What do you not want to do in your career? Do you not want to research new job opportunities because it’s too much work? Do you not want to update your resume because you are unsure what to write? Do you not want to make time to think about your career because you hope it will improve on its own?
Like eating vegetables, sometimes the career tasks that you don’t want, are the tasks that are best for you.
As human beings we are ruled by our feelings. We go with what feels right in the moment. The good part about this is we listen to ourselves. We know ourselves best and this self-awareness helps us greatly in our career. The bad part is “I don’t want to,” which many times is not in our best interest.
If we went with what we felt like doing all the time, we might never get out of bed in the morning. (Doesn’t it feel better to be underneath your blanket sometimes?) But then what happens to your career dreams? When do you work on them? When you feel like it? What happens if you only feel like it from time to time?
Make sure “I don’t want to” wins. How? Follow these three steps below.
1. DECIDE YOU WANT SOMETHING DIFFERENT IN YOUR CAREER
Only you can decide whether your career moves forward or not. You may believe it’s your boss that is holding you back, the people in your office, or the human resource director that does not return your phone calls, but the truth is your career is in your hands. If you want something different, you have to do something different. Have you been disappointed by something or someone in your career? We all have. You are not alone. Don’t let what happened in the past predict your future. Decide that now is the time that things will change for the best. Get out there. Try again. Make a promise to yourself that you will. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.
All great things in your career will not happen on their own. You need a plan. Think about all the times you have been successful in your career-you had a plan. You planned which school you would attend. You planned which companies or industries you would work for. If you had a big presentation or meeting with your boss, you planned for it. In all cases, you had a big picture in your mind and you broke that picture into smaller pieces. Use this system again.
Put these 3 items into your plan.
Item One: Describe What You Want. A new job? A promotion? More money? More resources? Or, more time for yourself? Be specific. Your “what” is your goal.
Item Two: Describe How You Will Get What You Want. Write down the steps you will take to make your goal happen. If you do not know, write down how you will find out. Open your calendar. Put in when you will do each one of these steps. Many times “I don’t want to” creeps in because you are not focused. You don’t know what to do so you do not act. Maybe you are waiting for the answer or the momentum to come to you. It won’t happen. Having everything in your calendar will keep you moving forward.
Item Three: Set A Deadline. Create a date when you expect to reach your goal. You may reach it or not, but that is not the point. You need a game to play, something to shoot for. We work best when we have deadlines and you have just given yourself one.
3. WORK ON YOUR CAREER NO MATTER WHAT
All career goals are reached over time. Small consistent action on a regular basis produces results. When you begin working on a goal, you may not see the results right away. This does not mean you are not getting somewhere. You are. Trust this. Over time the results you want begin to appear, sometimes like magic. This is because you have been putting in the time and doing the work. You are beginning to see the rewards for your effort, but only if you have been consistent.
So, if you wake up in the morning and don’t feel like working on your career, or it’s the end of the day and you are tired and don’t want to, work on your career anyway because you said that you would. Put in the effort because the effort will be worthwhile. Plus, you made a promise to yourself that you would reach you goal. (step #1) Make your promise mean something.
So, what do you say? You only have one life to live, so it might as well be a life you love!