Updated: Nov 1, 2022
When was the last time you really thought about the trajectory of your career? Time goes by pretty quickly, huh? Are you so busy that you haven’t given much thought about your future career path nor what you need to do to advance your career? Do you even know if you’re on the right path?
I see so many people on this hamster wheel of only dealing with their current situation and not planning or preparing to get to a better place. The main roadblock for not making a change from a less than optimal situation is not enough time to do the work to make a change. The most common response I get when I ask why someone has not gotten out of a career they don't like is: “I’m too exhausted after working that I just can’t get to it right now”.
So what's the result of this thinking? No change. More of the same misery. Does that make sense to you? However, it is common to see people stay in a career they don't love. You know what they say…the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t. Well this is a very shortsighted approach to career management. To me, that's crazy. More importantly, I'm here to tell you that there is a way out.
The question you need to ask yourself is… “what if I don’t make a change to get my career to a better place?” I want you to really think about that question. Right down on a piece of paper right now the answer to this question…”what will happen if I don’t make a change?” Then look at that list and ask yourself another question…can I accept what will happen if I don’t make a change and remain on this path? Most likely, the answer is “no, I don’t want the consequences I expect if I remain on this path.”
I’ve got good news for you. It takes less time than you think to make a change. Moreover, everyone CAN make the changes needed to get life on their ideal path.
If you just did the exercise I outlined above, you are already on your way to making a positive change! To continue this momentum, answer the following questions next:
In five years, if you could snap your fingers and have the ideal world, what would it look like? Be specific.
What aspect of your life/career is currently helping toward your vision, what is not?
For the items on your list “what is not helping?”, which is more easily addressed than the others? For that item, what can be done to remove this barrier?
Create an action plan to remove this barrier. Include timelines and deadlines.
Answering these questions should take 15 to 30 minutes, yet it quickly provides a roadmap to getting your career on the right path. While this exercise doesn’t resolve your situation in its entirety, my hope is that it encourages you to continue this process of getting your career on track. Keep going down the list to remove barriers and open doors to positive change. If you need further encouragement, keep the answers to “what if I don’t make a change” front and center.
Life’s too short to stay in a job you don’t love. Don’t waste more time.