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3 Steps to Career Change
For me the amount of people in our world that are deeply dissatisfied with their jobs and careers is one of the most disappointing and unnecessary things. We are so lucky that we live in a world full of possibility where really we can do absolutely anything at all. There are stories all around us that illustrate this of normal people who have been able to accomplish incredible things, but for some reason so many of us believe that it can’t be us, that it is not possible to live a life where we love our job and get paid for it.
Well you know, you can do that, you can make it happen… It’s not easy and you won’t get all the way there necessarily, but you can have a job that you really enjoy. There are 3 steps to achieving anything challenging in life and these are the same 3 steps you need to create the career change you want.
Step 1: First you must get really clear about what you want. To know what kind of experience you want at work, what you’re good at, what makes you smile, what you were born to do or feels like your purpose, not necessarily what job exactly or which company you want to work for, but the kind of experience you want to have. Get this clarity without worrying too much about the reasons why that’s not possible or could never happen, because normally that’s what stops us, we never get into that first stage of being clear about what it is we want because we negate it immediately in our minds and say “well, I couldn’t feed my family on that” or “I’m too over qualified for that kind of thing” or “I could never start my own business.” We apply all these rules that we have gathered; reasons why it can’t happen. So first of all be clear about what it is you want, the kind of experience you want to have in your work and perhaps the amount of money you want and some other criteria that are important so that you know what it is you are looking for.
Step 2: If you know what you want, the second thing you can do, which again, most of us fail to do is just get creative about how that could happen. To figure out a way to do it, to innovate different approaches to it. Quite often we won’t even think of ideas and often when I talk to people and suggest ideas or ask them questions so that they can think of ideas, they sort of half say the idea and then say “but that couldn’t work.” You know, we negate it immediately. “Oh because it would never pay me enough to make that work” or “I don’t have any qualifications in that.” All these things make sense, and it doesn’t mean that all those things aren’t true, that it wouldn’t be difficult or there are not obstacles, it’s just that if we don’t worry about that right now, if we get clear about what we want, then we might maybe figure out some possible ideas, like “well maybe I could go to night school” or “maybe I could start making the shoes that I really am passionate about in the evenings and try to sell them on e-bay for a little bit.” “Maybe I could start growing apples and then selling a few of them at a local market.” You could build a little bit, have ideas, see possibility. You might think “if I was in Spain doing this rather than Canada then it would be easier because the laws are different”. Don’t worry about whether that is a good idea or a bad idea, or the wife would hate it, or the children are in school so you cant do it, just have ideas. It doesn’t mean you are going to do them, they are just ideas and they might lead you somewhere. Once you have had lots and lots and lots of different ideas and hopefully engaged other people to help you with those ideas, you’ll start to see some of them are actually quite good, that there is something in some of the thoughts. Not all of the ideas but something about some of them is quite good and might be do-able.
Step 3: If you know what you want and how to get it, you have to do something about it. Take action. Now normally we fail at this point because the action seems too big. “Well I can’t quit my job, can I?” “How am I going to feed the family?” “Well I can’t just start a stall selling apples, it’s just ridiculous.” Sell one apple. Phone up find out about the stall. Investigate the night class. Do something small. Life is a game of inches. Clive Woodward the rugby coach that took the England team to its 2003 World Cup victory said that with elite sports teams, the difference between first place and the second place was so small he had to look for every single inch. His philosophy was to do 100 things one percent better. He went so far as to get Nike to specially design skin tight rugby shirts just so the players would stand a better chance of getting on Strictly Come Dancing J… or maybe it was really so their opponents wouldn’t be able to catch them so quickly, whichever. But this is what you need to do, (not wear skin tight jerseys) but look for every inch. Just do the thing that comes next, the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. What’s one thing you can do today? The secret is just to take small steps in the right direction not caring that you do not know how the whole plan will come together, once you start taking action, once you start moving, things always happen, you will find ways around the obstacles you can think of once you reach them.
So first of all get clear about what it is you want, the kind of experience you want to have at work.
Secondly be open about thinking of ideas, without thinking of the reasons why they are not good and then see which ones lift to the top and out of those do one small thing about it today.
You will, step-by-step, move closer to the thing that you want and before you know it you’ll go “wow, actually I’m in a new place now.” “I have a new job,” “I’ve quit my job and make my income from this thing that I love that I have developed over the last couple of years.” It doesn’t happen overnight, it’s not easy, it’s not a magic fix, but this is how anything happens. You move step by step towards what it is you want.
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