I thought it was time to break radio silence since it's been 2 months since my last blog post. Coincidentally, I was inspired again by Joel Osteen this morning. He used a driving analogy that I, of course, couldn't pass up.
He talked about the rearview mirror being small and the front windshield being large because your past is not nearly as important as your future. Have you been stuck in the past and looking to it for meaning too often in your life?
When it comes to your career, it's easy to take one of two Career Advancement Options:
- Go through your career blindly, taking whatever comes your way
- Overanalyze your career until you find the perfect fit
Career Advancement Option #1 means that you fly by the seat of your pants. While this can be freeing, it means that you aren't in the driver's seat taking control of your career.
Career Advancement Option #2 means that you are working so hard to find the right career, you aren't trusting that the Universe will present you with appropriate career options.
The most difficult one is the yet-to-be-mentioned Career Advancement Option #3. It is a middle-of-the-road and often underused option. Option #3 allows you to Drive with Purpose: find a career that is meaningful and make changes as needed to fit your changing personal, professional, and spiritual goals in life.
After going through a few different careers myself (biomedical sciences, high finance, insurance, and now information technology), I know what I'm talking about when it comes to those three options. I have adopted (and continue to adopt) all three at different points in my life.
- I fall into Career Advancement Option #1 when I am fed up with what is going on and think that my efforts won't make a difference.
- Career Advancement Option #2 becomes a reality if I feel absolutely certain of what I should be doing and want to orchestrate it for myself.
- Career Advancement Option #3, although requiring more effort, brings the most career fulfillment for me and does the best job of meeting my personal, professional, and spiritual needs.
Our human needs can best be described via Maslow's hierarchy of needs. The lower level needs are the more basic ones that need to be satisfied first:
- Physiological Needs
- Security Needs
- Social Needs
- Esteem Needs
- Self-actualizing Needs
Career advancement would most likely fall in Level 4 or 5. In a nutshell, if you haven't eaten, you aren't too worried about personal growth activities!
Until now, I hadn't seen a similar model for assessing our career needs. I came across an article called "Beyond Wall Street and Sand Hill Road: Career Fulfillment for Bright Young Things" by Don Fornes, Founder & CEO, Software Advice. He has a nice breakdown called "A Hierarchy of Career Fulfillment". The article is geared toward young adults entering high finance. I encourage you to read it even if you're in a different industry since it contains some key insights on why we do the work that we do (i.e. it isn't (and shouldn't be) just about money.)
Are you able to answer "yes" to all of these questions about your career? If not, which ones are a "no" for you? Are there other questions that you would include? Or maybe you would place the questions in a different order.
Remember that you won't always be able to answer "yes" to all of these questions. Even if you have a "dream job", there will be days when you wonder what you got yourself into! That isn't always a reason to bail, however. Look at your current situation as a whole. Only you can decide what you need to feel fulfilled.
Try using this model to make it easier to adopt Career Advancement Option #3 allowing you to Drive with Purpose and find a career that is meaningful.
Happy New Year!
Do you love New Year's resolutions or do you avoid them at all costs? Either way, you'll want to attend my "Drive with Purpose: Your 3-Step Plan to Achieving Success" Webinar on January 11th. You'll learn how to create solid goals that you can stick to throughout the year.
Register for the January 11th Webinar here and be entered into a drawing for an exclusive event with me!
You may have noticed that my site and blog have a new tagline that encompasses the work that I do: Drive. Align. Shift. It is a bold statement showing the progression we should all take to have a successful life. I have developed new courses around this concept to help you take the necessary steps to be fulfilled in all areas of your life.
Drive with Purpose.
Some people aren't even on the road. They just blindly go through life and let it happen to them instead of taking some responsibility. The easiest option for these folks is to complain about their job, house, spouse, kids, and everything else in between. Instead of looking at everyone else and every other circumstance, they should look within for the source of their problem - thinking that a lack of action will lead to change in their lives.
Believe it or not, this used to describe me many years ago. I've made a lot of changes in my life to get to where I am today. If you're interested in making a change, you have to make a commitment to Drive with Purpose.
Make no excuses. Get on the road and do something. If you're not driving, you're not living. Remember, though that navigating does not equal complete control. There are some things that you have to leave up to the Universe, but you must be a willing partner in order to move forward.
Align Your Goals.
Once you're driving on the road, you will have some work to do. Again, there are people who think it's good enough to just be on the road and watch everyone else. They have a false sense of security where they are and convince themselves that they are happy with life as it is. Usually these are the people who avoid changing their course and don't even bother setting goals.
I remember the times when I was frustrated with goal-setting because I was failing at my goals or it was taking too long to achieve them. If you want a better goal-setting and achievement strategy, you have to focus on how to Align Your Goals in all parts of your life.
It doesn't make sense to have goals that don't connect. We all have different roles that should connect and make you who you are. Goals that you make for each of these areas should complement each other. Also, you have to keep in mind that you may not achieve all of your goals in the way that you're expecting. Sometimes you Drive with Purpose and set a goal that is on-mission, but you don't reach that goal. There are other reasons for going through that experience.
Shift Your Perspective.
After being on the road for awhile and making some changes, the scenery will start to look monotonous. You've become familiar with the typical challenges you face and know how to overcome them. You hang around similar people and just breathe in each others' fumes. This is the time to really break out of your shell and do something different with your life.
I have been comfortable with my life at different times in the past and was afraid of making a change that could bring even more success and happiness. If you're content with where you are, but feel that more fulfillment could be just around the corner, your next step is to Shift Your Perspective.
Shifting involves doing a lot of inner work. You have to continue to let go and see the lessons in life as a way to allow you to see more of the world. Your purpose becomes clear. You see your life as an example for others. It can be scary to challenge some of your long-standing beliefs, but this is the only path to true growth.
I'm sure you saw yourself in at least one part of this progression. Check out my upcoming courses in the Drive. Align. Shift. Program. I would recommend starting from the beginning to get the most benefit from the program.