Reaching the goals we set for ourselves largely comes down to the choices that we make. Every step on our journey determines the next one and the result is often due to how we plant each foot. Many times, we are thrust into situations that are created by others, but ultimately it is how we react to those situations, rather than the situations themselves, that will move us one way or another along this path.
These are important things to consider when looking at our careers specifically. Many of us have simply fallen into a line of work and have made it a success through sheer determination and hard work, while others have predetermined their career choice, engaged in the specific education and training to get there, and followed that path with a dedicated focus. Either way, for many of us, at some point or another we have found ourselves at a crossroad in our career, feeling uninspired, disconnected, and joyless. What we wanted to achieve no longer is a driving force and other areas are now calling for us.
What do we do now? Shall we continue doing what we’re doing or take a leap of faith to seek out a new pathway?
This is a big question certainly and one for much more than a single weekly blog or podcast, but Gapology, IMBAR, and Speed of Purpose provide some clarity and tools that can help.
Firstly, take the fear out of the equation. Fear is a great barrier to achieving our dreams. Fear of taking chances. Fear of being uncomfortable. Fear of failure. These things stop us in our tracks and keep dreams locked within our imaginations. How do you take the fear out of the equation? Well firstly, accept it for what it is. Fear is a natural, human response to the unknown. Understand and accept that it is normal and real. That intellectual response will help you move forward.
Also, it is important to consider your economic engine. What is needed to produce the lifestyle that you are willing to accept? Starting over in a new career may require an adjustment to how you are living financially. Is the passion you are considering worth the potential trade-off on your paycheck? This is a real thing to weigh out when looking at this important decision and you should start by being extremely honest with yourself at the very beginning.
Once you are looking objectively at your situation look at these steps.
Ask yourself, “What am I great at? What do I do best?” Reflecting on skills that you already have may point you in the right direction.
Ask yourself, “What brings me joy?” Considering the things that fill your cup, give you energy, and bring a smile to your face will help to indicate passion.
Reflect on your purpose and cement it as an unmovable objective. What do you stand for? What do you believe in? What is truly important for you? Clarifying this will give you a true north for your journey.
Begin to put the pieces in place for your journey. Get a mentor. Talk to those who are already doing what it is that you want to do. If education or training is necessary, get it. Start simple. Take some online training. It doesn’t even need to be a college course at first. There are many online sites that can be a source of initial education. Udemy, Skillshare, Masterclass, etc. all provide amazing lessons where you can begin learning about your desired topic. Even YouTube has many free videos you can watch. The important thing is to start building momentum by growing your knowledge base. Momentum is needed to keep the journey alive.
Take action. Take what you are learning and experiencing and put yourself out into the world. If you are learning to be a photographer, get out there and take on a client, even if unpaid at first. If you are learning to build websites, do the same. Whatever skill you are building, put it into action, and from that action, the momentum will continue.
It is important to note here that often we just feel stagnant in our current roles because we haven’t challenged ourselves to grow. Often, our dream role is the one we are actually in, we just don’t realize it or haven’t dug deep into making it a reality. Taking time to look at our current skills can provide some new challenges that we can grow from if we just start there. Following the same steps above, but simply setting a goal of being the very best you can be in your current role as your first objective, can actually be a dream come true.
*Listen to our discussion on this topic here: https://www.gapology.org/podcast/episode/203c77e8/choosing-to-be-successful-somewhere-else