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How to Achieve Quick Success at Work Even If You’re Lacking in Clear Direction

How to Achieve Quick Success at Work Even If You’re Lacking in Clear Direction

Designing your career can feel like an incredibly risky business. Having a good career coach by your side makes that challenge much more manageable. Whether you’ve ended up somewhere that feels like a dead end or you’re worried about the options ahead of you, taking the next step in your career is stressful.

Will you be able to handle a new position? What skills are you developing, and which are you neglecting? Which path is most viable, and which has the best financial incentive? A career coach won’t present you with the exact job opportunity you need at the right time, but they will help you answer all these questions, and more, that can help you create a roadmap for your future path.

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Why Each of Us Needs a Career Coach

A career coach is helpful for someone looking to make a major change[1] in field, position or goal. This person will discuss with you your personal life goals outside of your career, and then discuss with you which careers are compatible with those goals, and which will require compromise. They will evaluate your personality and skills in order to determine which position best aligns with your talents, as well as which will demand things of you that you wouldn’t be able to provide.

Your career coach can help you design a path [2] and an ultimate map for your future, including identifying what steps you will need to take to get there, what skills you will need to improve, what training or education you should seek and what industry you can consider. And although a career coach won’t hand select jobs to you, they will help you navigate through the job hunting process. Your coach can offer tips for getting through interviews, a keen eye to go over your cover letter, resume and applications, and advice on where to hunt for good positions.

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How Having a Coach Can Fast-Track Your Career Success

Making a major career change, whether it’s changing the role you take on or the industry you work in, can feel like an impossible struggle. Outside of college, you rarely get an easy opportunity to prepare yourself for entering an industry, which makes a mid-life change feel overwhelming. This is where a good career coach comes in. He can help you figure out how to make that transition between positions or industries, including learning what skills you can put forward, what you can do to improve your qualifications and where you can enter in the industry to begin your new path.

A career coach will not do your job search for you, will not personally network you into an industry and will not give you a magical leg up. If you aren’t trying to make a major career change, you likely don’t need their services – your own knowledge of the industry or position should be comparable to theirs, or a quick Google search about people in your field should answer your question.

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How to Find a Career Coach Who Caters to Your Need

Once you’ve decided you want to make a change and begin the hunt [3] for a career coach, you must be on alert for scammers. Plenty of people are trying to sell you promises they can’t keep. Avoid career coaches who seem to have a plan for you before you tell them about yourself, as well as coaches who have no references to give.

Try networking around for a career coach among friends and associates, searching for recommendations and previous experiences. Since there are no specific qualifications to make someone a career coach, it is important that you know someone’s reputation in order to consider them as a coach. Don’t call up the first person you find on Google – look for recommendations, reviews, honest opinions and feedback from your industry, community or connections. Look for news about your coach, their presence on social media and on the internet in general

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Your coach’s personality will play a major factor in how comfortable you are with them, so feel free to request an informal conversation or interview before committing to anyone, but a career coach’s time is valuable – payments can run up to $300 per hour – so most will likely not give you too much free time to talk about yourself before you’ll have to start paying.

Don’t expect face to face meetings with your coach – many prefer internet or phone conversations nowadays. This gives you more freedom, however, to find a coach that fits well with you and understands your goals. Finally, don’t expect the process of working with your coach to be quick. You shouldn’t expect your coach to place you in a new career in a few weeks – the average relationship lasts six months to a year. This is about redesigning your career. It takes time.

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Last Updated on November 12, 2020

15 Reasons Why You Can’t Achieve Your Goals

15 Reasons Why You Can’t Achieve Your Goals

The truth about many of our failed goals is that we haven’t achieved them because we didn’t know how to set and accomplish goals effectively, rather than having not had enough willpower, determination, or fortitude. There are strings of mistakes standing in our way of accomplished goals. Fortunately for us, we don’t have to fall victim to these mistakes for 2015. There are many common mistakes we make with setting goals, but there are also surefire ways to fix them too.

Goal Setting

1. You make your goals too vague.

Instead of having a vague goal of “going to the gym,” make your goals specific—something like, “run a mile around the indoor track each morning.”

2. You have no way of knowing where you are with your goals.

It’s hard to recognize where you are at reaching your goal if you have no way of measuring where you are with it. Instead, make your goal measurable with questions such as, “how much?” or “how many?” This way, you always know where you stand with your goals.

3. You make your goals impossible to reach.

If it’s impossible of reaching, you’re simply not going to reach for it. Sometimes, our past behavior can predict our future behavior, which means if you have no sign of changing a behavior within a week, don’t set a goal that wants to accomplish that. While you can do many things you set your mind to, it’ll be much easier if you realize your capabilities, and judge your goals from there.

