People have all kinds of career goals. Some want to make a lot of money, some want to have work-life balance, and others want to do work they truly love.
Whatever your goals, I want to help you take personal responsibility for your career so you can do what you love
We, as humans, have many amazing superpowers. One of my clear favorites is our ability to create the future we desire. It’s truly amazing if you think about it. When you take the time to reflect on what you want your future to look like, when you create a plan of action, and then execute that plan, most any reality can be yours. And that’s what I want to help you do. To clarify and crystallize what you want your future to look like.
I like having a framework for doing things. A formula or recipe for success. I want to know that if I follow certain steps, I’ll get this result.
That’s what I’ve created for you to help you get where you want to go with your career.
You and I have enough time to do everything we want, but not enough time to waste. So let’s get started.
Overview of what we’ll cover:
- Examine your existing beliefs and emotions around work and career
- Decide how you’d like to feel and think about your work and career
- Clarifying your career goals and the work you want to do
- Decide on your course of action and create your plan
- Making it real and sustainable in your life
- Removing blocks/impediments
- A learning framework for making it happen
- Have the will to do it or put the mechanism in place to ensure it’s completion
Examine your existing beliefs and emotions around work and career
What’s really holding you back from the career you want and doing work you love?
We all have core beliefs, whether we’re aware of them or not. Much like your phone has an operating system that’s always running in the background, our core beliefs are always guiding our decision making.
Some of them were given to us at birth, many were installed when we were very little, and some have been downloaded along the way.
When you start thinking about yours, you’ll begin to recognize what your current version is. If you’re happy with them, excellent. If you’re not, I’ve got good news- you can change them. It won’t be easy, but you can do it.
Beliefs about work and career
Here is a list of prompts about work and career. As you read through them, write down the first thing that comes to mind; don’t overthink it.
- Work is
- A career is
- I’d have a career I love if
- My parents thought work was
- In my family, work
- Work equals
- If I had the career I want, I’d
- If I could afford it, I’d
- Doing work you love is
- Having a rewarding career is
- Hard work is
- Loving work is
- When I think about work I
- I think work
- People think work
- My career is
Now that you’ve written your initial thoughts on each of these, go back through and think more deeply about the ones that we’re the most triggering.
For example, if you wrote “Having a rewarding career is unattainable,” spend time thinking about why you think that way. What did your parents do for a living? What were their thoughts on work? Did your family have enough money?
For me, I thought more about work as a necessary evil than anything else.
I didn’t have any positive career or work role models. My mom was a single mother, doing her best, who taught school at various grade levels over her career. My grandfather was a successful businessman, but had retired by the time I was old enough to be aware of his work.
I graduated college with literally zero idea what I wanted to do for work.
When I was in high school and college, I thought law school would be my next step. Not because I wanted to be a lawyer, simply because I perceived it to be a reputable profession where I could make money.
My first job was in financial services and it took my 15 years until I truly discovered the kind of work I loved doing. Fortunately for me, I’m passionate about my work in personal finance. I got lucky.
The more you can dig into your past and examine it, the better the chances of changing your beliefs from negative to positive. The more proactive you can be about the kind of work you enjoy, the better your chances of making that work your career.
To help you in this process, you can access our Values Course at no-cost.
Decide how you’d like to feel and think about your work and career
Once I get that new job, then I’ll be happy. Once I get that car, then I’ll be happy. Once I
I’m married and have a family, then I’ll be happy. Does any of that sound familiar?
We have an odd relationship with goals and happiness, and too often, we think about them
the wrong way. So, instead of thinking “once I get more money, then I’ll be happy,” decide how you want to feel, then think deeply about why you want what you want.
Once you’ve done that, then you’ll set your goals.
I’ve found word association helps me to get clear on how I truly want to feel.
For example, when I hear Good Parent, I feel present, I feel fully engaged, I feel locked-in and focused, I feel satisfaction. I have really good and strong feelings around being a good parent. This is a clear priority for me.
Let’s go through some work and career word association. For each, write down your initial feelings.
