The New Year is already here which implies a fresh set of resolutions, or maybe for some, a refresh on this year’s unmet goals. According to Google data, the top three new year resolutions in 2017 were to “get healthy, get organised, and live life to the fullest” (full report here).
It’s no secret that new year resolutions are the worst kept promises in the world (*not scientifically proven), so maybe you have stopped participating in this global tradition altogether. However, I believe there is still merit to be found in setting aside time to reflect on the past twelve months of your life and envision where the next twelve months may be heading.
Naturally, part of this reflection will include reviewing your career, especially if you spend a significant portion of your waking hours at work. Some questions you might ask yourself are: ‘Am I engaged at work?’, ‘Am I the best at what I do?’, ‘Is my work providing any value to others?’
If you are in the midst of a pivotal career change, a midlife crisis, or you simply want to challenge yourself in 2018, here are some pointers to help you unearth your career passion, and some unconventional advice on how to stick with your resolutions for longer than 3 weeks.
Competence and flow
You will find your passion where competence and flow intersect. Competence is being highly skilled at something, meaning, you are objectively good at doing this thing and you have results to prove it. Meanwhile, flow is the effortless execution of your special skill. Whenever you perform this activity you are ‘in the zone’ and experience a feeling of energised focus, you enjoy the process of working so ‘time flies’.
Action: Jot down all the things you are good at (maybe ask a friend to fact check), then think of all the times you experienced ‘flow’ as I described above. You might think a lot of things on your list aren’t viable career paths, but try to be as open minded as possible to avoid limiting your own opportunities. Finally, look for overlaps on your two lists. Did any of these particularly stand out as potential career passions?
Don’t focus on your goal
To achieve your resolution, do not focus on your goal. Wait, what? I know. This goes against every self-help article and video I have ever come across until Reggie Rivers’ TEDx Talk here. He explains that writing out your goals, sticking it on your desk and looking at it constantly does nothing to help you progress. If you want to accomplish anything, you need to start focusing on the process and your behaviour because the outcome of your goal is out of your control, especially when it involves other people.
For example, if your goal is to establish a successful business with 100 customers in the first month – keep track of the numbers, but don’t give it the spotlight. Shift your attention to creating and developing pipelines that will lead you to acquire your first 100 customers.
Action: Think of your goal and separate what you ultimately want from what you can do now. Create a roadmap of the process to achieving your resolution and refer to that throughout the year instead of the goal itself.
Ask for help
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Like the old saying goes, “two brains are better than one”. Talking it out with someone you trust or someone who is more experienced than you can relieve a lot of unnecessary frustration. In a previous blog post, Indar wrote about his struggle to lift up and see the bigger picture because he was working so closely with the intricate details of his business (full post here).
If you are serious about pursuing your career passion, moments of doubt and negativity are bound to happen but having another perspective can help you push through that fog and allow you to take away the lessons that need to be learnt.
Action: Before you give up on your new year resolutions or make any drastic life changes, talk to someone about it. And if you want to talk careers, check out our site and sign up for a chance to win a FREE 30 minute session with Indar (Founder of Workspired), who can help you identify your passion rapidly.