Career Success: Action

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We started the New Year with a critical recognition that nothing has to stay the same. With that encouragement, we began to visualize possibilities for the future, allowing imagination to take flight. After reflecting on these and ruling out careers that you will absolutely not pursue, it’s time now to create a plan of action that will get you closer to the career of your dreams.

This next step is called a T-Chart. Mentioned in the first blog of the New Year, this is a great way to begin your plan of action. Here is a very basic example, with the generic plan of getting “a job”. You’ll notice that the left column lists the requirements of accomplishing the task listed at the top, and the right column lists actions that you must take in order to meet those requirements.

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Of course, your T-Chart will be much more specific. You should make one of these for each realistic career possibility that you came up with during your brainstorming. You may need to research the essential requirements for each chart you make and the steps you must take to meet those requirements. Don’t forget – This is your future. The only thing standing between you and the career of your dreams is you.

Career Reality: This is the way to identify and reach goals. Putting your thoughts on paper and organizing them will help you see your next steps. Don’t forget also that your attitude is a large deciding factor in how all this works out. Be sure to keep the following in mind as you face the challenge of bringing dreams to life:

Be Willing

Embrace the process. Even if it seems pointless or tedious, trust that it is not. The discipline and organization of thought alone will be worth your time, and will help prepare you for whatever is in your future. A wise person once said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Don’t fall into that trap.

Be Realistic

This is about finding a career that will make you shine. It’s not just about finding the job that will pay you the most for the least amount of work. Don’t give into that fantasy. You are looking for the place where your capabilities and your passions meet. That is true success.

Be Positive

If you start making your T Chart and you see the list of requirements growing, don’t be discouraged. Remember that this is all an adventure that will ultimately lead to a place of fulfillment. We already agreed it wouldn’t be easy, but that doesn’t have to bring you down. See it as the adventure that it is and be excited that this time next week, next month, next year; you will be closer to the goal of your dreams than you ever were before.

Be Persistent

Most importantly, don’t give up. If you can be Willing, Realistic, and Positive, then Persistence will ultimately be a natural side effect. The right career is out there for you. And there is a legitimate process to reaching an ideal position – it’s not just luck. Take these steps and stick with your pursuit of your goals and I promise – you’ll never regret it.

Interested in developing proven career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters? Visit www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact us directly: dhuffman@edu-cs.com to see how we can help you.

Rikki Payne, Career Consultant, Editor, and Writer
Education Career Services, www.edu-cs.com
Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blog: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

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Career Success: Reflection

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Last week, you had a chance to let your dreams run wild on paper. Did you surprise yourself? It’s perfectly normal if you did. When I did this, I came up with at least two career ideas I had never before seriously considered. Either way, it’s time to take out those daydreams and reflect on them to pinpoint new and exciting possibilities.

Wondering where to begin? Wonder no more…

Prepare

We’re going to start this reflection with what we did in the middle of last week’s assignment. Chug some water, put some headphones in, and go for a brisk walk. Getting your blood pumping helps you think clearer while boosting your mood for positive reflection.

Get Started

Now, find a comfortable sitting position and lay your brainstorming sheets out in front of you. By this point, these ideas have been bouncing around in your head anyway, so you are probably noticing an inner reaction to certain ones. Perhaps you’ve felt more excited about one idea than others. Maybe you’ve even started fantasizing about pursuing one of your dream careers… don’t be shy, we know you did!

First Cuts

Whether you drew a brainstorming chart or made a set of lists, now is the time to go back over them, removing career ideas that are definite negatives. Don’t cross out any that you’re willing to consider, even if they have more “cons” than you’d care to see.

The only things you want to rule out, at this point, are careers with a high risk to reward ratio. Other than that, this is the time to truly explore possible options… while exploring one thing you cannot forget: KEEP IT REAL.

Prioritize

If something stands out to you as a position or career you can see yourself doing, but perhaps you see obstacles that could get in your way, this is where you prioritize. Ask yourself what really matters. What do you want in a career? What matters most to you?

