And what are the easiest ways to close them? What blend of effective vs ease makes most sense for you?
What’s the single most useful action for you to take right away?
What’s the next thing you will do? When will you do it?
So what is moving?
You’re alive at the moment. Big news! Are you acting and behaving alive? Or are you soldiering through life uninspired, wandering aimlessly?
Which is really where the point of this piece lies. No one can tell you what you should or shouldn’t do with your life, professionally or personally. Yet many of us accept exactly those terms without knowing it. We’re fitting in without being aware of it. We’re thinking like the rest of the people think – in a stream of mass consciousness. We’re choosing to remain ignorant of our choices. We have no control when that’s the case.
Life is short. Be conscious in it. Control what you can control. Get selfish about it. Serve no one else aside from yourself in the process. Because until you do that, you won’t be serving those closest to you who matter most to you. You’ll be working on someone else’s dream.
*This article was first published on LinkedIn via my profile