Lewis Carroll said, “If you don’t know were you are going, any road will get you there.” If you’re in a dead end job, chances are you have let fate choose your path. It is high time that you took the reigns and decided where you are going.
Do you know where you are going? If you don’t, you are allowing other people to choose your destiny for you. I consider that a bad choice. I’m not a big fan of letting someone tell me what to do and I have a suspicion that you probably aren’t either.
“But I have a boss. I have to do what they say or get fired!” or, “I have invested way too much time and effort into my job to make a change.”
These arguments have some merit, but don’t consider the whole picture. I’m going to walk you through a mental exercise that might seem a bit weird, but stay with me and try it. Use your imagination.
Writing Your Career Plan … disclaimer: Imagination Required!
For just a moment, hold your current job in your mind. Begin with walking in the door and think about everything you do on a daily basis. Make it a vivid experience by involving as many senses as you can, including things you see, the things you smell, the things you touch and definitely the way it all makes you feel.
- Now pretend you are floating above yourself watching what you do. This takes a little more imagination, but you can do it.
- Now zoom out to see the entire department you work in and remember to see yourself in it.
- Then see the whole company, once again, with you in it.
- Now envision the entire industry, and remember to see yourself in it.
Can you see how much larger your opportunities and choices have become? There are probably a lot of jobs you could do within that industry. Perhaps the opportunities haven’t been handed to you on a silver platter, but they are there none the less. Even if there is no future for you in your present company or industry, can you see that you have options? You can choose where you are spending your time and talent. In fact, you have chosen … to be where you are. You can choose something different!
Don’t Quit Your Job Yet …
You have some planning to do first.
Take out a pen and paper and write down a description of where you are right now in your career. Continue by writing down where you can ultimately see yourself. Dream BIG. See yourself living the life that makes you
- Secure, or
- Whatever your goals may be.
Like before, Imagine the things you see, smell, touch and even how it feels to be in that place. Imagine the people you interact with, the location where you work, your home, the car you drive, the vacations you take, the books you read, the colleagues you go to lunch with … imagine every detail. Remember, it is important that you allow yourself to feel it!
Consider for a moment …
- What was the position you had just before the ultimate one you imagined? Write it down.
- And the one before that? Write it down as well.
- How about the position just before that one? Write it down too.
- You get the idea. Continue until you arrive back at the position you currently have.
Prepare To Make Your Move
You have just outlined an overall plan for your career progression. Stephen Covey taught us to “Begin with the end in mind”. That was Habit 2 in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Now rewrite your list in chronological order. List the steps you will need to take to get to the next position on your path.
If you are unclear about what you need to do to get to your next position, “Begin with the end in mind”. Start with showing up the first day on your new job and work your way back to where you are today. Example:
- Accepted offer
- Formal application
- Interview process
- Send customized resume to the hiring manager
- Develop rapport with decision makers
- Identify decision makers
- List of companies I should be working for
- Rewrite resume and cover letter
- Take interest assessment
- Decide it is time for a change
Now put these steps in chronological order. Remember to make use of your imagination and feel yourself actually being where you intend to be and doing those tasks necessary to act on your plan. Write it all down and remember to feel it.
You have just begun to put yourself in the driver’s seat. Now you are in conscious control of your own destiny. You have chosen your direction.
Catch Your Vision
Your emotions are a very important part of the visioning process. Many have said that emotion is Energy in Motion. When you feel something strongly enough, it creates a memory whether the event has actually happened or not. That is putting energy in motion and essentially why vision boards work so well. Once you have experienced the emotion of something you like, it is difficult to live without it. It serves as a subconscious motivator that draws you to your dream.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish”- Proverbs 29:18 KJV
What are you finding to be a challenge in your job search? Tell me in the comments section below or send an email to Ray@JobSearchThatWorks.com. If you have a microphone on your computer or hand held device, you can also leave me a voice message at https://www.speakpipe.com/JobSearchThatWorks.