Stop Thinking and Start Doing
We all have goals that we want to achieve in our lives. These goals may include learning a new language, eating healthier and losing weight, becoming a better parent, saving more money, and so on. But there’s a point when you need to stop planning these goals and start working towards them.
“Always [make] sure you’re doing little experiments every day to move yourself forward on the things you’re interested in.”
In other words: in order to do, do. Let’s Experiment a bit using strategies like these:
Sample Different Career Options
Volunteer for a nonprofit organization whose cause is important to you. Try a few temp assignments or freelance projects that will expose you to new people doing new activities. Take a part-time internship in a new industry to see what the work is like.
The more you test new career options on a smaller, less-risky scale, the more you’ll learn about career opportunities, Ibarra says. You’ll have a greater chance of discovering that one of them is a good fit for you.
Talk to People Outside Your Circle
The people you’re closest to might unknowingly limit you when you’re trying to chart a new career path. If you’re an accountant, for example, the people around you might tell you to simply look for another accounting job. At best, they might advise you to seek another job that involves number crunching.
“You need to find different people to talk to,” Mitchell says. “Find people who are willing to hear you out and move you toward your vision without reaching conclusions too quickly.”
Focus on Job Activities, Not Job Titles
In their book, Krumboltz and Levin tell of a woman who decided she wanted to be an art director for an advertising agency. She became so intent on landing that exact job that she turned down several offers to do similar work at other companies. The result: She remained stuck.
“The notion of declaring an occupational goal can give you tunnel vision and prevent you from selecting alternatives you might hear about along the way,” Krumboltz says. Focus on the job activities and conditions you’re looking for rather than a specific job title.
If you can simply do, then get to do. If you sometimes struggle to do, make a few changes to make doing easier. Spend less time passively learning and more time actively practicing. Stop thinking and start doing.