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Simple Steps to Move Forward So That Success is Inevitable

Simple Steps to Move Forward So That Success is Inevitable

It’s strange isn’t it?

Why is it so hard to move forward? One step forward, another back, yet another sideways? Sometimes it can seem like we are just going around in circles.

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Blockages

Most blockages come from unresolved problems. So how do we become blocked and what can we do about it so that we are free to move forward? Most blockagesare in our heads. These mental blocks come from a variety of sources but they usually fall into these categories:

  • The past. We were either hurt in the past or made a mistake and it still bothers us. Perhaps we have experienced serious adverse circumstances and may have a lot of forgiving to do. Whatever the reasons you still have to move forward in spite of any unfinished business. Unfortunately, the past can linger in your brain as a distraction that continually pulls on your attention and energy to give it its due, so it can be hard to move forward when this occurs. Unfinished business can also make claims on your energy that prevent you from being wholeheartedly in the present.
  • The future. The future always holds uncertainty which opens the door to self-doubt. It can harness our imaginations in a negative way and make it hard for us to see useful decisions and choices. It can also open the what-if door and keep us suspended in questions that cannot be answered.
  • Our view of ourselves. All of our blockages reflect in some way our view of ourselves, our abilities, competence and potential for success. If our self view was damaged, then we may have a hard time visualizing a way to move forward.

How To Handle Blockages To Move Forward

Blockages are tricky to handle. We really cannot ignore them. If we do, our inner voice will demand our attention. We also need to realize that many of our inner challenges can’t be easily solved with an affirmation or visualization. They take a concerted effort and some time to heal and repair. What’s needed is a strategy so that we can move forward. So what can we do? I think the easiest way to handle blockages is to treat them as long-term companions in our lives. And give them their due. One way is to write in a journal every day in the morning and the evening. The amount of time doesn’t have to be great. By giving attention to the part of you that needs healing you are then freer to move forward. And you will feel better about yourself and therefore do better as a result.

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There’s More…

Ok, so we have set aside time and attention for our healing needs, but we still have to move forward somehow. How do we do that in a way that enables us to take intelligent risks and still honor ourselves and our limitations? The trick is really in how we go about it:

  • Avoid pushing yourself too hard and too fast. By accepting limitations, you actually stand a better chance of success because you are not fighting yourself.
  • Be prepared for and accept obstacles as important information. Sometime obstacles occur because of details that we need to pay attention to. We may not notice when we are going too fast or when we need to take a step back because we have missed something important.

Achieving Goals That Matter

You can succeed in anything you do as long as you give the work your all. To be able to give your work your all, you must have total acceptance of yourself. This is why making sure you address your hurts and unfinished business is so important. It frees your energy for your current tasks. To really achieve goals that really matter, and to be able to consistently work at them try this approach. Start with these questions:

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  1. Where am I? Define or acknowledge where you are.  This step also lets you be honest with yourself about the skills, resources  and limitations you have.
  2. What do I need? Notice I said need not want. Sticking to our needs keeps us closer to our true and authentic self and less likely to go off on a wild goose chase or seek less fulfilling pursuits – like excessive consumption.  Need can be anything from a need to earn enough to live on to engaging in creative work. But it needs to be a real need  born of our talents and desire to contribute to the world and not one that comes from others or societal pressures.
  3. What do I need to do to get what I need? Here you close the gap between the present and the future but you do so in a grounded way, because you are staying in touch with the realities of the present, who you are and your real needs. You can move forward intelligently and confidently, taking one step at a time.

The Benefit Of Being Grounded

Being grounded has the important benefit of enabling us to be serious about what we are doing, Seriousness has important implications for the quality of our work and therefore makes our work more satisfying. Have you ever decided on a goal, and felt a certain weakness inside about it? That feeling of weakness come from something not being right, probably in one of the steps above. Using the three questions will help you feel confident, appropriate and serious about what you are doing. That internal synchronicity will show up in your excellent results.

Featured photo credit:  Young businessman moving a knight on a chessboard via Shutterstock

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Published on June 5, 2018

Is It Time for a Career Change? Find Your Answer Here with These Steps

Is It Time for a Career Change? Find Your Answer Here with These Steps

Are you challenged at work? Do you regret career decisions? Are you happy? If the answer to the questions leads to a negative feeling, it is time to determine next steps.

