Lifestyle coach and founder of #Goals and The Confident Creative Goal-Setting Planner, Niamh Crawford-Walker helps creative people realise their career dreams. Speaking to nijobfinder she shares her advice on power planning and how to use the events of 2020 as an opportunity rather than a setback.
2020 has thrown us all a real curveball, especially in the career department. As a career curveball, this could have easily sent us into a tailspin. But what if we could use it to our advantage? What if instead of entering the panic zone, we took time to get creative with our career plans? As Jenny Blake writes in her book, Pivot, what if we took time to see the new career change landscape as a normal, expected, part of a revolution ripe with opportunity?
Here’s how to use this curveball to catapult you to career success during a pandemic
Ready, set, reflect
One of the best-kept secrets to success is the power of planning from the perspective of reflection, paying close attention to things that worked well for you in the past, successful projects that energised you and projects that felt draining or unfulfilling. This will help reveal strengths and prompt ideas for where you’d like to go next with your career.
If nothing else, this pandemic has given us the gift of time with our own thoughts. Take that time and really get to know the ideas and dreams you have for your future. What’s the big picture vision you’re building for yourself? Consider all aspects of your dream life – work, friends, family, health, home, finances.
Creating that big picture vision for yourself makes it easier to map out more immediate steps that will help you get there. Think about it like a road trip. Without a destination in mind, how can you start planning the route? It’s not impossible but it’s certainly much harder and takes a lot longer.
Think about the best version of yourself in the future. How do you start your day? How do you spend the day? How do you get to work? What are you working on right now? What are the projects you’re most excited about? Are you more creative? Are you a leader? How does it feel to go about your day?
Once you’ve built up that vision of your dream life and career, break it down into more tangible goals that once you’ve achieved them, will come together to make that future vision a reality. Breaking down your long-term vision like this makes your bigger goals feel much more tangible and allows you to create a step-by-step process for making them happen.
Make it happen
All that’s left to do is put your goals into action. Identify which of your goals is your main focus right now. Get creative with how you can achieve that goal. Ask yourself; what can I do right now to move forward with my career? What’s the easiest thing I could do to move forward? When will I do it? What needs to be there to support me in this goal?
Think about who you could ask for help. What resources are available to you that will help you achieve your goal and start working towards your dream career?
Lastly, let go of the pressure. You don’t need to have all of the answers right now. You don’t have to get it totally right. It’s ok to make mistakes along the way, so long as you commit to consistent action towards building your dream career. Treat any mistakes as valuable feedback and turn any perceived pressure into permission to have fun on route to achieving your goals. If you made landing your dream job a total adventure, how would that change your approach? Remember that the best way to handle any curveball is with curiosity – what if this was actually the best thing to happen to your career?
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