Don’t Let These Roadblocks Delay Your Career

Don’t Let These Roadblocks Delay Your Career

In the landscape of your career there are a lot of pot holes and pitfalls you can fall into. It’s impossible to predict most of these, but some of them are avoidable if you know what to look for. Here are three career roadblocks to watch out for.

 

Choosing the less challenging route

Sometimes we get the job we absolutely want. Other times we settle for a job that’s okay and think of it as a meantime job. That’s all well and good unless the meantime job turns into the all-the-time job. It’s easy to get comfortable with a regular paycheck and an easy job and forget it’s not what we had planned for ourselves.

 

Go on like that too long and breaking the cycle of comfort becomes harder and harder until it doesn’t seem worth the effort at all. Others around you have qualifications and experience you simply never got in your meantime job. Then you don’t feel comfortable joining the race for the job you want anymore.

 

If you are in a meantime job set time limits. Continue renewing your qualifications. Keep getting experience that will help you in get the job you actually want.

 

Allowing yourself to be controlled by your career

Another thing that can happen to people who find themselves in a less than ideal job is that they’re actually really good at it. They end up getting promoted. Then given more responsibilities, and ultimately become really good at something they have no desire to continue doing.

 

It’s important to stay vigilant in regards to what you want from your career and your life and do your own steering!

 

Being too humble

Being modest is lovely, but in a career sense, you can’t sit back and let other people take credit for the things you do, or allow extra effort you put it to go unnoticed.

 

Be proud of your accomplishments and the person you are. Let people know how great you are at your job, and watch your career pull ahead!

Get Yourself on The Right Track

Get Yourself on The Right Track

We all want to advance ourselves personally and professionally and there are probably thousands of way to do it. To save you the burden of trying to choose, here are three things you can do to get you on the right track.

 

Make yourself a small fish in a large pond

Sure it feels good to feel like you’re the smartest, most successful person in the group, but if you want to grow and take yourself to the next level you shouldn’t be afraid to let yourself feel small. Instead of surrounding yourself with people who think you’re great, surround yourself with people you aspire to be like. People who are smarter than you, more successful, more motivated and involved in their lives. Those are the people you want to emulate. Those are the vibes you want to absorb.

 

Instead of wasting time with things that don’t fulfill you in some way (like endless hours of TV or falling down Google rabbit holes) find things that inspire you to be a better person. Learn, share, teach, grow. You get to choose how you spend  your time.

 

Start each day the night before

If you wake up then start planning your day, you’re already behind on what you can accomplish and you feel about the day. If you already have plans for the day waiting for you to get going the second you wake up, you’ll be inspired to get on with it. You’ve already got things to achieve on the go. You’ve already got a plan.

 

Creating a plan for the next day isn’t all you should do to inspire yourself. The last thing you should do to set yourself up for a great tomorrow is to remind yourself of what was great today. Write down anything you learned. Note whatever positive things happened. Going to sleep with a grateful heart will carry on right into the next day.

Choose one thing to get really great at

There are probably all sorts of things you want to improve in your life and career and that’s great. You should be striving to improve on lots of levels, but the way to get really good at anything is to give it your full attention. That means choose one thing you want to get great at. Give yourself a timeline to achieve your goal, say a month, two months, six months, whatever you believe it will take. Then push for that particular goal or achievement with everything you’ve got during that time.

 

Make Your Choices Count Toward Your Future

Make Your Choices Count Toward Your Future

Some people are born great at something. Maybe it’s painting, or piano playing. Perhaps they are exceptional leaders from the get-go. That is fantastic. A potential career/life path is laid out for them and all they have to do is follow the yellow brick road to success. (Notwithstanding the work they have to do to actually get to Oz – or wherever their success destination is).

Choosing to aspire

Most of us though, look out over the horizon and rather than seeing ourselves succeeding at this thing we were born good at, see possibilities. The possibility that with work and determination, we could make ourselves good at X.

Turning a potential future into a manifest one

Imagining a possible future is all well and good, but without follow through that possibility on the horizon will never be anything more than a mirage.

You don’t have to be a born writer to eventually write a best seller. You do have to take writing classes and write all kinds of terrible things on the way to writing something good. You will mostly likely endure more rejection than your frail sensibilities feel like they can endure. You will have keep working at your craft every single day.

Continuing to write in the face of rejection is a choice. Taking more classes is a choice. So is the willingness to persist in the face of persistent rejection. Each choice we make today helps add weight and substance to the mirage on the horizon, thereby manifesting it into reality.

Choices create abilities

You don’t have to be born with an ability to eventually have it. Who you are and what you can do is the culmination of the choices you make every day. When you are born your future is an unwritten book. The choices you make will determine what is written on those pages.  Whether it is a story of success or complacency.

Why You Should Think Like An Artist

Why You Should Think Like An Artist

What has art got to do with my career you may ask? Well if you think about it, thinking like an artist can help you advance your career.  Here’s why:

 

Innovation

A painter can not go around reproducing old works and expect to be successful. Neither can a musician go around pounding out the same tunes over and over, or a writer keep on churning out variations of the same sentence. In order to get anywhere in their careers, artists always have to think outside the box. The need to innovate.

Out of the box thinking isn’t a fun bonus for an artist, it’s what they need to do to get anywhere with their careers.

Art is one of those things that’s constantly getting pushed forward – people get bored of what they’ve already seen, so there’s a lot of pressure to do something new.

So instead of relying on the tried and true of what you’ve done countless times before, treat your career like an artist would. Tell yourself if you don’t innovate, no one will care about what you’re doing. Try new approaches. Look at what you’re doing in a new light. Work like an artist.