Go ahead; take an honest moment to reflect as to what you really want in a career…

Remember: This is not about finding something easy. This is about exploring possibilities of a calling that you may have ignored out of some disillusioned obligation to practicality. Maybe you were told (and actually believed) that what you really wanted to do wasn’t practical or you couldn’t do it.

Don’t let your life be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Don’t give in to negative cycles of thought or unwarranted criticism from others. Break free and be the person you are meant to be. If you know for sure that you want to do something, then any sacrifices that must be made will be worth it.

Whether or not you keep a journal, write down this reflection time. Keep track of how you made the decisions to cut ideas from the list, what made you keep others on, and what your priorities are when searching for that perfect career. This will come in very handy and can help keep you accountable while you’re on the actual search.

We’ll be discussing the power of affirmations and visualizing your career in upcoming publications… so keep tuned in.

Good luck, have fun with today, and look forward to the great things tomorrow offers!

Interested in developing proven career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters? Visit www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact us directly: dhuffman@edu-cs.com to see how we can help you.

Rikki Payne, Career Consultant, Editor, and Writer
Education Career Services, www.edu-cs.com
Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blog: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

Career Success: Visualizing the New Year

Last week we discussed the bright possibilities that are brought on by the New Year. We discussed how, in order to make progress in finding personal and professional success, there MUST be changes. post clips for blog

The first step highlighted in this process was visualization. Anyone can daydream, but I thought we could walk through specifics that will help make your daydream productive, one that leads to a better future.

Take a moment and close your eyes. Picture your life as though it were drawn on a transparent sheet. Now, picture your dream life in the same way. In your mind, lay the “dream” transparency on top of the “real” one. Where are the differences? Does your house look different, or your hair, or do you? Is there someone beside you in either one?

What about your career, your school, your personal life? Does it stay the same when you lay the sheet down or is there something bigger and brighter on your “dream” sheet?

* Time to quantify: On a scale of 1 to 10, how different is your vision for your life from your actual life?

No matter the number, don’t forget that I’m not here to bring you down. It’s ok if you recognize that you are far from where you want to be. If anything, that means you still have an adventure on your hands.

I’ve heard it said that Complacency is the enemy of Contentment. Yet, many people who feel they’ve “made it” to where they always wanted to be will find just that – Complacency.

Regardless of your proximity to the goals of your dreams, the point is that there is something you can do to make this year unbelievable.

Right this moment, get some scrap paper and brainstorm without boundary. Consider it an exercise in the stream of consciousness, an exercise which may seem silly but can be the spark igniting a new and exciting journey.

While brainstorming, write down every career idea you’ve ever had. Notice the keyword: idea… these are not necessarily jobs you have had but jobs you have always wanted to have. After scattering the many career/job ideas, time to make a list of top two or three that are realistic in nature. For example, if you want to be a professional soccer player but you are not the athletic type, be realistic and don’t prioritize soccer. Then again, given your background, experience, and personality, if you always wanted to be a counselor, you may want to place that on the top three choices.

Your Visualization chart may look something like this:

brain stormOnce you’ve got several ideas scattered across your page, chug a glass of water, put some headphones in, and go for a walk. The exercise will get your blood and brain pumping, and the music will spur your imagination.

Come back later to the scatter-sheet and start in on the branches. Pros, cons, details, length of time you’ve secretly wanted to do it. For every career option there should be at least four to five branches. If you run out of paper, get more. There is no excuse not to finish this.

This is the paper that you want to put away for a day or two. Just put it in a drawer and resume your normal life. Your subconscious will keep up with it for you. When we come back next week, we’ll take the next steps. In the meantime, get dreaming!

Interested in developing proven career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters? Visit www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact us directly: dhuffman@edu-cs.com to see how we can help you.

Rikki Payne, Career Consultant, Editor, and Writer
Education Career Services, www.edu-cs.com
Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blog: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

2014: If Nothing Changes… Nothing Changes

DSC_0176Suddenly, a new year is upon us. 2013 slipped by like a brief nap, and now 2014’s alarm clock is missing the proverbial snooze button. For some, the New Year remains tingling with excitement while making New Year resolutions as they put away holiday trimmings, dreaming of embracing opportunities and progressions to come.

