In 2005 I was miserable in my job. So I quit. The storm had been brewing for a year or so and then I decided I’d had enough.
Photo Credit: Umberto Salvagnin (Creative Commons)
The quitting part was great. It was definitely scary but I was so relieved to know I was done with that job. I thought I had a half baked plan to become a wedding photographer. I shot a few weddings and met with a few happy couples who wanted to hire me for their wedding. The only problem was I didn’t really enjoy shooting weddings and I wasn’t all that keen on photography to begin with.
The real problem was I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. So I went to a temp agency and took the first job they gave me. I then bounced from job to job hoping to find “the right one.”
What I learned through that process is you must have goals for your career and your life. As Lewis Carrol (and the Cheshire Cat) is often misquoted as saying, “If you don’t know where you are going, then any road will take you there.”
Unless you have goals for your career and your life you will end up wherever the road takes you. Some of you might be excited about the unknown, however, you have to remember that you may not like where the road takes you.
However, having a goal is often not enough. While you’re working toward that goal you will meet what Steven Pressfield calls resistance. Every fear, self-doubt, and negative thought you ever dreamt up will rear its ugly head.
So how do you work through those things on the way to your goal? Here are four ways to work through the resistance:
Recognize the resistance. When you can see the resistance for what it is you will be better equipped to fight against it. Knowing the enemy allows you to make informed decisions on how to respond.
Talk back. Question the resistance. Why should you believe you will never amount to anything and everyone is going to laugh at you when this is all over? When you challenge your fears, doubts, and negative self-talk it provides you the opportunity to evaluate their validity. Why should you trust the opinion of the resistance?
Find someone or something to give you a boost. I have certain books I go back to when I start feeling the resistance. I have highlighted sections that really get me fired up to keep going. I also talk to my wife who will remind me I can do it. Whatever you need to do to get back on track, do it. Find that person who believes in you. Find that book or that blog or that podcast that tells you, “You can do it.”
Keep moving forward. When all else fails, just keep putting one foot in front of the other. When you take action your emotions and your mind will eventually follow. Even if it’s a small step forward the important thing is to keep your momentum going. When your emotions and mind catch up to your actions you will be primed and ready to make some big progress.
As it turned out, after working multiple temp jobs I landed a great job with a great company and figured out my career goals along the way.
The moral of the story is this: Those who love their work aren’t just a lucky minority. If you want to find the job of your dreams the first step is figure out what you want in your career. Then hustle to make it happen. When obstacles come stay focused on your goals and keep moving forward.
By the way…you can do it.
Question: What book, song, blog, or podcast gives you a boost when you need it?
(I’d love to hear from you. Consider leaving a comment below)