Foundational Career Thoughts for 2013
As the New Year approaches it is a great time to reflect on how we can proactively ensure our professional and personal well being in 2013. It’s not just a time for resolutions but for honest, cathartic introspection about our lives and how we can stay healthy across the many facets of our human existence. We all have goals and expectations and then we have actual results. Sometimes we find that we’ve come up a little short when we do the analysis of goal vs. achievement. Specifically, there is a gap between our anticipated outcome and the actual outcome of our efforts.
If you find yourself in this situation or are starting to have feelings of career uncertainty that are overwhelming, it is probably time to think about three foundational career change concepts.
1. Exercise. It is important to reflect on how you treat the precious professional gifts, physical abilities and mental capacity that have been bestowed upon you by your creator. Think about how you have been treating your many talents and the maintenance aspects of these important tools. Ask yourself the following question, “Am I physically and mentally prepared for what may come my way in my life, career and relationships?” If the answer is no, then you may want to think about how you are feeding your brain and body. Exercise your mind with reading on your industry and supplement that reading with positive motivational messages. If you’ve been planning to eat better or to get to the gym for real this time then do it! There will never be an optimal time to fit this stuff into your schedule. You MUST make time and set new priorities to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of your many gifts.
2. Planning. Goals are the elixir of our successful journey in this time we have been given. We must know two things for certain. The first thing is where we are headed. The second is the capabilities and resources we need to get there! Take some time out of your schedule to assess the last 12 months, set objectives for the next year and project your longer term goals for 3-5 years in the future. Then decide what new capabilities, relationships, or resources are required to exceed your objectives. You might find the need for additional education or an introduction to an influential leader in your industry. Planning has the almost magical quality of revealing the pitfalls that “winging it” does not expose until it is too late.
3. Prayer. Being spiritual is not specific of a religious denomination but it is a huge part of who we are. If we deny that we need introspection and a connection to a higher power then we are only putting limits on our potential. God wants us to be successful, productive, healthy, and above all, acting in concert with his mission for our lives. The first two foundational aspects of Exercise and Planning are the things we CAN do. They give us a sense of control in our limited, mortal capacity as human beings to affect change in our lives. Meditation and prayer give us connections to our maker and the universe that are simply beyond our reach. In other words, God can do a lot more than you can to change the trajectory of your life. Take some time to meditate through prayer regularly on your goals, to let out negative experiences and to ask for divine help.
Just as you can’t expect to erect a building on a faulty, unstable foundation you cannot establish a healthy life or career without the discipline to Exercise, Plan, and Pray. It is a simple and proven formula to achieve success that is both satisfying and sustainable.
Good luck and best wishes into the New Year!