Happy 2018 friends. I hope you are all recovered from the holiday madness and rested sufficiently to be diving into the panic that is 'New Years planning'.
Ah yes, on the personal front, January means days of thinking about what weight you will lose or move or add, what foods you will avoid, and the old "no week-day drinking" rule is applied with gusto.
At work, focus shifts to the REAL career goal setting ( ignoring all the ones we set before the break and agreed with the boss). Over that holiday Margarita, staring off into a palm framed sunset, you promised yourself you would "make it happen this year". So here we are sitting at our desks and dusting off the CV , thinking about networking with new people and looking at job boards. This year, I hear you say - will be it. A new start, a fresh perspective and a clean slate.
Fabulous work. I just ask you to do one thing for me before you begin.
Yes you heard me, stop. Back away from the desk and the computer. Leave it alone sunshine.
You are being a predictable bore.
Everyone approaches looking for something new this way. They follow the rules, they slide into the mainstream thinking, put on the clothes everyone expects their 'end state' to look like and walk like the champion they are told every day of their working life that they should want to be.
Well stuff that.
Why the hell spend so much time and effort being someone else's version of you.
Disrupt your thinking.
The answer isn't always a new job, it could be something entirely and radically different. And much more exciting. So here are a few things you can do to tackle the "wanting" differently.
Step 1 - Change the approach. Ditch starting at your 'end game' and start at the 'start'. With YOU. Think about what bugs you most, what you are prepared to suffer for and what makes you smile. Maybe the answer is you just don't know all that and therefore you need to give yourself six months to work it out. So go do that. How you navigate the way ahead is your choice. Spend some time thinking about what you would do, if there were NO BARRIERS in your way. Stop defining yourself by what you do for a living and define yourself by how you want to live. Be BRAVE, consider a house move or not going through with massive renovations to fund some personal space, or the cost of a course. There is enormous freedom in not keeping up with the Joneses.
Step 2 - Brainstorm + consider options. So you know by now one or two things that sound much more interesting, but they cost time, money and possibly ( hopefully) your reputation! Great. There are always options, start googling, talk to your family, to your bank, think about insurance you might need to take out to mitigate against future dips ( e.g income protection, mortgage insurance). If you have a burning desire to study photography, look for local classes and find out if you can get flexible hours to cover attendance. ( Hint - if you are not given the flexibility it tells you more about your current situation and why you are looking for something else in the first place.....)
Keep going, get down as many rabbit holes as you can, read articles, find people who have done it before and ask loads and loads of questions. Don't stop at the first, or second or any closed door, you find in front of you. Step back and look out for the next one ( hey - it worked for Alice!) Allocate some time every day to this cause. You are continuously improving yourself here. That alone is worth shouting about, it's taking action.
Step 3 - Be open to end up somewhere totally new. Life flows. You are not restricted to picking a career at 17 years old and sticking with it through to retirement anymore. In fact, future of work studies indicate that a freelance economy is on our doorstep. This means having a handful of skills and then lobbying your way into termed contracts that might cover a hundred different industries. Or vice versa. That photography hobby could lead you to your next role, and it might be nothing to do with what you do now, or photography. Make sure you don't box yourself in by labels and titles. Oh and my one big tip here, is that the more people who say NO, DON'T and STOP to you = keep going. Keep searching. Find stories that interest you, inspire you and feed you.
Lastly it is important to be patient. Continuous development and self awareness flows onward. It doesn't stop, it doesn't go backwards and it doesn't measure itself in time, but in strength and viscosity. Some months and days you are strong and firm in your path, others you are drippy and inconsistent. Every day, however you are going somewhere. Just one week of this, spending an hour a day researching things that interest you and exploring your options with an open mind develops your thinking and promotes better decision making.
Happy exploring !