Many people settle for a career that no longer brings satisfaction. Most will respond by stating, “I am surviving” if a colleague asks them “How’s work?”

Settling for a job to pay bills and maintain a lifestyle is stagnation. You can re-direct the journey of a career with confidence by taking control of future decisions. After all, you deserve to be live a happy life that will offer a work-life balance . Let’s look at the reasons why you need a career change and how to make it happen for a more fulfilling life.

Signs that you need a career change

The challenges of dissatisfaction in a career can have a negative impact on our mental health. As a result, our mental health can lead to the obvious appearance of stress, aging, weight gain and internal health issues.

You deserve a career that will fulfill the inner desire of true happiness. Here are common factors that it is time for you to change your career.

Physical signs

Are you aging since you started your job? Do you have anxiety? What about work-related injuries?

It feels amazing to receive a pay cheque, but you deserve to work in an environment that brings out the best of you. If the work environment is hazardous, speak to your boss about alternative options.

In the case that colleagues or your boss take advantage of your kindness, feeling the anxiety of fear of losing your job because of a high-stress environment may not be right for you.

Mental signs

One out of five Americans has mental health issues, according to Mental Health America.[1] In most cases, it is related to stress.

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I remember working at a job in a work environment where harassment was acceptable. I had to walk on eggshells to avoid crossing the line with colleagues. My friends started to notice the difference in that I seemed out of character. It was then that I knew that changing a career to freelancing was the right decision.

Here is a list of mental signs of workplace unhappiness:

  • The tension in your neck
  • Difficulties with sleeping
  • Unable to concentrate
  • High anxiety
  • Depression

If you start to feel your self-esteem is diminishing, it is time to consider if working in a high-stress industry is for you. The truth is, this negative energy will be transferred to people in your life like friends and family.

Why a career change is good for you

I have a friend that works in the medical industry. She was once a nurse working directly with patients in one of the top hospitals in her area. After five years, she started to internalize the issues with her patients to the point where she felt depressed after work hours. It impacted her relationship with her family and she almost lost herself.

One day, she decided to wake up and take control of her destiny. She started applying for new medical jobs in the office. It meant working on medical documentation of patients which is not an ideal career based on what society expects a medical professional to perform. But she started to feel happier.

It is a classic example of a person that was negatively impacted by issues at work, stayed in the same industry but changed careers.

A career change can fulfill a lifelong dream, increase one’s self-esteem or revive the excitement for one’s work.

You know a career change can be the right decision to make if you experience one or all of these:

  • Working in a negative workplace: Don’t be discouraged. A negative workplace can be changed by working at a new organization.
  • Working with a difficult boss: The challenges of working with a difficult boss can be stressful. All it takes is communication. You can address the issue directly with a manager professionally and respectfully.
  • Feeling lost about what you do: Most people stay at their jobs and settle for mediocrity because of the fear of failure or the unknown. The rise to success often comes with working a tedious role or stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. If you fear the idea of being involved in activities that are new, remember that life is short. Mediocrity will only continue to make you feel as if life is passing you by.

Common mistakes of people making a career change

Most people that feel they need a career are frustrated with their situation at work. What is your situation?

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  • Desire for an increase of salary: The desire for a higher income can persuade some to believe they are in the wrong career. The issue with this is more money requires more time in the office or taking on several positions at a time. At times, pursuing a high-income role can be the complete opposite of what one is expected. It is what happens when a colleague leaves a company to a new one and returns several years later.
  • Overnight decision: Let’s face it. We make overnight decisions when stressed out or disappointed with situations at work. The problem with a quick decision is the negative and positive points is overlooked.
  • Rejected for a promotion: I have heard stories of managers that applied ten times for a position throughout a 5-year period. Yes, it sounds to be a lengthy process, but at times, a promotion requires time. Avoid changing a career if you do not see the results of a promotion currently.
  • Bored at work: Think deeply about this point. If you work a job that is repetitive, it is normal to feel bored. You can spice it up by changing the appearance of your desk, socializing with new employees in a different department, joining a leadership committee at work or coming to work with enthusiasm. Sometimes, all it takes is you to change jobs into a fun situation.