- Rewarding career
- Hard work
- Nine to five
- Work from home
- Love what you do
- Doing good work
- Important work
- Job security
The idea is to figure out how you want to feel. Once you’ve gone through each one, go back through them again and dig deeper. You can certainly add more as well.
To help you in this process, you can access our Goals Course at no-cost, where you’ll go deeper into this process.
Clarifying your career goals and the work you want to do
I talked about how our ability to create the future we desire is a superpower.
When you take the time to reflect on what you want your future to look like, when you create a plan of action, and then execute that plan, most any reality can be yours.
It’s time to create the future you desire.
For each prompt, write down what you want (Feel free to add/subtract/substitute anything you’d like).
- What do you do for a living?
- What is your job?
- How much money do you earn?
- What impact do you have?
- Where is your office?
- How much time do you spend working?
- Who do you work with?
- Who do you help?
- Why do you do what you do?
- How does your work make you feel?
- How does your work make others feel?
- What does your family think about your work?
- What do other people think about your work?
- What do you think about your work?
- How long will you work for?
Be honest with yourself. Don’t judge yourself. What you want is what you want, and it’s great (whatever it is). These are your goals, this is your life, and you’ve got one shot at it. Plan for the life you want to live.
Again, you can access our Goals Course at no-cost, where you’ll go deeper into this process.
Decide on your course of action and create your plan
You’ve examined your existing beliefs. You’ve decided how you want to feel. You’ve clarified your goals. Now it’s time to chart your course of action and create your plan.
For each area, determine the desired result, cost and time horizon for making it happen. As you continue along, you’ll refine your plan and get more specific.
Example 1: My desired result is to be self-employed. I will need six months of living expenses so I’m financially able to start a business. I will save it up over the next 12 months.
Example 2: My desired result is get an MBA and work for a Fortune 500 company. I’ll need study for the entrance exams and decide which schools I will apply to. I will plan to take the exam and apply to schools within the next six months. .
Example 3: My desired result is to be a full-time parent and earn money online. I’ll need to figure out how I can earn money, and learn the skills to do it. I will begin researching opportunities and evaluating educational resources immediately.
Complete this structure for each of your goals.
Making it real and sustainable in your life
It’s not enough to know. It’s not enough to know how. You also have to make change real and sustainable.
You need to recognize this is a lot. There’s a lot that goes into finding the right career and doing work you enjoy.
Then there’s recognizing any emotional connections that exist. And then it’s integrating it all together.
You need to figure out how to maximize your resources of time, attention and money. And, you’ll need to take into consideration your desire and interest; do you want to spend time on this?
There has to be someone whose job it is to bring all of this together.
The good news is, support is available at every level. There are bloggers and podcasters focused on it, courses available, and coaches to help you figure it all out.
But it comes down to choice. Will you choose to dedicate the resources to doing this? Will you accept the personal responsibility?
And that’s the most fundamental truth of all. The ultimate responsibility for your success is YOURS.
Whenever we’re trying to make real and lasting change, we’re going to run into blocks and impediments. These blocks can be both internal and external, so it’s important to be aware of them.
Fundamental blocks keeping us from the career and work we want:
- Literacy and awareness of different opportunities
- Lack of examples or role models
- Feelings of unworthiness
- Lack of clarity on values
- Lack of clarity on goals
- Lack of financial resources
- Negative, unsupportive or toxic relationships
- Acting emotionally versus logically
- Fear of the unknown
- Lack of expertise or experience
When we become aware of them, we need to take proper action to overcome them.
For example, if you and your family are not aligned, you’ll need to have open and honest dialogue on your goals and desires and what the impact on them will be.
For example, if you lack expertise or experience, you’ll need to put a plan together for obtaining what’s missing.
For example, if you are struggling to figure out what you want to do, you can listen to podcasts, read articles, or work with a coach to help you get clarity.
To overcome what’s holding you back may require resources.
Where can you get the new knowledge you need? Knowing where you can go for information and knowledge is extremely important.
