As a Career Strategist, I help people ignite a spark in their careers; even more, to set their entire professional life on fire.
How does one set their career on fire, in a good way? You start by recognizing and accepting that waking up and doing work that is fulfilling isn’t just “for them” but for you.
Awakening that realization in clients is the easy part of my job. The next part…not so easy.
After the inspiring belief that professional fulfillment is possible, it’s time to get to work. Blah. The word alone – work –sucks the joy right out of the inspirational feeling we just had. Yet, to get something different, a fulfilling career, a loving relationship, financial stability –whatever your change is – you must act. Action is the key to moving from not-so-great today to an I-love-my-career tomorrow.
‘Take action’ sounds easy enough, right? Sometimes when change comes calling – fear answers the phone. Fear, and its B.F.F. discomfort, can have you feeling stuck and tap-dancing around what you should be doing.
Forget fear and get to action, here’s how:
1. Get Crystal Clear.
For fear to dissipate, you must get clear on your vision for the future. Where are you headed? What is the goal? Don’t allow this step to overwhelm you; you don’t need to have the next 20 years planned out. But you must be crystal clear on where you want to go now.
If your vision is cloudy, seek out a professional to help clarify your near future, speak to friends and/or write a business plan and timeline. Do what it takes to get clear on your vision. Once you have vision…
2. Know What You Don’t Know.
The hand-to-heaven truth about fulfilling careers (and relationships, finances, etc.) is that you can NOT succeed with passion alone. Your vision must marry passion and skills in order to bring success.
Now that you are clear on your vision, it’s time to take stock of your skills. Do you have the skills needed to succeed in your next step? Education, experience, knowledge, connections – determine and fill skill gaps before proceeding. If your vision is to change career paths, review position descriptions online for the role you want to have and compare it with your background and experience. Do you need additional education or certification to be competitive? If you are interested in launching your own business but have no idea where to start, that is a significant opportunity to build up your skills before beginning your business.
The good news is that no matter what skill gaps you find, you can fill them. Doing so will put you in position for success.
3. Prepare to Transition.
Look how far you’ve come; you have vision, passion and skills; I feel fear breaking down all around you! It’s time to prepare to transition; how and when will you move from here to there?
Consider timing, anyone else that needs to be involved and finances. Take pen to paper and create a purposeful timeline and plan for your transition. Planning for when and how to transition from where you are today to your vision keeps you in control and relieves the fear associated with your pending change.
Steps 1-3 created a solid foundation to get you here and now is the time to step forward with bold confidence into your vision. Put your transition plan into play. You’ll find that your first step isn’t so bad, in fact, it’s great and it will drive your confidence to take the second step. Each day take another step. Rely on your vision, passion and skills and preparation to be your guide. You’re ready.
Take a moment and consider a professional challenge or change you’ve avoided because of fear and walk through the 4-steps above. You’ll notice a lightening almost immediately when you begin to take action; that’s fear lifting.
Keep going. Take action. You can do it.
Need help? Career Strategist and entrepreneur Stephanie Goetsch is dedicated to inspiring action with Spark Career Strategy. Through her one-on-one career coaching, public speaking and career retreats, Stephanie transforms professional lives from “I hate my job” to “I love my career.”
Join her in January for Spark Career Summit – a one day event that will powerfully change the trajectory of your career. Find more here: http://www.sparkcareerstrategy.com/spark-career-summit/