Why is it that some people seem to have an easier time progressing in their careers or landing the job of their dreams?
If you feel like you’re in a stuck moment or have a fear of moving forward in your career, here are some reasons why that may be happening. The good news? All of this is in YOUR control to change!
1. You’re not flexible with your style or your strategies: Ever heard the saying that the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again expecting a different result? How we approach the people, events and work that can propel our careers can be the difference that makes the difference. If your current career development strategy isn’t working, try a different strategy. If your current interaction style with others might be limiting your success in collaborations, try a style that you see others using toward better results.
2. You don’t know what you want: Have you asked yourself in the past two months what it is either big picture or specifically that you want for your career? Either is a great place to start. Ask yourself what’s most important to me in the context of career. Is it leadership, teamwork, travel, financial stability, recognition, diversity of experiences, or other? That will help you to find your big picture values for your career. You can also ask what specifically do I want for my career in the next year? Make sure it’s something that largely depends on you to initiate, visualize what you’ll be seeing and feeling once you get it, and take the first step in that direction within a week.
3. You don’t have a plan: When was the last time you wrote down a plan for your career? It doesn’t have to be a detailed plan and it doesn’t have to be a 10 year plan. Most of us write or manage work plans every day for the teams, projects and events that we are in charge of – and those go well, don’t they? – but we don’t take the time to do it for ourselves. It’s the most important time investment you can make to create the career of your dreams. There are many resources online, and to break it down simply: start with a SMART goal, outline who and what you need to help you get there, and write down the steps you need to take on your ideal yet realistic timeframe.
4. You’re not modeling others: What’s the quickest way to getting what you want? Model others who have it. Time and time again, we reinvent the wheel by spending too much time figuring out HOW to navigate our careers when we could save time and get even better ideas by modeling others who have already been through it. Learn from others’ successes and especially learn from their mistakes! Once you know what specifically you want for your career, make a list of 5 people who you admire in your field who are ahead of you. Ask to interview them. Find out what knowledge, strategies, skills and mindsets helped them get there. What went well and what are their lessons learned?
5. You’re hanging onto limiting beliefs that don’t serve you: In the point above, I mention mindset. I agree with the countless articles out there that say, If you believe you can, you can. Check to see if you have any doubts about your ability to achieve what you want. If you do, that’s a belief that will set you up for failure. Ask yourself, what do I want to believe instead? Having a clear, positive intention set for your next career step, and a mindset of courage, curiosity and persistence are must-haves for your success. Having a commitment to learning and growing and a willingness to take risks will keep you moving forward. Finally, be sure to have an open mind – don’t be tied to only one “perfect job.” Have a few different ways you can go that would all fulfill you so your choices are maximized when opportunities arise.
You have control of an incredible career when you decide you do. Make that decision now and get started on bringing the career of your dreams out of its slumber.