Finding the perfect career is something most people only dream of. The thought of a job that you are passionate about, that pays well, and that fits in with your skills and abilities seems so unattainable for many people that they don’t even try for it. They settle into their “good-enough” jobs that pays the bills and keeps them busy and they convince themselves that it works for them.
However, with boomers you begin to see that desire for something a little better begin to grow and grow as they enter the later stages of their career. Suddenly, “good-enough” won’t cut it and they decide to start embracing those desires for those higher positions, more responsibilities and growth. But while this is an excellent step in the right direction, it takes a lot more than just desire to reach that next level. Here are some tips for how you can achieve your goal.
Stop waiting for ‘someday’ to come.
I get it; it is hard to push yourself to that next level. The fear of failure holds a lot of us back and putting yourself in a position of pursuing something and failing is enough to turn a lot of people off of actually trying. When your desire for growth is strong enough but that fear keeps holding you back, you begin telling yourself that one day you’ll pursue it, but not today. Make it today. If this is something you truly want then putting it off any longer is not fair to yourself. Someday can remain in the future indefinitely, but today is immediate. Force yourself forward against the fear and pushing aside thoughts of failure. Achieving your career goals takes a little risk, and is worth a lot of risk.
Work like you’re in the position you want.
Growing stagnant in your work can be a real killer of ambition. When you lack a passion for your work, it is hard to motivate yourself to grow and to evolve within that position. You can see the next rung in the ladder that you want to reach but the place you are stuck in now makes you want to climb down rather than up. Your work can suffer, your enthusiasm goes down and you remain exactly where you are. The trick is understanding that the work you do now, even if it’s not the work you want to be doing is just one more step in your journey of growth. Doing hard work and producing quality work regardless of your current position isn’t becoming complacent with what you have, it’s showing your desire, ability and motivation to grow.
Don’t wait for people to ask you what you want.
Similar to the first point, this is another example of how we ourselves can often be our own worst enemies in the pursuit of what we want. Again, this is somewhat understandable as it takes a lot of confidence and courage to put yourself our there and some people just lack those qualities. While there are likely some rare occurrences that could prove me wrong, I would venture to say that no person has ever achieved what they wanted without achieving going for it themselves. You can convince yourself that your hard work will one day be recognized and you will be called up to the next level without ever having to put yourself out there. It’s not going to happen. Make your desires known, pursue opportunities, and don’t have regrets.
Take feedback and criticism.
While not having the confidence to pursue the career growth you want is certainly a problem for some, an overconfidence can lead you astray as well. You know your skills and qualifications. You likely have a pretty good sense about whether or not you deserve to reach that next level in your own work, so when something indicates you might not be as ready as you might think, it can be hard to take. Getting feedback or constructive criticism of our work is essential for growth, but some people feel they need no such help and perceive it as an attack rather than help. But ignoring feedback without considering how it might better your work stifles growth. Be open to improvement, even if you think it doesn’t apply to you (Hint: it applies to everyone).