Its Monday February 20th and the new years resolution you set for yourself and your career seems like it is already consigned to a footnote in the 2017 calendar. Maybe you can’t even remember what your 2017 career goals were. Or maybe you are thinking that seven weeks of 2017 are gone into history and it makes you want to forget you ever considered setting a career goal for 2017.
On the up side there are still forty five weeks to go in 2017. And hold this thought, your career is an ongoing project that probably only ends if and when you retire.
Look on the Bright Side
So what can you do to get back up and running on your career project. Well what you can do depends on where you have been with your career over the last few months or years. The first question you could ask yourself is a difficult one. Who is managing my career. Many of us fall into a career by accident, and some of us are lucky enough to get on the first rungs of the career ladder of our choice. If your career is accidental, or your stuck in one, then who is managing your career is a serious question. If that 2017 career goal is temporarily on hold, or you are busy distracting yourself from thoughts about your new years resolution, then the answer to the question, who is managing your career might be this. No one is managing your career. If this leaves you feeling pessimistic, what I would say is, look on the bright side. You are facing up to a very difficult question, and you are being honest with yourself. These are really important qualities to have. Its not easy to be honest with ourselves, and its not everyone that wants to honestly answer the hard questions about themselves. You can put that on your resume, it says a lot about you.
Taking the Career Reins
If you feel that you are not the driving force behind your career, the first step is to take a look at where you have been. If you have an updated CV, look down through it and see if you can pinpoint mile stones in how your career decsions were made or maybe avoided. What ever happened at those points where decisions were made or changes happened can tell you a lot about how you see your career and your ability to influence its direction. If you don’t have a CV, create a draft, a first draft CV is a start. Many people fall into the trap of believing that their career is a choice between putting bread on the table versus having a career that gives their life meaning, purpose, challenges, and fulfilment. Its an easy trap to fall into and we can fool ourselves that it is the only choice we have. Think about this, being in a job that drains the life from you, that keeps you awake at night is far more demanding, damaging, and soul destroying than a career choice that presents you with the struggle to make ends meets. Neither one is easy, but that second choice can be a lot more fun, and might even bring more contentment to your life. Imagine what you career would be like if you slept soundly on a Sunday night, and woke on Monday morning before your alarm to get the day started. Imagine what that life would feel like.
There is a question I haven’t addressed. What about those people that choose a career, and feel stuck on the bottom rungs, or feel their career never got started. How do they get started on their 2017 goal. I will address that question in next weeks Blog. Remember its never too late to start, and today IS a great day to start.
Note: One of the goals I set myself in 2017 was to write a weekly blog. I look forward to writing about career issues over the coming weeks. For anyone that has an interest in improving their relationships I started a weekly blog on relationships in January. It can be accessed on my website, www.shanecannoncounselling.ie