A career change can take time, networking, education and the job search process can be a journey. Here is a list of things to consider before making a final decision:

  • How long have you worked in your career?
  • What is the problem at work? Do you work well with the team?
  • Do you receive recognition?
  • Can you consider working in a new department?

The reason it is important to think about the work situation is some people decide to change career for factors that are insignificant. Factors that can potentially change if the person works in a different department or new organization. Here is a list of unimportant factors to think about before you decide to make the transition:

Now that you had a chance to review your work situation and none of these recommendations can help, it is time to take the next step.

How to make the change for a successful career (Step-by-step)

The ultimate key to success is to go through a career transition step by step to avoid making the wrong decision.

1. Write a career plan

A career plan has a dead line for action steps that includes taking new courses, learning a new language, networking or improving issues at work.[2] A career plan should be kept in your wallet because it will motivate you to keep pursuing the role.

You can learn how to set your career plan here.

2. Weigh your options

If you have a degree in Accounting, write down five positions in this industry of interest. The good news is diplomas and degrees can be used to a variety of roles to choose.

You don’t have to stick to what society holds a top job, in the end, choosing the right role that will make you happy is priceless.

3. Be real about the pros and cons

It is time to be honest about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that are impacting the current situation.

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A SWOT Analysis of a career can include:

  • Economic factors
  • Direct competition: Is this role in high demand?
  • Location: Do you need to move? If the goal is to work in tech and living in Cincinnati is not realistic, consider moving to San Francisco.
  • Achievements: To stand out from the competition achievements like awards, committee involvement, freelance work or volunteering is a recipe for success.
  • Education: Do you need to go back to school? Education can be expensive. However, online courses, webinars or self-study is an option.

A career blueprint is the first step to creating realistic goals. A person without goals will be disappointed without a clear direction of what to do next.

4. Find a mentor

A mentor that works in the desired position can share the pros and cons of working in the role. Here is a list of questions to ask a mentor:

  • What is required to be successful in the role?
  • What certification or educational development is needed?
  • What are the challenges of the role?
  • Is there potential for career advancement?

A chat at a coffee shop with a mentor can change your mind about the desire for a career change.

Find out how to pick a good mentor for yourself in this article: A Good Mentor Is Hard to Find: What to Look for in a Mentor

5. Research salary

Some people decide to change careers for a role that pays less or perks like benefits to make up for the difference in previous to potential salary.

It can reveal the cities throughout the country that offer a higher salary for those that have an interest in relocating for work.

6. Be realistic

If your goal is to move up into an executive position, it is time to be honest about where you are in your career.

For example, if boardroom meetings, high-level discussions about financials or attending weekly networking events are boring, an executive role may not be right for you. If you are an introvert and working with people every day is nerve wrecking, you need to reconsider a job in sales.

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Ask yourself if you can work in this role for the next five years of your life. If other benefits that come with the role are enticing, other roles are fit that will make you happy.

7. Volunteer first

A person that wants to become a manager should take on volunteer opportunities to experience the reality of the position.

Becoming a committee member to pursue a presidential opportunity can provide a perspective on leadership, maintaining a budget and public speaking.

Volunteer in a role until you are certain that it is the right opportunity.

8. Prepare your career tools

I recommend asking a boss, colleague or mentor for career tools. If you prefer professional assistance, you can seek out resume writing assistance. Here is a list of things to consider when preparing career tools:

  • Online search: Search your name online to see what shows up. I recommend searching images that are on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or other sites on a personal account. The last thing you want to realize is the job search is unsuccessful because there is unprofessional content you posted online.
  • Be LinkedIn ready: Recruiters conduct a LinkedIn search to see if the work experience is the same on a resume. Remember to change the wording on LinkedIn from the resume, or it will appear there was no effort put into creating the profile.
  • Portfolio: A portfolio of work is recommended for people that work in the arts, writing, graphic design and other fields. I recommend a portfolio online and one that is available in hand when attending job interviews or networking meetups.

Final thoughts

It takes time to move towards a new career. Pay attention to the physical and mental signs to maintain your health. You deserve to work in happiness and come home stress-free. If you avoid the common mistakes people make, you will discover the role that is the best fit with your skillsets.

Master these action steps and changing careers will be on your terms to make the best decision for your future.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

[1]Mental Health America: The State of Mental Health in America
[2]MIT Global Education & Career Development: Make a Career Plan

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