We all have career fears. We may not always acknowledge them, but there are triggers and fears that play a role in our successes and failures. Whether you are self-employed, leaving college looking for a new career or working for a company you love (or don’t love so much), you can be better! Yes, better! We can be more successful, making more money, in a position we appreciate more or even in a location that works better for us. Please note that as any normal working human, my fears develop, grow and diminish on daily basis. It’s up to ME to control my level of happiness, stress, income and success. You can do the same…
Perceived Fear: I have no idea what I want to do with my life or my career.
Conquering Commandment: Stop it. Stop it right this instant. There are VERY FEW people who have known what they’ve wanted to do their entire life, have stuck with it, are working in it currently and love going to work each day. We are complex people and that means our preferences and desires are just as complex. The worst thing we can do is wait for something to show us what we want! We will never know what we LOVE doing until we start DOING! If you are making your way out of college, hold summer jobs, get internships, work the family business and do anything else you can to get a firm feel for what you love and what you don’t love doing. Sitting in a job you hate will do nothing for you. You have to take control of your career and start making moves, no matter what age you are or where you are in your career.
Perceived Fear: I have a family to support, my job is stable and I don’t know what my other options are.
Conquering Commandment: There is a very serious distinction to be made between being strategic and forward thinking and acting impulsively. The last piece of advice I would ever give someone is to quit their job and do random things until they find some happiness. Here’s a shocker: You can see what else is out there before leaving your job! Wait, I have another: You can start a side venture while working at a current job! I don’t have kids, but I have bills (including student loans), a pup and financial commitments that put a specific stress on me to make money and make enough of it. That doesn’t mean I have to sacrifice my career happiness. I worked at a full time job for an entire two years as I got my ducks in a row and was able to launch my business so I didn’t lose sleep at night or fail to pay my bills. Bottom line, you can experiment and try new things without being homeless.
Perceived Fear: I’ve been in the same career or industry for so long, it’s all I know. I may not fit in anywhere else
Conquering Commandment: I can almost guarantee that you are good at more than one thing. Also, please honestly asses how fabulous were you at your job when you first started. Thank you. Lastly, if you are not in a career place that moves you, fuels you and keeps you motivated, you have NOT found what you are meant to do! It’s that simple and I’m not trying to be extreme. There are things that you are great at and make you truly happy that you can likely monetize. I never said it was easy or risk-free of course, but it absolutely is doable. Don’t let how long you’ve been somewhere dictate where you go tomorrow.
Perceived Fear: My age. I’m far too young or far too old to get involved and a different or specific career now.
Conquering Commandment: Have you watched Shark Tank for the love of the American dream?! Age is absolutely what you make it out to be. Rather than approaching your age as a barrier, look at it as a mega advantage. Seriously, the older you are, the wiser you are. You’ve seen more, problem solved and learned how things operate in more context than most people. If you’re really young, take your self seriously. It’s a hands down rule for you. If you don’t believe in yourself and your skills, no one else will. You are bright, innovative and likely skilled in areas that some of your elders are not. Take advantage of that! Age means nothing unless you let it.
Do I sound overly optimistic? Good, I’m glad.
We have the ability to change every single day of our lives for the better.
Whether it’s your career, your family or your health, it’s time to get serious about what really makes you happy and what your options are. If you don’t feel like you have options, let’s create some. Write them down, share them with friends and family, make a plan, create a budget and get to work. The difference between those thriving in their career and those who may not be there yet is a mental one. It’s also important to appreciate the process. Remember that every job you have is in your life to teach you something positive. Don’t underestimate the power of a learning experience. Onward friends!