4. You only list your long-term goals.

Long-term goals tend to fizzle out because we’re stuck on the larger view rather than what we need to accomplish in the here and now to get there. Instead, list out all the short-term goals involved with your long-term goal. For instance, if you want to seek a publisher for a book you’ve written, your short-term goals might involve your marketing your writing and writing for more magazines in order to accomplished your goal of publishing. By listing out the short-term goals involved with your long-term goal, you’ll focus more on doing what’s in front of you.

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5. You write your goals as negative statements.

It’s hard to reach a goal that’s worded as, “don’t fall into this stupid trap.” That’s not inspiring, and when you’re first starting out, you need inspiration to stay committed to your goal. Instead, make your goals positive statements, such as, “Be a friend who says yes more” rather than, “Stop being an idiot to your friends.”

6. You leave your goals in your head.

Don’t keep your goals stuck in your head. Write them down somewhere and keep them visible. It’s a way making your goals real and holding yourself accountable for achieving them.

Achieving Goals

7. You only focus on achieving one goal at a time, and you struggle each time.

In order to keep achieving your goals, one right after the others, you need to build the healthy habits to do so. For instance, if you want to write a book, developing a habit of writing each morning. If you want to lose weight and eventually run a marathon, develop a habit of running each morning. Focus on buildign habits, and your other goals in the future will come easier.

Studies show that it takes about 66 days on average to change or develop a habit.[1] If you focus on forming one habit every 66 days, that’ll get you closer to accomplishing your goals, and you’ll also build the capability to achieve more and more goals later on with the help of your newly formed habits.

8. You live in an environment that doesn’t support your goals.

Gary Keller and Jay Papasan in their book, The One Thing, state that environments are made up of people and places. They state that these two factors must line up to support your goals. Otherwise, they would cause friction to your goals. So make sure the people who surround you and your location both add something to your goals rather than take away from them.

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9. You get stuck on the end result with your goals.

James Clear brilliantly suggests that our focus should be on the systems we implement to reach our goals rather than the actual end result. For instance, if you’re trying to be healthier with your diet, focus more on sticking to your diet plan rather than on your desired end result. It’ll keep you more concentrated on what’s right in front of you rather than what’s up in the sky.

Keeping Motivated

10. You get discouraged with your mess-ups.

When I wake up each morning, I focus all my effort in building a small-win for myself. Why? Because we need confidence and momentum if we want to keep plowing through the obstacles of accomplishing our goals. Starting my day with small wins helps me forget what mess-ups I had yesterday, and be able to reset.

Your win can be as small as getting out of bed to writing a paragraph in your book. Whatever the case may be, highlight the victories when they come along, and don’t pay much attention to whatever mess-ups happened yesterday.

11. You downplay your wins.

When a win comes along, don’t downplay it or be too humble about it. Instead, make it a big deal. Celebrate each time you get closer to your goal with either a party or quality time doing what you love.

12. You get discouraged by all the work you have to do for your goals.

What happens when you focus on everything that’s in front of you is that you can lose sight of the big picture—what you’re actually doing this for and why you want to achieve it. By learning how to filter the big picture through your every day small goals, you’ll be able to keep your motivation for the long haul. Never let go of the big picture.

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13. You waste your downtime.

When I take a break, I usually fill my downtime with activities that further me toward my goals. For instance, I listen to podcasts about writing or entrepreneurship during my lunch times. This keeps my mind focused on the goal, and also utilizes my downtime with motivation to keep trying for my goals.

Wondering what you can do during your downtime? Here’re 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time.

14. You have no system of accountability.

If you announce your goal publicly, or promise to offer something to people, those people suddenly depend on your accomplishment. They are suddenly concerned for your goals, and help make sure you achieve them. Don’t see this as a burden. Instead, use it to fuel your hard work. Have people depend on you and you’ll be motivated to not let them down.

15. You fall victim to all your negative behaviors you’re trying to avoid with your goals.

Instead of making a “to-do” list, make a list of all the behaviors, patterns, and thinking you need to avoid if you ever want to reach your goal. For instance, you might want to chart down, “avoid Netflix” or “don’t think negatively about my capability.” By doing this, you’ll have a visible reminder of all the behavior you need to avoid in order to accomplish your goals. But make sure you balance this list out with your goals listed as positive statements.

How To Stop Failing Your Goal?

If you want to stop failing your goal and finally reach it, don’t miss these actionable tips explained by Jade in this episode of The Lifehack Show:

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Bottom Line

Overcoming our mistakes is the first step to building healthy systems for our goals. If you find one of these cogs jamming the gears to your goal-setting system, I hope you follow these solutions to keep your system healthy and able to churn out more goals.

Make this year where you finally achieve what you’ve only dreamed of.

More Goal Getting Tips

Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com

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