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6 Ways You May Be Messing Up How You Think About Your Career

Are You Messing Up Your Career?

What You Might Be Doing Wrong

1. You are searching for the “perfect” career.  This is dangerous.  You might keep changing over and over and starting over.  Beware the perfect career.

2. You don’t have a theme.  Related to the first point, without a theme you won’t build up a fund of skills that are valued by customers or employers.

3. You think courage alone will get the job done.  Read Cal Newport’s book So Good They Can’t Ignore You for a bracing dose of reality on this topic.   Thinking of your career in heroic terms can be dangerous.

4. You are waiting for a big break or you think things will happen in one master stroke.  Read The Slight Edge for a primer on how to really manifest success.  It’s a matter of taking consistent, small steps — day in and day out.

5. You think short-term rather than long-term.  In a panic, you take whatever job you can get.  Fair enough, and necessary sometimes.  But then you forget about the long term and go on autopilot.  You wake up ten years later, not liking your job, career, salary or prospects.  You should focus on getting a job now that leads to your dream (though not perfect!) job in five to ten years.

6. You undervalue your network.  At a certain point, your network may be more valuable than your job.  Get laid off?  Tap your network and land another great six figure job within in a couple of months.  This is for real.  This is how it works.

What To Do About It

All of the above are easily fixed.  You simply 1) get real that perfection doesn’t exist and allow for messy, organic change and growth in your life; 2) develop your theme; 3) recognize that courage matters at the start of any venture, but steady, hard work wins the day; 4) develop a practice to consistently work towards your goals; 5) get strategic about everything you do; and 6) get out there and build and nurture your network.

All of the above represent a shift in thinking and priorities.  You might be surprised that in a matter of months your career trajectory can shift dramatically for the better when you fix your thinking and align your actions to these more powerful perspectives….

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