Taking control of your career can be like being called into the cockpit of a 747 and asked to take control of the plane. And sure, it’s possible… but it seems only others can. The stakes are very high. It’s scary. It’s hard to know where to start and what mistakes to avoid along the way. As an executive coach, I talk to a lot of people about their careers. I want to clarify this concept. Everyone knows exactly what he’s doing. “How do I want to use my time, at work and in life? ” is an ever-evolving question with no clear, right or wrong answer.
But there are common pitfalls that leave many people feeling stuck — and ways to avoid them. Hopefully you can learn from this so that the next time you feel stuck in your career management perspective, you’ll have a metaphorical flight card to help you land your plane.
- You don’t know if staying in your current role makes sense
In any difficult situation in life, you have three options:
- Re-adjustment is accepting the current reality by changing the way you think and approach it. Do you have a boring job? rewrite: You really appreciate that your boring job gives you the opportunity to work without stress and disconnect at the end of the day to focus on your life outside of work. Do you work for a difficult boss? rewrite: You learn a lot about how to get along. Sometimes all it takes is a reorientation to change your perspective and get comfortable with where you are.
- When rearranging isn’t enough, maybe it’s time to make some real changes to your current situation. Rehabilitation is action to improve the current situation. Take the boring example of work. Maybe it’s time to change yourself by offering to take on a new project or change your job responsibilities. When it comes to difficult bosses, you may need to start a conversation about your work style, consider finding sponsors elsewhere in your organization, or even come up with a change of heart to report to the new manager.
- Sometimes innovation – i.e. changes in current reality – is not enough and you have to explode and reinvent the status quo. Break up with that person, they move cities, go back to school and start that business.
Every “R” in the “Reframe, Innovate, Reinvent” box is always more extreme, so I often encourage clients to scroll through the list and start tweaking again. If not satisfied, how can I improve? If that doesn’t work, maybe it’s time to move on to reinventing.
- You are constantly dissatisfied with your career
Betty Friedan wrote that “housework seems to increase to fill the available time,” and I think the same is true of work stress. There is always something to fear. (“Am I doing the right thing?” “When should I get a promotion?” “How do I balance work and life?” “As I look back on my career, I have proud of your heritage?”) These concerns have merit. , but they can affect your quality of life (not to mention your ability to focus and do your job well every day).
So when clients express endless dissatisfaction with their careers, I ask, “How many times a year would you like to proactively analyze your career?” Most people say about once every three to 12 months. Special! Add this reflection time to your calendar as a fun feature to ask the big, existential questions. And then, for the rest of the year, you can put aside your fears and just focus on enjoying life and doing good work.
Whether you’re constantly worrying about your career, overwhelmed with options, afraid to close down, or unsure of the scale of change you want to make, you’re not alone. We all face common pitfalls in our careers, but tools are readily available and it’s a good place to start.
- Not to focus on self-presentation
The way we present ourselves plays an important role, as it is connected to how we will improve our employer brand. We should recognize our personal worth and take the time to create our own unique professional identity.
- Inundated with options, interests and ideas
Often the hardest part when making a career decision is knowing where to start. You have MANY interests, passions, experiences and transferable skills – one day you’re excited to pursue your passion for photography, the next day you’re looking for graduate programs or support for a promotion in your current role within the company. Everything looks so interesting!
When your myriad career options become overwhelming, it may be time to stop thinking about your (unlimited!) possibilities and create some boundaries. A constraint is a railing that affects the ratio of the pick in front of you. For example: working hours, location, salary, benefits, travel time, commuting… all can limit your options instantly. Your restrictions might look like:
“Everything I do next must be at least equal to my current salary and allow up to 30 minutes of travel per day” or “I want to travel or work away from home at least three days a week and need healthcare professionals”.
- Dread the thought of closing doors or closing options
Especially (but not only!) People who are starting their careers can be annoyed by career decisions because they have to close. Studying law meant giving up on the dream of opening a ceramics workshop. Taking a job in the supply chain is closing the door on your passion for a paystub generator.
This spasmodic effect can leave you so debilitated that you don’t know where to begin. But who says you have to define a unique path? I encourage clients to describe three different journeys, each unique and rewarding in its own way. As you do this, look behind every door! Are there patterns or themes in your different backgrounds? If so, what can you learn from it? What drives each option, and is there a way to incorporate those into what you’re going to do? Is one path inevitably preventing you from following another? Your career can be more like a climbing wall than a ladder, and you can learn a lot by exploring some paths before giving up.