Well, it’s happened again. The relentless wheel of history has rolled into another season, and that’s actually a pretty positive thing because every new season is a great reason to look at what you are doing, decide what needs to change, and set some strategic goals that will get you where you want to be.
Look At What You Are Doing
It doesn’t matter if we are talking about your job search, your workplace, or the balance between your home and career. Everyone needs to look at what they are currently doing and see the good points along with the bad. Write it down and celebrate what is working for you, even if there are some scary situations you need to deal with soon.
Decide What Needs To Change
Even a small change can make a big difference in how your workday goes, and doing some updates in your LinkedIn profile or resume will be good investments that give profitable returns. Perhaps deciding that each child does one activity at a time will give everyone some margin in their lives. You don’t need to change everything (particularly if it’s working well) but changing something around is like a breath of fresh air.
Set Some Strategic Goals
Where do you want to be ten years from now? How about next year? Are there steps that can begin to get you there? Many times a career coach can help you figure out which steps will get you there, and what will be a sidetrack you regret. If you are not sure what you need to be doing now in order to reach your goals, get some advice from people who have made it to where you’d like to be. Even if you decide not to take their advice, it gives you a better idea of what is involved.
A change in the season is always fun because it’s an excuse to mix it up a little bit, but it also is an excellent reason to revamp your strategies for success.
This is the time of year when people suddenly realize the sun is shining and they are sick — sick of being inside. That doesn’t happen as severely if you have a few plans for time off to just regenerate yourself by doing nothing in particular, but if your life is planned down to the hour seven days a week, it will implode when a new thing is added to your script.
Plan For Margins
Every wise plan has margins. You can plan out a business goal, plan your job search, plan your vacation, etc., but you can’t plan what will happen when it hits real life. Now is a good time to look at your plans for the summer, when the vacation schedules collide with the work load, and decide how to make it fit together without making your life an unending series of urgent commitments.
I like to think of margins as the white space around the words on the page. If every spot on this page were filled with words, I’d have more information crammed into the space, but it would not be effective because nobody would read and retain it.
How To Plan Your Work Margins
That’s the way our plans work. We need margins around our careers and workdays in order to make them effective. We need to schedule a few days off where nothing is planned on a regular basis, particularly if we have lots of people in our lives. Kids are really good at interrupting plans with sudden illnesses, for instance, but they are not the only ones who interrupt a schedule.
Planning days to slow down helps the rest of your plans go together because it gives a margin for sudden illness.
Planning days to slow down helps the rest of your plans go together because it gives margin for contemplation.
Planning days to slow down helps the rest of your plans go together because it gives margin for regrouping and getting back on track.
If you are having a hard time planning wisely, maybe you should consider talking to a mentor or career coach to get a bigger perspective on your life. Without a plan, you can have a full calendar and be exhausted with nothing to show for your effort. With a plan, you are going to see the full days on your calendar move you to your goals. With margins built into your plan, you will see things more clearly and be ready to meet the challenges with a smile.
Many times, we set our goals using the wrong data. We have dreams of a certain job or lifestyle, but the steps it will take us to get there in reality are nebulous. The Job Search Resources page has a number of tools for your use, and the variety of salary calculators listed there will give you real help.
Using a salary calculator to find the reasonable expectations for what your job should pay gives you the range of salaries you can expect for that job. Location, skill set, education, and experience can be factored in. That means you can look at where you currently are and decide if there are steps you can take to get to where you want to be:
Is this the field you want to stay in?
Can you meet your financial obligations with your current salary? How about the top range of salary in your bracket?
Are there other, higher paying jobs within this field (or others) that interest you?
Do you have the skills, education, or experience to reach that level?
What practical steps can you take today to gain the skills, education, or experience you need to reach your goals?
The salary calculator is simply a tool that equips you with facts. You can print out a graph or data sheet showing what your level of experience in your location should reasonably be paid and show it during salary negotiations. You can answer confidently when an interview question about salary expectations comes up. At the same time, you have a reality check about the job market.
Like any tool, this one is only as effective as the person using it, but the person using it can learn how to use it properly to get great benefit from it. Your goals are achievable with the right tools!
