How To Really Move Forward In Your Career

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People come to me all the time because they are unhappy in their careers and are not sure what to do about it. They tell me the reasons they don't have what they want; the economy, their company; some are even honest enough to blame themselves. They are all facing tough challenges, either internal or external. When you have an unresolved challenge in your career, it affects your whole life. You think about your challenge all the time, and in many cases, it consumes and defines you. You want more and are willing to do the work but you just don't believe it's possible. Or, you don't know how to get there. I believe that people do not move forward in their careers for two reasons. Once you overcome and push past these reasons, you are ready to go. So what are the two reasons that people seem to be at a stand-still? 1) FEAR Everyone is afraid of something and fear is normal. Actually, fear can be a good thing, because it protects you from harm or getting into damaging situations. But, fear is negative when it paralyzes you and keeps you from taking action. For example, fear of making a mistake will keep you from trying something new. Fear of looking bad in front of friends and family will keep you from expressing your true career wishes to the people in your life. Fear of failing will keep you from succeeding. It's important to recognize fear for what it is; a scary thought that turns into an emotion, that in turn, stops you. If you can remember that a thought is just a thought, without judging it, then your thought does not have to keep you from moving forward anymore. Many people believe they will act when fear goes away, but fear doesn't disappear on its own. You eliminate fear by talking yourself through it. That's how you push past fear, you become your own savior and tell yourself that it's ok to be afraid, but it's not ok to stay where you are. Fear goes away when you switch your mindset to pro-active, rather than re-active. 2) LOGISTICS While fear covers the thinking portion of your problem, logistics is the set of steps you take to move your career forward. Say to yourself, "here are the steps that I'm going to take" and then take them. If you take these steps on a regular basis, you will reach your career goals. If you don't take these steps, you won't. If you take these steps here and there, you may reach your goals, or you may not. And, if you do, it will take a long time. Some people stop at logistics because they don't know what steps to take. Again, this is normal. Write down what you do know and begin there. Put these steps in your calendar and start moving forward. What you don't know turn into a question. For example, "I don't know who to call" becomes "who can I call that will point me in the right direction?" You are not supposed to have all the answers, so expect that you will be reaching out to people who do. Logistics also is about taking one step a time. Small piece by small piece. You may want to rush to the finish line, but slow and steady wins the race. By: Deborah Brown-Volkman

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