Are you having a tough time in your career? If the answer is yes, know that you are not alone.
Things are tough for most people. There are fewer jobs and more work for those who are lucky enough to be employed. Workers are overutilized and stretching themselves thin. It’s a bit crazy out there. Many people I talk to are tired and stressed out. Not ideal conditions to do your best.
But sometimes you have to ask yourself, "What is really holding me back?" Yes, for many, it’s the economy. For others, it’s their beliefs or worries about the future and uncertainty over what will happen next. Who can blame you for holding back a bit?
So, what do you do when you are not where you want to be in your career? What do you do when you are unhappy? The 'reasons' why you don’t have what you want may be valid, but are they getting you to where you want to go? Are you letting your career excuses get the best of you? Here’s how to put a stop to your self-defeating behavior.
Tell the Truth
You do not have what you want in your career. You can blame it on forces beyond your control, so it isn’t your fault. Or maybe you’ve been trying hard and not getting anywhere. But are you any closer to your goal? Tell the truth about what has been in your way. Maybe you haven’t been ready to go after what you really want. Maybe you are afraid to try again. Maybe you are not sure which step to take next.
The truth is that you are uncertain about your future and uncertainty is understandable. But know that uncertainty holds you back, so you have a decision to make. You can let your fears about the future immobilize you or you can decide to move forward in spite of them.
Start Making Different Choices
Your career is a series of choices. Some are good and some are not so good. But either way, you are the person doing the choosing. At times it may feel like you have no choice, or that someone else is making the choices for you, but the truth is you have more power over what you choose than you might think.
If your career is not where you want it to be, it's up to you to do something about it. Thinking that "good things come to those who wait" might be comforting, but it hurts more than it helps. It lets you off the hook as an optimist who believes things will work out eventually. But in this case, time is not on your side. If you want something different, you have to do something different; which means making choices that are better for you.
Get Into Action
Maybe you don't have what you want because you are not working toward it. You may say that you are taking action, when in fact you are just going through the motions. Action brings results; waiting for some magical 'right time' does not. There is always a reason not to act. You are busy. You have other things to do. You are scared or worried that your actions will not make a difference. It's time to drop your negative perspective and go after what you want. You will never know what the outcome will be until you try. Life is about getting back up again after you fall down. It's your time to rise and shine.