When it comes to our careers, we all want Clarity. We want to know what the end goal looks like and have a plan of action to get us there. But sometimes, it’s tough to figure out exactly what we should be doing with our careers, whether we are just starting out or looking to uplevel into leadership.
So if you’re feeling lost or stuck, try asking yourself these five questions:
1. How is your mindset? Are you holding yourself back because of your own inner dialogue?
The first step is to take a look at your mindset and see if you’re putting up any barriers yourself. Maybe you don’t think you’re good enough or that you don’t have what it takes. Or maybe you’re worried about making a mistake and not being perfect. If these thoughts are holding you back, it’s time to start changing your inner dialogue.
Remind yourself that everyone makes mistakes and that learning from them is part of the journey. You are capable and worthy of success, so start thinking the thoughts that allow you to believe in yourself!
“When you wake up in the morning and open your eyes, pay attention to where your mind goes. Is it the challenges that will hold you back today? Or is it the opportunity you will have to create greater meaning by overcoming those challenges?”
2. What do you feel passionate about?
When it comes to finding a career path you’ll love, passion is key! What are you passionate about in your work? What is out in front of you in your career, business, or leadership that excites you? What are you genuinely curious about?
Follow that thread because passion is a feeling and that feeling gives meaning to you and your life. You have to lead yourself first before you can lead others. So start by figuring out what makes you happy, and then go from there! Pursue what feels right to you – it’s the only way to create a lasting impact.
Grab a pen and a piece of paper (or open a doc) and create a list of as many things you can think of that are interesting to you. What are the things that could be out in front of you in your career? Quantity over quality. Write down whatever comes to mind. Who are the people you admire for what they do for their careers? Write that down too. Is there training you want to take? A certification you want to achieve? A promotion? Write it all down, and then prioritize what you are most passionate about. That’s where you start exploring.
3. What is your plan for getting there?
Creating a plan for your life and your leadership is essential. You need to have a road map if you want to get somewhere because, without it, you’ll be wandering around lost – and wasting time! This is especially important if you aim to achieve something big for your next steps, next level, or chapter.
One of the biggest problems people face when it comes to creating a plan is that they hold it all in their heads and just expect to be able to implement it. The problem with this is that it doesn’t allow for a clear idea of what it will take or how to get there. If this sounds like you, don’t worry! You’re not alone.
A good way to layout your plan is to use the SMART goal-setting system. This system helps you create specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound goals. Here’s an example of how it works:
Your goal is to (donate) weight. Because, hey, linguistics matter. If you lose something, you go looking for it and often find it, and I’m sure that’s what you don’t want to have happen in this case!
Specific: You want to donate five pounds in two weeks.
Measurable: You can track your progress by weighing yourself every day.
Actionable: You understand the steps you need to take to achieve this and have allowed for them in your schedule. You consider exercise, food prep, etc.
Realistic & Relevant: Yes, you can definitely lose five pounds in two weeks if you stick to a healthy diet and exercise plan. It’s also relevant to you because losing weight will help you feel better and improve your health.
Time-bound: Set a deadline for yourself to achieve your goal. In this case, two weeks from today. Remember, one day and someday never come.
The great thing about SMART goals is that they’re flexible. You can always adjust them as needed to make sure they stay realistic and actionable; it’s just feedback, after all!
4. Who will help you get it? It’s always helpful to have a support system in place.
You are the average of the top five people you spend the most time with. It’s a simple law of averages calculation. Are they supporting you to move forward toward what you want? Or are they holding you back?
So how do we go about building this type of support system? First, find people who motivate you and inspire you! Consider the following.
Join or attend networking events in your area or online. Networking is a great way to meet new people with similar interests and build relationships. In addition, attending networking events is a fantastic way to connect with other women and male allies who can support your journey to greater career levels and leadership. You’ll be able to share ideas, exchange resources, and learn from each other. Plus, you never know who you might meet – a potential mentor or the person who knows the exact introduction to make for you!
Seek out online forums and communities specifically for women in leadership roles. The internet has made it easier than ever for women to connect with each other and find support for their careers. There are now many online forums and communities specifically for women in leadership roles, and why I created The Clarity Community. It’s a great place to ask questions, get advice and connect with other women who can help you on your journey. Check it out!
Foster relationships with women you admire. There’s nothing better than looking up to role models when it comes to building a support system. Find women you admire and reach out to them. Ask them for coffee or a quick chat over the phone. Not only will you gain valuable insight from these women, but you’ll also be building relationships that could blossom into something amazing for your career!
Whether it’s your inner circle or the people who can help you achieve your career goals, make sure you have the right team around you.
The final question is…
5. What gets in the way of you getting what you want?
This could be anything from fear of failure to self-doubt to lack of Clarity. Once you identify what’s holding you back, you can start working on overcoming it. The success you will achieve comes by choice, not by chance.
So, start by choosing to put your time, energy, and resources into the goals you want instead of the reasons you give for not achieving them.
So, what are the takeaways? If you want to create a successful career for yourself, start by looking at your mindset. Are you holding yourself back because of your own inner dialogue? Once you’ve identified any self-imposed limitations, work on replacing them with thoughts that support your success. Then, think about what you’re passionate about and find ways to make that the focus of your career. Finally, get clear on your plan and enlist help from those who can support you in achieving it. And finally, be honest about what gets in the way–both internally and externally–to address them head-on.
These questions aren’t meant to provide definitive answers but rather to help get your wheels turning. The most important thing is to stay open-minded and explore until you find something that feels right for you. So don’t give up if things seem unclear at first – the perfect career path for you is out there, waiting to be discovered!
Would you like some help?
Are you ready to claim more success with less sacrifice in your career? Then, check out this free resource that helps you to get Clarity on your next steps, next level, and next chapter in your career. Go to www.ClarityWorkbook.com and get your copy!