For many, the New Year means taking an active role in career/professional progression. Notice the underlined word: active.

You heard it here first: career progression requires you to be an active participant while career stagnation requires nothing at all. In other words, if nothing changes… nothing changes.

Unfortunately, some greet the New Year without developing a plan (strategy) and decide to go on day by day the same as last year, giving the New Year no special shine or commitment.

My question for those sitting back passively: Do you complain when opportunities go to the other guy? Do you blame others when you don’t get the interview or promotion?

Not all people have the same attitude about the New Year. What’s your approach for the New Year? Will you sit back or will you take control of your destiny?

For those choosing career stagnation and complacency, don’t read any further… why should you?
For those choosing to take an active role, where excuses are not an option, please continue…

The New Year can be your new start. NOW is the time to revive your entire life. Whether you’ve been in your career for some time or are still searching, this is your time. Here are several steps to get you going in the right direction:

Step One: Visualize. For the next 24 hours, concentrate on where you want to be (professionally). The first steps are simple yet powerful ones… after all, if you don’t know where you are going (or want to go), you probably won’t get there. During this 24 hour period, brainstorm professional destinies, promotions, and/or job positions. This is a time for your creative juices to run amuck. While brainstorming, jot those dreams down. Place your list away for an additional 24 – 48 hours… no peeking.

Step Two: Reflection. After a day or two take stock of what was written during your brainstorm session. Take mental notes and prioritize while reviewing. In other words, think about what is most important to you, ranking the top three by preference. Hopefully you have at least six professional or career destinies. With the top three in hand, time to go to step three.

Step Three: T-Chart Action. With the top three (if you have only one or two, not a problem) professional destinies in hand, time to create a t-chart and a plan to morph vision into reality. Fold a clean sheet of paper vertically, creating a natural border between the two sides. On top of the page, list one (repeat and list each career goal/destiny on a separate sheet of paper) of your professional goals. On the left hand column, write essential requirements and on the other side, write what you will be doing to increase your chances to reach the desired goal.

For instance, let’s say your number one goal this year is to “get a job.” Place “get a job” on the top center of the page. The left half of the page (essential requirements) may include professional development courses, attaining a diploma, or learning an industry-specific software or platform (this list is by no means all-inclusive and depends upon your knowledge, skills, abilities, and background). On the right side of the paper detail the plan to meet each requirement on the left. For example, you may need to revise your cover letter and resume reflecting relevant transferrable skills (lucky for you, these topics will be covered soon). If you need to learn a new software program, write down the steps to gain such knowledge. Once your list is detailed, time for action.

Step Four: Accountability. One can list and dream all they want but when it comes to professional goals, vision without action/accountability turn to mist and disappointment quickly. Take your three t-charts (one for each goal), selecting the ONE goal most likely to be achieved. The reason for taking the most likely approach is to enhance confidence, paving the way for bolder accomplishments. At this time, take another day to visualize potential obstacles, forming a strategy to overcome and persevere.

Side note: There always will be set-backs and challenges… recognizing and taking a proactive approach BEFORE obstacles get in the way is a proven method toward goal attainment and empowerment.

You have the power of choice. Your thoughts, your decisions, and your actions about who you are and where you’re going are what shape you.

This year, this bright and shining New Year, you are going to progress and succeed!

So, what’s it going to be? If you’re not where you want to be, or if you recognize that things can improve (and they ALWAYS can), then choose 2014 to be the year of Professional Empowerment. To help you along the way, for the next couple of weeks, we’ll go over proven tools enabling you to find the best path for 2014.

Until then, now is the time to visualize. You will be amazed at the difference it will make in your relationships at work, at home, and at school, and it will make your next steps much clearer, which we’ll talk about next week.

Make this year different. Make it better. Make it count, and start now.

Interested in developing proven career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters? Visit www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact us directly: dhuffman@edu-cs.com to see how we can help you.

Rikki Payne, Career Consultant, Editor, and Writer
Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Education Career Services, www.edu-cs.com
Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blog: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com