I’m a huge believer in the benefits of doing work that you love. Surveys show that less than half of people in the United States are actually satisfied with their jobs.
And this problem isn’t just with American workers. Around the world, only 13 percent of employees actually feel happy and engaged at work. What a shame.
When I was unhappy with my career, the dissatisfaction didn't stay at my workplace. In fact, my career unhappiness negatively impacted every aspect of my life, from my physical and mental health to my relationships and more.
But it can be hard to really do what it takes to turn your career dreams and goals into reality. As a result, we settle.
I hate settling and so should you. The idea of looking back and regretting how you spent two years of your life would be a horrible feeling. You can never get back time.
But the powerful and often overlooked trait I’ve discovered among successful people who become what they want to be is commitment. Commitment is the key that moves people who achieve their goals from staying in a state of wishing to actually being.
There are only two things that truly matter in relation to any goal or dream you have. Why you want to accomplish it and how you will do it.
Here are three tips to help you truly recommit to your career success and take immediate action:
1. Start with your why.
Having a why — a real, solid reason for making the choices you are making — becomes the foundation for maintaining commitment and motivation, in all facets of life. Regardless of the goal you set, understanding why is what gives you the necessary energy and direction to get there, and keeps you from being able to settle for anything less. Do you want to help people? Do you want to connect with others by sharing your story? Do you have a musical gift that brings you joy and you want to spend your days practicing your craft?
It can be easy to forget why we work so hard. Reconnecting to why you actually want the career goals you do can help you stay focused and take action. Because when you’re feeling down, tired and think your goal isn’t even worth it, only by knowing your why will you find the courage to take the risks needed to continue.
There are many times where I feel disconnected from why I’m always grinding to accomplish my career goals. I hate to admit it but I do lose sight of my why simply because I focus on all the little tasks I have to get done, forgetting how they relate to my big picture.
To get in back in touch with why I have my goals in the first place and why I want to achieve them so bad, I usually call a timeout on myself. I take time to rewrite my goals and hash out both what I want exactly and why. Once I do this, I suddenly feel clarity. It’s like all my confusion disappears, leaving behind a clear road map of what I need to do and why I need to do it.
2. With your why firmly in place, recognize that your next question is "how?"
What are you doing each day to make your career goal a reality? You need to be clear on specific actions that will move the needle in you achieving your goal. Once you've determined the specific actions that will move the needle in your career, you can break them up into smaller steps.
In order to break up those specific actions into smaller steps, what makes it easy for me is to just focus on one goal. I don’t know about you, but it’s very hard for me to maintain my energy when I am trying to accomplish a lot all at once (believe me, I’ve tried). My success rate is much higher when I choose one thing and focus on it completely. Try it for yourself and see what happens.
3. Add commitment time into your daily schedule.
Devote time (even if it’s just one hour a day) to developing your career. It could be keeping up to date on industry news, or researching and reaching out to people in order to develop connections. I share my commitment publicly to my family, friends and colleagues so that I can stay accountable.
For example, when I first was thinking about starting a career coaching business in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, I told my entire social network about my plans. That way I couldn’t back down, and even though my motivation came and went, I stuck with it and launched my business. To hold yourself accountable, don’t just commit publicly once, but rather give updates to everyone on a regular basis.
Whatever your dreams are, they are possible. Maybe they don't turn out the way you planned. Maybe they change. Either way, it's not going to be easy to reach a real goal, and it will take time. But know that your dreams are in your mind and heart for a reason.
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