By Janice Burch, Executive Resume Writer, Career Coach, Co-Owner at Pro Resume Center, LLC
One day we may wake up and discover we have avoided living most of our lives in the manner we wanted because of the excuses we told ourselves.
My favorite show is on tonight.
I'm too tired after work to do anything else.
I am too old to start that or learn that.
I like my downtime.
Learn – at my age?
I won't ever be able to achieve that – why start?
Eh, that will take too much of my time. I can’t squeeze in another thing.
Ya know, I think I’ll just settle. This is not what I want to do, but it’s not so bad, really…it’s a paycheck, right?
Does any of this sound familiar?
Tick tock. Tick tock.
Time keeps marching on – and you keep making the same choice to not take action toward your dream job, goals or plans.
Ponder on this: The only thing we really have control of – is time.
How we choose to spend it rests in our own corner. Being too busy for something important is a choice.
We can blame all we want on surroundings, circumstances, demands and more, but in the end, we truly do have the ability to master our time and design our days to be sure we can do the things we need to do to further ourselves, help our families, build value on the job, get in shape or find a new job or career. Will it always be easy? Nope. In fact, some days it may seem darn near impossible but that cycle we all fall into of — I don't have time to pursue that right now — can last for decades if you don't take control.
It comes down to how bad you want to change and prioritizing it in your life.
Give yourself the gift of time
We often excel at making time to build up others, be there for a friend, listen to a colleague’s issues, meet deadlines for a boss or demanding client, raise a hand to help with a project or volunteer at our kids’ school to lead this or plan that.
But when was the last time you made one of YOUR goals a priority in your life and actually said “Sorry, can’t do that for you now” to others’ requests, in order to focus on your personal and career path and goals?
I am NOT saying put kids, spouse, family, and friends behind career. I am a single mom and raised my children physically and financially on my own since they were both toddlers. Every moment I spent with them as they grew was and is a gift and the job choices I made during their early years rested purely on my #1 goal – to be able to provide for them and be available – present – at home as their mom. This choice meant I was often writing for the newspaper late into the evening after they went to bed and addressing editor notes at 3 a.m. But it was a choice I made and I was grateful to have a flexible editor because at the time, working remotely, from home, was not a thing. They made an exception.
But after more than half a century of living and 30 years of career experience, I AM saying it is important to establish milestones you want to make to further your career or business. Then treat your goals with the same respect you would had you promised delivery on a project or results to a boss or client or a friend. Would you keep making excuses to a client as to why you weren’t able to get them their proposal by the deadline or deliver their campaign in time for their new product launch? I doubt it. Because you are a professional of your word.
Explore Your Options
Perhaps you have always wanted to take a class or get another degree. There are options out there even if you have little time or little money. Look into it. Grants, scholarships and financial aid await the continuing education student and online classes and programming will give you the flexibility you need to work it in between your other priorities like family, current job or a social schedule. Check into your current employer’s benefit program as they may offset your tuition costs for returning to school or getting certification in something that may be useful in your career.
Maybe you want to explore another type of career or starting a business, but find you have little time to do so? Network. Read. Learn. Research. Take some weekend time or take a vacation day from work and spend it exploring your options. Try to make connections on LinkedIn with someone who is doing what you want to do and then pick their brain, do an informational interview, ask them to lunch or coffee. Discover what you need to do in order to get qualified for that next career choice. It’s all in your hands.
Where do you want to be?
If you don’t start taking action toward your future today, when will you? Tomorrow or next month is the easy reach for most of us. Many of us are skilled at the art of procrastination especially when it comes to doing things for ourselves vs. others.
Don’t wait any longer. Fire your old self and hire a new you to take charge of your career.
Carve out 30 minutes each day and claim it as your own. Make it yours to do the things you need to do in order to get from here to there in three months, six months, a year or five years. Find a quiet spot, turn off your phone, the television, and laser in on your plan for today and take daily action that will lead you to tomorrow’s success.
Time – it’s always fleeting but it’s all we really control. Every single day we choose how we use it. It’s there – until of course, it’s gone.
So – tell me. What are you going to do right now, tonight or tomorrow to get further toward your goals? In the midst of all the other demands in your life, will you carve out the time you need for you?
Pro Resume Center, LLC offers world-class career support services, from exceptional resume and materials writing to career coaching and interview coaching. We provide one-on-one consultations with EVERY purchase, connecting you with experienced, seasoned professionals who understand how to strategically position you for job search success. To find out why Pro Resume Center, LLC is the best choice to help with your job search CLICK HERE.