Practice

Artists practice constantly. Musicians and visual artists and actors all put in hundreds of hours of practice time. Otherwise they won’t be able to complete with all the other aspiring artists out there.

Not only do artists need to be the very best to get any work at all, but they’re also incredibly passionate. They practice not only because they need to, but because they WANT to. Because it’s who they are.

Treat your job like that. Find a career you where you WANT to hone your skills, where practicing is both a necessity and a pleasure.

Portfolios

All successful artists ones have portfolios of work. Actors have reels, illustrators have binders and binders of art. That’s how they get jobs – by displaying previous, great work.

If you want to get ahead, get into the habit of keeping a portfolio of your work. Not specifically for the purpose of showing people, but for the purpose of organizing your career thus far in your mind. Write a sentence about each thing you’ve done, so you can keep track of exactly what that accomplishment meant for the project and for you

That way, when the time for an  interview comes, or you need to tailor your resume to a certain job, you can think back to your portfolio. “What Have I done that applies? What should I include?” It’s all at your fingertips.

 

Think like an artist and watch your life turn into a work art before you.

Where To Look For A Mentor

Where To Look For A Mentor

Where To Look For A Mentor

As much as we might think we’ve got a pretty good handle on our lives and our careers, sometimes the help of a mentor is just what we need to get things moving with stronger direction and purpose. Whether you’re in sales or marketing or accounting or script writing, there are people who have been where you are. People who have more experience and insights than you. And who would be willing to share what they’ve learned to help you navigate the road ahead.

What exactly are you looking for?

The first step is determining exactly what you want help with. Has it got to do with a specific aspect of your career? With getting into a particular industry? With something more basic like getting organized? The more specific you are the easier it will be for you to find someone to help.

Your immediate circle

Once you know the aspect of your life or career where you want help, start by figuring out if you or someone you know (friend, neighbour, family member), knows someone with that particular skill.

Finding these pre-existing connections can be a huge help. From there you can impress them with your enthusiasm and willingness to learn and discuss the possibility of creating a more long-term relationship.

Human resources

Many larger corporations actually offer mentorship programs. Check and see if that’s available in your workplace or even if the HR person knows of someone in the organization with whom they could make an introduction.

Demonstrate your potential

One of the best ways of finding a mentor is by demonstrating that you are someone another person would be interested in helping along.  People will be more willing to consider mentoring you if they’ve seen examples of your work and your willingness to work. Get noticed by people ahead of you in your field.

Once you’ve got their attention don’t immediately jump in with a request for swaths of their time and attention. Offer to buy them a coffee.  Ask for some advice.

Be of benefit

From there you can offer to help them in some way. Maybe you could do some work for them for free and learn a few things while getting into their good books. A mentor/mentee relationship starts with a relationship.

Once you have a relationship established you can go on to asking for more advice and then depending how it goes, maybe some more.

You probably won’t get a mentor overnight, but by keeping lines of communication open with people from different aspects of your life you will be someone others are interested in helping.

Failing Is The Next Best Thing To Succeeding

Failing Is The Next Best Thing To Succeeding

I read Anne of Green Gables for the first time recently. Anne is a plucky, smart 11-year-old girl who inspires everyone around her with her imagination and determination. When I came to the part where Anne says, “Next to trying and winning, the next best thing is trying and failing,” I responded verbally to the little orphan that had set up a homestead in my imagination – “Why to go Anne!”

 

The superiority of trying over thinking

So often we have plans for the future. Things we’d like to do, things we’d like to try, accomplishments we’d like to get under out belt. Plans are great but until we actually take steps toward concretizing them, they are really no more than wishful thinking.

 

Despite what people who claim to know one secret or another say, no amount of positive or wishful thinking will ever move something out of the realm of possibility into the realm of reality. For that we need action.

 

The greatness of failure

The reason failing is such a good thing is that failure is the result of trying. Action taken. If you failed, you made plans, you put them into action, you proved to yourself that you were capable of more than just thinking. That you were willing to put yourself on the line. You also learned what didn’t work. Finding out what doesn’t work is invaluable in the journey toward finding out what does.

 

Try once then try again, then try again

It is the rare individual who succeeds on the first try of anything. Failures are the steps up the ladder to success. And as exciting and fulfilling as succeeding on the first try is, the sense of accomplishment is even deeper with a failure (or two or three) behind you. So try. Succeed or fail, you’ve done something good.

Why You Need To Take A Break

Why You Need To Take A Break

Go-go-go

Part of the problem with our modern always-on society is that in the middle of all that go-go-go we’ve kind of forgotten what it’s like to stop-stop-stop. You have your weekend, but do you REALLY have your weekend? Or does work follow you home? Keep you up at night, plague your weekends, make you feel guilty for taking a vacation?

 

Here’s why we think you need to remember to give time off the respect it deserves.

 

Avoid burnout

Getting burnt out is a much bigger problem than people give it credit for. Creativity isn’t just for musicians and painters it’s something that benefits people in all fields. It is a fantastic and helpful asset. But creativity needs space to grow. If you are always thinking about work, you burn yourself out and you leave no room for creativity to flourish. The only time you’ll have great original thoughts and escape the grind is during the time you give yourself off the grind.

 

Disconnect

So give yourself that time. Leave your phone off sometimes. Go outside for nice long walks. Spend time reading books, or with friends, without any kind of electronics. Discover the pleasures of pursuing a hobby like art or music. See how that affects your burnout.

 

By allowing yourself to follow things that aren’t directly tied to your work, you will become a more creative, efficient, and effective worker.

 

The counter-intuitive nature of making sure you get your rest is why a lot of people miss out on their stop time, and settle for a life that isn’t only unhappy, but also not very productive at all.

 

Don’t fall into the trap! When you have time off, HAVE TIME OFF.