When Career Goals Seem Impossible

Many of us are unsatisfied at work. It's tempting to pride ourselves on our resilience, and just keep on, keepin' on; however, the challenges at work tend to get worse, not better, so the question becomes: "How long will my resilience hold out?"

You might as well get prepared to rip off that bandaid and consider something better. You don't have to travel clear across the ocean, however to get to better shores! A better job might be right where you're standing, with just a little effort.

The trick is to identify a target, even if it's right in your current workplace: what would be a more satisfying career for you, one that you could visualize attaining? Don't make it too crazy hard, or too easy - something with plausibility, but also one that stretches you outside of your comfort zone (otherwise the shore you arrive at will be too similar to the one you're standing on!).

Once you identify a target, you've now given yourself a "point" on your horizon to travel towards (this is much preferable to wandering around aimlessly in the sea of your career troubles!).

With a destination in mind, now you can backtrack to where you're standing and plot a course. As an analogy, the video above talks about a workout goal I had: to run at 6% incline on the treadmill for 6 minutes. This was in the middle of an already difficult workout, so my resources felt depleted, and I questioned my ability to make it (plausible, but definitely would make me uncomfortable AND was stretching my capabilities to do so (the perfect balance to strike with any career goal)!).

As I started into the 6 minutes, my resolve got weaker and weaker (imagine being at sea and finding that after a days' travel, your chosen target on the horizon seems no closer), so what do you do? I realized I didn't have to keep focusing on the target. Now that I had a target, I could backtrack and make benchmarks along the way to focus on instead.

Making benchmarks towards any destination does 2 things: it focuses your thinking on a much more "doable" task, and you realize that your current level of resources only have to take you to the benchmark, not the final destination, so you have more confidence in them. (We all know that confidence is KEY in achieving any goal, so why not give yourself a little boost with a series of benchmarks to help you along the way towards your final destination?!)

As in my situation, once you reach each benchmark successfully, your confidence builds and your resources seemingly extend enough to be able to handle the next benchmark as well (don't make the mistake of immediately focusing on your final destination, upon achieving your 1st benchmark...keep using those benchmarks to pull both you and your resources along!

Before you know it, you will have "arrived" at your "final destination!" But I can't stop there...I've gotta ask you...have you really arrived? Is this really your final destination??

More later!

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