Attitude Shift

February 27th, 2013

The first quarter is very often quite busy for us career counselors. New Year’s resolutions are not restricted to cleaning out a closet or losing those five pounds. Performance reviews, bonus distributions, or six months after college graduation often trigger a desire to explore options.

If you are among the people who are reading this blog because you want to address a career change, challenge or crisis, here are some questions that can help you focus your thoughts and actions:

How did you choose your present occupation?
What expectations do you have about your career?
What would success look like?

Are you, like many, seeking a calling—work about which you feel passionate, for which you are appreciated, and in which you believe you can grow, learn and contribute your talents?

If so, please add one very important question to your list:

How do you believe work happens?

Doing what you love does not necessarily cover the rent. Your passion needs a pay check!

Yes, careering has a commercial side. And it often requires hustle, which many people eschew. Yet, as Daniel Pink reminds us in his new book, To Sell is Human, like it or not, we are all in sales.

To meet your career goals and dreams, you need to make the right people know about what you have to offer. And reaching out to contacts, conducting informational and exploratory meetings, creating a marketing plan and sticking to it is often where the career dream becomes a nightmare of procrastination and inaction. This is because most of us don’t want to ask for the “order”. We want someone else to want us and to invite us in.

If you are stuck, a simple mind reversal may help: Think about what you have to give rather than what you want. How can what you do or want to do help another person or organization?

What do you do well, that you enjoy? (what you have to offer)
Who needs it ?(that’s your market)
Why do they need you? (what distinguishes you in your field)

Look around you…Read everything you can about your desired field. Talk to everyone with interest, curiosity and a giving attitude. Share ideas, help others, be in the game you want to play. You will find you shift out of stuck and enter a whole new momentum.

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