The worst thing you can do for your career - and the best thing!
Life is busy, isn’t it? There is always so much to do, so much to think about and never enough time. The days, months and the years go past and before you know it, the career change you wanted to make, the part of your house you wanted to sort out, the celebratory drinks you wanted to organise, the weekly run you wanted to go on still hasn’t happened. There are simply not enough hours in the day to get everything done and this often means your career ambitions are left behind.
Unfortunately, the worst thing you can do for you career is be too busy to make it what you want it to be, losing sight of what’s important to you and what you would like to achieve. You forget about the dream you once had to rule the world and keep going and going, putting it off until you have more time. The big question is,
When will you have more time?
This is a tricky one, isn’t it? Often the answer is, 'when work calms down or when it feels like the right time'. The answer is often reliant on an event happening or a change in feeling, but I predict: there will never be a right or calm time as ‘life is busy’!
The life review
It is time for a review!
This is where the best thing you can do for your career comes in! The best thing you can do is slow down.
To start the process of slowing down, I would suggest doing a little review of your work and life and finding out where all the hours in your week are going.
There are 98 hours in a typical week for you to allocate to your career/learning, health/physical activity, relationships, mindfulness/relaxation and contribution to society. This allows for seven days, each of fourteen hours, and covers the five main areas of good well-being.
Go through each area of well-being (career/learning, health/physical, activity, relationships, mindfulness/relaxation and contribution to society) and spend some time thinking about what you are doing in your life and how many hours you spend in a typical week within each area.
Now go through the areas again, identifying what you would like to be achieving in each area.
You should now have worked out how you are spending your time at the moment and what you would like to achieve in the future. Your review is complete!
The plan of action
It is time for a plan of action!
It is really important that you now start taking small steps to achieve what you want to achieve. Not only will this make you happier, it will also increase your chances of success.
Start by choosing what you would like to focus on and working out when in the week you can give some time towards this area and start making small steps to achieve it. We have already established that life is busy, so it is really important that you keep it simple and achievable. Focus on slowing down and making time.
Career change tips
If your focus is in relation to your career, such as wanting a career change, here are some additional tips to guide you:
1. Establish what you want to achieve, thinking about who you are and what you want from your career. It does not matter if this is not specific at this stage, this detail will come in time so long as you start working towards it.
2. Make time in your week to dedicate to your career change. Ensure this is manageable so that you give yourself every chance of doing it. Put reminders in your calendar, anything that will make it easy for you to do it, rather than put it off. Place your careers book on the coffee table in reach!
3. Tell someone what you are doing – this will provide you with some accountability!
4. Be positive – believe you can do it!
5. Still stuck – see a career coach – we are here to help!
Life will always be busy. The question is, do you want it to be too busy to achieve what you want to achieve and be happy?
Start slowing down and making time to do the best thing for your career right now!
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