When you think about your career, do you ever view your future as a blank slate? What you have achieved in your life until today reflects the decisions you’ve made, the actions you’ve taken, and the results you’ve enjoyed up until today. However, if you want to have what you have never had, you must do what you’ve never done.
Too often executives limit their career advancement by their experience, education, and track record. Have you ever thought about pursuing a completely different career? That’s what I was referring to earlier when I mentioned a clean slate. Don’t allow your past to limit what you will achieve in the future.
Many of the lucrative careers today, didn’t exist five years ago. Think of how many new businesses were created by advances in technology, Artificial Intelligence, and the impact of the pandemic. Your next career move could be in an industry that is just beginning to develop.
If you do decide to investigate other careers, don’t let someone else’s opinion of you limit what you pursue or achieve. Often when you discuss your plans with those closest to you, including family members and friends, they provide endless reasons why you will not succeed. When someone tells you that you will not succeed or what you can’t do, I want you to respond with a simple, “Watch me!”
You possess marketable core values and transferrable soft and hard skills that could be utilized in different industries and professions. Before you think about the next step in your current career, think about what you really enjoy doing. You spend most of your time at work, so why not do something that makes your heart sing? Why not find a career that makes you jump out of bed in the morning anxious to start your day?
There is a reason that employee engagement is so low in today’s workforce. Too often very talented individuals get so busy doing what is required each day, they don’t take the time to consider what would make them more fulfilled and happier.
Take time to evaluate every responsibility involved in your current career. Write down everything you do for the next 10 working days. If you do something repeatedly, put a checkmark behind that task each time your complete it. After 10 days, revise the order of your list. The first item on your list should represent what you enjoy doing most and the last item on the list should represent what you enjoy least. Did you notice this list is not listing what you do most as number one, what you enjoy most is number one.
Too often very talented individuals get so busy doing what is required each day, they don’t take the time to consider what would make them more fulfilled and happier.
Next, put percentages behind each task you perform. How much of your time is spent on each task. Next, think of the perfect job and how much of your time do you want to do each task. More importantly what tasks do you not want to perform in your next job?
In any career or job, there will be things about it that you don’t enjoy, but what current tasks are “deal breakers” for you? If you absolutely do not enjoy one part of your job, don’t accept a job that includes that area of responsibility. That is when you may seriously decide to consider a new profession or industry.
If you are thinking about a new profession, take time to talk to individuals who are working in the job or profession you are considering. Informational interviews can prevent you from pursuing a new career that is not aligned with your priorities.
I recently interviewed a woman who wanted to leave her position as a Project Manager and enter Hotel Management. I suggested that she set up informational interviews with a few Hotel Managers. She uncovered so many positive aspects of the job she didn’t know existed which increased her interest level. Then they discussed the demanding hours. She is a single parent, and never thought about the fact that Hotels are open 24/7, 365 days a year. She ended up accepting a project management position in a different industry and is extremely pleased with her decision.
Starting today, become more aware of the decisions you make, the action you take, and the results you are achieving. If you feel there is room for improvement in the quality of life you are living or your work life balance, then you must begin to make different decisions. So often I meet individuals who want different results, but don’t change one thing in the way they conduct themselves in their professional or personal lives. It’s impossible to do things the same way and expect to achieve different results.
Research careers that will provide the lifestyle you deserve to live. Think of your future as a blank slate with no limits and you will be amazed at the doors that will open. Also, reach out to individuals in both your personal and professional network who know your capabilities. They might be able to provide suggestions of different professions or careers. Most individuals find their next career move through networking efforts. Someone in your network could possibly open the door for you to an exciting profession giving you want you want because you will do what you’ve never done.
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