14 Jan

Who Is In Charge Of Your Career?

Blog No Comments by Mareisha Winters

controlIt is a brand new year. It is that time again where we make New Year’s resolutions about a lot of things…losing weight… exercising more… volunteering, etc. We also sometimes decide that we are going to change jobs, prepare for a promotion, go back to school to get new skills, or many other career related goals. The problem is such goals usually lose momentum by March. We get into the day to day grind and forget about our long term focus. This month we will try to give you helpful tips about staying true to your dreams and realizing your goals.

I hope the answer to that question is you. You should be in control of your career journey. However, that is not always the case.  We sometimes allow others to dictate our path. You may be thinking it is easier to let someone else dictate your path and all you have to do is simply follow it.  Piece of cake, right? Wrong! The person giving you advice could have some hidden agenda that benefits them more.  Or perhaps the path they are creating for you does not at all align with your dreams, desires and ambitions.

Here are some steps to take charge of your career:

  1. Develop A Plan: You are the person in control of your career and have to manage it – no one else. Ask yourself what drives you?…what inspires you?…what do you look forward to most in your day?…what’s your vision? Now develop a plan to make it happen.
  2. Own Your Goals: Last week we wrote about owning your goals.  Are your goals yours? Are you passionate about them? Take a look at our nifty flow chart to help you decide if you’re just going through the motions and doing what others want you to do or if your goals are truly part of your personal vision.
  3. Talk To Your Boss: If your boss is the one dictating a career path for you that you are not eager to jump on, perhaps you should schedule some time to talk to him/her. Find out what they believe your strengths and weaknesses are, and compare their list with yours.  Together develop a plan that will be equally beneficial.
  4. Continue Learning: We live in a world where things are constantly changing and evolving.  Because of that, you need to stay up to date on your skills. What additional skills do you need to help you better market your number one product – you.
  5. Know When To Leave: Don’t stick with a company that lacks the opportunity to empower your career vision. If your current company does not help you achieve your career plan, it is time to pack up and find something new.

Remember, it’s about what you want to do and who you want to be.  So starting today, I encourage you to take control of your own career path.

::Read Today’s Work Word of the Day::

Stay Focused!

11 Jan

Owning Your Goals

Blog No Comments by Susan McCuistion

Owing Your GoalsIt is a brand new year. It is that time again where we make New Year’s resolutions about a lot of things…losing weight… exercising more… volunteering, etc. We also sometimes decide that we are going to change jobs, prepare for a promotion, go back to school to get new skills, or many other career related goals. The problem is such goals usually lose momentum by March. We get into the day to day grind and forget about our long term focus. This month we will try to give you helpful tips about staying true to your dreams and realizing your goals.

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”   – Ralph Waldo Emerson

From time to time, we may feel like we have lost our passion to pursue our goals. There may be many reasons why we feel like we’re just going through the motions, including:

  • We are living up to other peoples’ expectations of us, rather than our own. Perhaps your parents have expectations that you will become a doctor or lawyer, or take over the family business. Maybe a partner or other significant loved one in your life has expectations that you should have a different job or work more (or less). It is human nature to want to please those around us, so sometimes it is easy to do what is expected.
  • We need to execute on a step of the goal that we do not find exciting. For instance, if you want to be an entrepreneur, you will likely want to carry insurance, which means researching what type of insurance, determining how much you need, and making phone calls and getting quotes. While it is an essential step to accomplishing your goal, it sounds boring, especially when you are excited about developing your new hot product. The prospect of dealing with insurance requirements may be enough to stop you in your tracks.
  • We allow events around us to derail us. Let’s face it – no one lives in a bubble. There are things we can control, and there are things we can’t control. We get sick. Our partner gets a great job offer across the country. Someone in our family dies. If we let them, the things we can’t control sometime take us off track of our goals just long enough that we don’t have the energy or the heart to jump back in.

When we feel like we’re just going through the motions, we need to consider whether we’ve set the right goals or not. Below is a flow chart of questions to consider. If you are stuck on your goals, ask yourself these questions. Be sure to answer honestly. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell those we love that we don’t want to live up to their expectations, but the best life to live is the one true to yourself.

Owning Your Goals Flowchart

Click on image for larger view

Stay Focused!

09 Jan

5 Things That Keep You From Focusing On Your Career Goals

Blog No Comments by Mareisha Winters

goals listIt is a brand new year. It is that time again where we make New Year’s resolutions about a lot of things…losing weight… exercising more… volunteering, etc. We also sometimes decide that we are going to change jobs, prepare for a promotion, go back to school to get new skills, or many other career related goals. The problem is such goals usually lose momentum by March. We get into the day to day grind and forget about our long term focus. This month we will try to give you helpful tips about staying true to your dreams and realizing your goals.

Many of us started off the New Year full of optimism of new things to come.  We set some promising career and life goals, and all seemed good – until we started to lose focus (yes already!). It’s not uncommon to lose momentum after a couple of weeks into the New Year. And even though we set our goals small (or so we thought) and we started with a self-assessment we still cannot seem to stay focused. We often face many distractions and temptations that push us off track.  Below we offer a list of some of the most common things that may keep you from focusing on your career goals, and ways to overcome them.

  1. You Have Family Obligations: One reason that causes us to lose focus is family commitments. We live in a world today where our schedules are fully booked, we do not know if we’re coming or going. Often times we find that we don’t have time for ourselves because we need to tend to our family and friends.   Solution: Share your goals with your family so they can be on board and help you stay on track.
  2. You’re Being Overworked: Maybe your current job has you being pulled in so many different directions that you cannot even begin to focus on your goals. Solution: Share your goals with your boss. If he/she is aware of what your career goals are, they may be able to help you achieve them and be more mindful when they assign you tasks at work.
  3. Your Goals Are Not Visible: Perhaps you lost your focus because you can’t remember what your goals are, or you are simply not thinking about them. Reviewing your goals daily, keeps them at the forefront of your mind. Solution: Post your goals in a visible place in your office/cubicle and at home and read them daily to keep them fresh in your mind. Some people also suggest re-writing your goals daily. Whatever you choose to do, the point is to make sure you are constantly thinking about them. Check out some of these ideas to keep your goals visible: Keep Your Goals in Front of You
  4. Your Goals Are Too Big: We talked earlier this month about making sure your goals are small. If your goals are too lofty, they become unmanageable and therefor unattainable. Solution: You can have one large goal, but that goal needs to be broken down into many smaller goals. Make sure your goals are SMART.
  5. You Really Don’t Believe In Your Goals: Why spend your time pursuing goals you do not believe you can accomplish? If you don’t believe in something, you will not put your energy into making sure it happens. Solution: When you establish your goals, evaluate them. On a sale from 1-10 how much do you believe in your goal, if it’s less than a 6 or 7, maybe you need to reconsider the goal.

::Take Our Poll: What Keeps You From Focusing On Your Goals?::

Stay Focused!