You’ve mastered Angry Birds, watched every Kurasawa movie five times, read Game of Thrones twice and have given up on writing your novel of the century. There is so much we can do in our lives including watching Ax Men or the Housewives of Wherever that we forget to take the time to work on working. That is to plan and take the time to review and consider our current career path and the steps to take to move it forward or not. (Accepting the position you are in is perfectly fine).
Try planning an hour each week to work on your career. Here are a few tips to get started:
- Research with no agenda. Too often we look for information for a specific reason instead of learning from the information we come across. Start researching your industry, your company, your competitors or any area of interest. Learn!
- Dig into areas of interest. You will discover areas of interest and when you do stop and dig in to learn more. The accountant who dabbles in painting researches her interest and learns of a program apprentice as an art curator. She has university hours in this area and can take more hours while working – does she pursue? For some reason the door has opened and yes she should pursue, not necessarily to take the apprenticeship but at least to satisfy the curiosity of her passion.
- Write your goals: This is such a ‘duh’ statement. You’ve been writing goals for years, some you’ve achieved and many you haven’t. So when it comes to your career think of ‘must haves’, ‘nice to haves’, ‘want tos’ and put a time limit on when you want to achieve each. Many in the workforce are finding that how one is perceived has little to do with success. Rather it how one lives their lives and interacts with others that matters. The value of quality of life is huge and the definition of quality is very personal. Accept and own the truth for yourself.
- Review often. I read a book years ago, ‘Halftime’ by Bob Buford that includes a simple goal setting process for one’s career and life. They are simply a set of questions I answered and frequently review. Some I have changed and most are reminders as to what is really important. The process along with spiritual pursuits has helped guide my career and life and resulted in success and peace. These are highly valued personal attributes and since they are personal you are responsible for acquiring and valuing them.
Plan a little free time each week to plan for the rest of your life.