Guest Post-"Economy Update: Stop Feeding the Beast of Fear Within"
Kendall SummerHawk is a million-dollar marketing coach and author of the book, “Brilliance Unbridled”. She teaches consultants, speakers, coaches, and small business owners to manage their businesses smartly while following their soul’s desire.
I was “introduced” to Kendall last year and have been a big fan ever since. She isn’t just for business owners, but for everyone who wants to succeed in what they do. She talks about our pre-programmed MO-ney mindsets and how to change our thoughts about money–creating more and receiving it. Her “bold money goal” helped me triple my income in a year. You need to sign up for her free newsletter. It is fantastic!
Look for more guest posts from Kendall in the future. Love this woman! Here she is: Kendall SummerHawk.
“The recent economic news is truly scaring the you-know-what out of people. The reason is not the “facts” presented by the media, but because underneath those facts is the thinly veiled threat that on an individual level, our personal safety and security is at jeopardy.
The news triggers fear that has been lying dormant in us, like a beast, just waiting to be fed. This beast grows stronger with every passing news article, late-breaking t.v. spot or report of more workers affected by the actions of a few greedy, short-sighted people.
The beast of fear keeps us down. It gnaws at our confidence like a dog on a bone. It whispers in our ear that to be afraid is to be safe. It wants us to worry because when we do, it grows stronger.
But the beauty of the beast is that it is, right now, providing us with the perfect opportunity to eradicate your fear, once and for all. Your fear doesn’t serve you, it only serves the beast.
This is a time not just in our nation’s history, but in your own personal history, to strengthen your core faith in who you are, what you bring to the world and in life itself.
My clients are continuing to make great mo-ney (one just signed on two new clients worth $10,000 EACH who both paid in full!) because they listen to their heart, where the beast can’t live. They listen to me, because they know I will always tell them the truth. And the truth is, that shrinking back from investing in yourself and your business will only feed the beast and will keep you from being paid (and paid well) for and fulfilling your Soul’s Divine Purpose.
So turn off the news, stop feeding the beast and instead look for signs of prosperity, abundance and success. They are everywhere and I challenge you to find FIVE such signs every day!”
+++++ “Would you like to learn more simple ways entrepreneurs can brand, package and price their services to quickly move away from ‘dollars-for-hours work’ and create more money, time, and freedom in their businesses? Check out my web site, https://www.KendallSummerHawk.com, for free articles, free resources and to sign up for my free audio mini-seminar “7 Simple Steps to Create Your Multiple Streams of In-come “Money and Soul” Business.” Award-winning small business expert Kendall SummerHawk is the “Million Dollar Marketing Coach.”
Alright. I’m just going to admit it and put it out there. I hate New Years Resolutions. Just those 3 words make me feel like a failure… I know that I’m going to say I will do something and then after 2 days of effort, quit doing it and be mad at myself. Like dieting, or blogging, or not swearing (my vice). I just know I am going to fail.
This year, I’ve decided to try a different tactic. This year I will set up some SMALL ATTAINABLE GOALS. Now, those are 3 little words I can deal with. Small attainable goals implies that I can really do it. I can meet small goals. Little groupings of goals. Like, instead of “I want to lose 20 pounds by January 31”, I will say, “I will lose a pound or two a week until I like how my jeans are fitting”. Doesn’t that feel better? I like it. I can handle a pound or two a week. I can blog a couple of times a week, versus my “resolution” of every day. That is too much and frankly, feels unattainable deep down. So, I know this now and will take a different route.
People put way too much pressure on themselves this time of year. “I will job search every day and find the perfect job by Jan. 15”. That is a lot of pressure especially if already in a job, and really don’t have the time to search that much. Maybe you could say, “I will do my best to put the word out every few days that I am looking for a new job. I will remember to tell my barber, the people at the coffee shop, the guy in the elevator, and will update my LinkedIn profile and make a huge effort on that site” etc. Don’t you feel better already? In my experience, small attainable goals are the ones I really have achieved. So, sit down and make a “SMALL ATTAINABLE GOALS” list and be happy with yourself.