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Working the wait

Take this forced pause to reassess your career and thrive in the next normal

By Wavebreakmedia
By Wavebreakmedia

As the recent pandemic surge keeps us all on hold, it is time we reexamine our productive lives and rethink the ways we act on, contribute to and impact the world. That is directly related to the type of job we choose to dedicate our lives to while selling the 9-5 working-hours, which is the majority of our awake lives as we enter adulthood.

For a number of us, in someway, our careers were thought-through. We chose to graduate in something we understood was akin to our abilities, we committed years to our education and preparedness for the work and, at last, probably elected a position in which we believed we would be successful. Up to then, no problem with that, this is what we were taught: to aim for achievements, money, recognition from our community. 

And then, something such as the coronavirus outbreak happens. Millions of lives are very badly affected, economies shut down and some questions rise: am I successful? What is success for me, after all this? Is what I am doing fulfilling enough? We are compelled to rethink. And here lies a great opportunity for reflection and redirection of our lives’ course.

In my case, for a while, I had not considered my long term career goals. What do I want to be doing in ten years time? What is the legacy I want to leave behind? How many lives do I want to have impacted through my direct engagement, job, words, money and all the other ways I can afford to be useful in my existence?

The career path we choose is one of the best ways to be effective in the lives of people we gather around us across life and we should not take that fact for granted. Let’s do ourselves the favor of making choices that will intently provoke change to the areas we feel must be different when we all can finally get back to the next normal. 

As I took a 20 days vacation in May, I was able to reevaluate. Perhaps you will not be able to have this time off, so I will try and shorten the way, sharing with you what steps I followed.

How do you see yourself 10 years from now?

Firstly, envision your life in 2030. What do you see? Is it clear for you already? Or do you have to work on the vision? 

Considering initiatives you believe should thrive after this lock up period, what kind of institution will you want to be involved with? A company or other such as a school, university, non-profit or public organisation? Note all your answers down. Do not proceed to the next step before having a very clear picture of what you want to be doing then.

Ask relevant building up questions

Following that, come back to today. What do you need to do now in order to get there? What abilities do you already have that you could be using and strengthening right now? What are the ones you will need to acquire? In what ways will you do that? Do you need formal education? What kind of sources of information should you be following and learning from?

List baby steps

After that, start your small list of next actions you should take. No matter how tinny they are, each time you cross one of them out, you will feel more motivated and closer to your purpose.

Connect to the right people for you now

Finding the people to invite on the journey is the subsequent thing that will help you get feedback and eventually achieve your long term career plan. 

Very often, who we need to be close to are people we already know personally. Start with them. Reconnect and share the process you are going through, ask for their comments and rewrite your strategy as you feel fit.

Next, look for people out of your reach who have already impacted your life. They could be authors of books, professionals or leaders whose ideias you came about, anyone you think is important to have by your side. Relate to them on social media, send all of them a message saying what is going on and how you believe they could help. You never know who could respond. 

Speaking for myself, Arianna Huffington (Founder and CEO of Thrive Global) was one of them. She did respond to my e-mail and offered me a solution I was not even considering at the time and that is why you have now access to this article.

Take action right away. 

Send me a direct message here if you feel I can be of help, I will also respond. #Let’sGrow

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