Are You Managing Your Career or is It Managing You?

In this day and age of careers, a great question to ask yourself is: “Are you managing your career or is it managing you?” Often, it seems that most people today (in history?) scramble and find a job; after all, isn’t that what we’re told? Making money is the goal in order to make our way in the world, which entails work.

A question for you – were you ever taught in school of what a career entails and how to go about deciding what it is that you wanted to do for a good portion of your life? Personally, no. I don’t recall one teacher who had us research careers and then how to go about finding the path that would lead me to finding fulfilling work. Now I had made a decision on a path but, as life circumstances get in the way, the college I was going to attend had teachers who decided that they wanted more money and went on strike. This changed my whole path.

I found it was hit and miss in courses I took, not knowing what career I wanted to be in. So, from pushing by my mother and a desire to go away, I transferred to an out-of-state university and a new college path. Looking back, I only knew how exciting an advisor I had made this new major sound but, unfortunately for me, it never felt aligned with, even though I had successes in it. Until I started my own business.

My story is not uncommon; my office is near a major university so I get students who come in struggling with classes or feeling unhappy with their current state. Many chose their major due to a parental influence, or it sounded good (or friends who were going to pursue the same degree) but they now find themselves unfocused, having difficulty waking up to go to class and, sometimes, failing. I feel so sad for those who find themselves in this state who are about ready to graduate.

Sadder yet is that these stories are common among those already in the workplace, who find themselves in a job they don’t like or can’ figure out how to navigate to be successful. They often don’t like the work they do, finding it routine or boring; others want to move into a new role or up the ladder but feel there are no opportunities to do so; while another group can’t stand the people they work with or the overall culture of their department (or organization).

These examples are a big part of why our current engagement level continues to stay around 33% (Gallop, September 2017). People feel frustrated with their work, with their boss, with coworkers, with the time they have to spend in work, with not feeling they are paid enough, and not having enough time for themselves and their family. Essentially, they are allowing their career to manage them and their life.

Is it possible for one to manage their career? I emphatically say YES! There are many components that go into this but, once started, self-management becomes easier. Here are some components to consider:

  • Self-assessment/awareness: this entail fully owning your skills, abilities, aptitudes, values, beliefs, expectations, interests, to name a few. This helps you to know what you have to offer and your motivation to best manage how your career path goes
  • Awareness of your preferred work environment – not everyone aligns with how things are run in a business, no matter the size. Knowing the type of culture, i.e. the environment, values, and the way things are run, will lead to having more satisfaction.  Knowing yourself and how you act in situations is important to finding them; as an example, I thrive in busier and more active environments, where I can move around and interact with others so an organization that prohibits this type of movement will not work for me – this I know for sure
  • Goal setting is a critical component – where do you want to go in your career? Is it to be a CEO or VP, or other position? Perhaps it’s an industry you want to work in? Having that end-goal in front of you will lead you to investigate how you will go about getting there
  • Good actionable steps – these are the daily actions you will take as you work on the identified goals. This can include: working on a particular skill to get better at it, raising your hand to take on more challenging work so you get noticed for upward mobility, networking internally to get to know those who can move you up; it also can include ensuring your resume is up to date, looking for those internal opportunities, and working on your personal development.
  • Having a clear plan to follow – this means writing all of these steps down, so you can refer back to them frequently. I’ll tell you a story of a young, late twenty-something, gentleman who I was helping with his interviewing skills; he was going after a very high-level position with a retail giant. I was amazed at how far he was in his career at such a young age. He said that he started working for this company when he was 18 but knew that he wanted to move up every two years; he learned everything he could about the job he was doing in the first year, and then, in the second, he learned all he could about the position he was going for – he reached all his goals (and did get the position he was going for). He had a clear plan and followed  it.

Managing your career is not only empowering but your responsibility. Having control over your work-life will give you more control over you life overall; you will feel more empowered, more focused, and more motivated to go after what you say you want. I think identifying resources you may need is another part of the plan, i.e. a mentor, hiring a coach, as relying on others isn’t a bad thing in some situations. Don’t allow your career to manage you – take back control and get in charge of your career; you will be glad you did.

Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting focuses on workplace happiness and organizational success. If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started! http://www.cyscoaching.com or barbara@cyscoaching.com

How Will the Eclipse Affect You?

Today is the long-anticipated Solar Eclipse. Before today, I was just ho-hum about it but now that it’s here, I find myself feeling excited and with more energy. Can it be?


I’m sure I’m not alone in my feelings; we just have to look at the scores of people who have traveled to parts of the country where they will be in total darkness to see it. But I’m seeing people locally who are excited; ‘watch parties’ are being held on college campuses, libraries, and other locations to see this phenomenon. It’s crazy!

But, what effect will this have on you? Will there be? I don’t know but, just as when the full moon occurs or mercury retrograde, there may be some effect, such as energy fields, both positive and negative, or technology glitches. You might feel a bit ‘off’ in your work or daily routine. It’s important to pay attention to how you will feel during this time so it doesn’t adversely affect your mood or productivity.

I do see the eclipse having a very positive side in that it is bringing people together; it gives people something to talk about, which can relieve some of the negativity that has surrounded us lately.

Take time today to clear any negative energy; burn or purge any clutter – including mental; set your intentions for your future, along with clear, actionable goals to work on. Let this new energy take you to a new mindset and new direction. If anything, I feel more hopeful. Can you feel it?

To Achieve Goals, Focus on the End Result You Want

When a goal is set at the beginning of the year, it somehow gives a conviction to complete the goal with a renewed motivation towards completing it. However, most people don’t ever accomplish their goal, often losing the motivation, feeling frustrated, and giving up.

One way to avoid this is to focus on the end result – the goal you want to achieve. Give that goal clarity and a visual picture so your brain can “wrap itself” it. Once you have this picture in your mind, it is important to write the steps that will take you to this goal. Most people write a goal but never really plan the steps, or they make the steps seem unmanageable. Write your action steps in small increments so that your motivation and actions will be consistent. Use a planner, a white board or create a vision board to visually keep this goal in front of you. If you want to lose weight, for example, find a picture of yourself when you were at your goal weight, so you can focus on that picture.

Not being clear on what you want will set you up for failure. Once a goal is set, the next question usually is “How” – how am I going to complete the goal? This can prevent people from taking action. We can become so focused on all of the steps needed that they can seem impossible to achieve. Our brains, being the supercomputers that they are, sort and store information and the resources needed to complete goals. Taking yourself out of the equation and allowing yourself to “be” will lead you to the answer; the “how” will come. Sit in a space that gives calm and allow thoughts to come; also, don’t be afraid to think big. Keep the focus on the why as this is the driver of your actions. Big thinking leads to big actions.

Doing these steps, and focusing on the end result, will help you to keep motivated and in action mode and will take you closer to goal achievement. You have all the tools you need in your mind – use them to the fullest and you will achieve amazing results. It all starts with the end result.

Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting focuses on workplace happiness and organizational success. If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started! http://www.cyscoaching.com or barbara@cyscoaching.com

Hello world!

Welcome to my new website and blog home. I had to take my old site down due to a hacker/spammer. It may have been the death of my website but it didn’t keep me down. In fact, I had been ready for a change with my website but, if it wasn’t for this situation, I might still be using it and feeling unsatisfied.

This is a work in progress, as I’m still tweaking things. But, with the intent of getting my presence back, I am re-entering the world!

You can visit my current blog at www.allaboutcareerssite.com