Do you want to spend time on this? Some people really enjoy personal finance and investing, while others would prefer to not spend much time on it. There’s no right or wrong answer to this question. Again, it’s important to be honest with yourself.
Will you spearhead this effort, or will you find partners?
A Learning Framework for Making it Happen
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
Whatever you’re trying to get better at, if it’s personal finance, relationships or your leadership skills, there are three models for doing it.
- DIY Model. Information and raw data is everywhere. I’ve certainly combed through it all to learn new skills. You can listen to podcasts, watch YouTube videos and read blogs on literally every topic and career development and work is no different.
- Invest Model. Tapping into the knowledge and teachings of others can greatly enhance the learning process. I’ve paid for and benefitted from many courses from college to online learning. There are a lot of courses for figuring out what you want to do.
- Partner Model. Wisdom is more valuable today than ever. Getting the support and expertise in the form of coaching, advising or a mastermind can get you where you want to go a lot faster. Working with a career coach, or joining a mastermind can help you get where you want to go a lot faster.
Obviously, the more you can interact with an expert, the better. But if you have the time and attention, you can most certainly piece everything together on your own.
Have the will to do it or put the mechanism in place to ensure it’s completion
I think self-discipline is an incredible thing and I greatly value mine. It helps me to do things even when I don’t feel like doing them. Like getting out of bed in the morning to exercise, and managing our household budget.
I also don’t think it’s a genetic thing; I think you can cultivate and strengthen self-discipline.
Do you know who David Goggins is? He’s possibly the most self-disciplined and intense human on the planet. He transformed himself from unhealthy and out-of-shape to a world-class athlete and he inspires millions of people.
I bring him up because it took David Goggins a while to get where he is today, and it may take you a while to get where you want to go with money. You can’t get out of debt in a week any more than you can lose 100 pounds in a month.
Structure first. Then self-discipline.
As you work up to your Goggin’s level of self-discipline, putting structure in place will help you get everything that needs to get done. That’s where your SOP comes in.
Your SOP (Standard operating procedure)
A standard operating procedure is a set of step-by-step instructions compiled by an organization to help their people get what needs to get done, completed.
If it’s for an organization, why would an individual have one?
If you have a simple, straightforward and uncomplicated life, you probably don’t need one. Odds are, you have a complex life with a lot of moving parts. The more you can systematize and put structure around the things that need to get done, the better.
When it comes to finding a career and work you love, I’ve already talked about how complex it can be. Keeping on top of everything that needs to happen on a monthly basis is important.
- Checklists. One day, perhaps many of the things you need to be successful will be second nature. Until that day, make a checklist for everything that needs doing. For example, creating a checklist for all the daily activities relating to your career search will help ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
- Calendar. What gets scheduled, gets done. If you don’t put all of your important activities into your calendar, they’ll get bumped by some other “emergency.” For example, schedule a weekly time to talk with people in professions you’re curious about, and put time in your calendar for learning.
- Automate. The more we can take our hands off the wheel, the better. For example, set up automatic reminders for your essential activities and automate your use of job search sites.
- Delegate. Get a career coach, or join a mastermind. If there’s an area you lack in, find someone or something that can support you in your change.
I don’t want this to seem as though I’m doing a commercial for outsourcing, I’m not. You’re perfectly capable of doing this yourself. Again, be honest with yourself about whether or not you want to spend the time and attention it will take to get where you want to go.
If you find you need additional help, then look at outsourcing.
You have choice.
You can choose to get the resources you need to break through. To tap into your superpower and to create the future you desire.
Will you accept personal responsibility?
What’s your first step?
We’re here to help. Check out the LifeBlood podcast wherever you listen to podcasts; we’ve spent a lot of time talking about X.
Career and work success is available to you, get started!
You can access our Goals Course at no-cost.
You can access our Values Course at no-cost.
Connect with one our Certified Coaches.
Invest in one of our Courses.
Here are some applicable episodes of the LifeBlood podcast that talk about making change. We also have a lot of content around personal finance as well.
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