Avoid Drift & Make Decisions
Well folks — what uncertain and, quite frankly, scary times we face. Nothing compared to those who are currently fleeing their homes desperately trying to find safety.
When facing that decisions need to be made almost instantly — it really is a matter of life or death.
What about when the slightly less doom laden decisions though? I’m not talking about what socks to wear or what you may have for lunch. I am talking about pretty big ones — possibly even life changing decisions that we face from time to time.
Some of us plan everything to the nth’ degree (I have a very dear friend who runs her life off of a Trello board) whereas others of us just go with the flow.
Neither is wrong or right, however, I am finding an increased number of people coming to me wanting more structure to their life, especially to their career journeys. There is an element of wanting to take back control with their progression as well as creating their ideal (or as close to ideal as possible) working life.
Some of us had a sweet taste of more balance during the pandemic, many of us did not and nearly broke due to the demands we faced.
Whatever situation you were in — as we come out of this (fingers crossed) many people are wanting to redesign the ways in which they work and live.
They want life work balance, more fulfilment from their jobs, to believe in what they are doing and to work with purpose.
- How did you come to do what you do now?
- Did you set out on a structured career path?
- Are the subject choices you made at 16 years old still relevant to what you do now?
The reason I ask these questions is that the number one statement I hear from clients is “I fell into this role by accident” If you are echoing that then you may want to take a step back and assess what you are doing and where you are going before you allow ‘drift’ to carry you to waters you do not wish to swim in.
I worked hard — really hard to be an actor. I was not good enough nor emotionally strong enough to cope in the industry. I then ‘fell into’ the world of events and then I drifted. Don’t get me wrong I wasn’t coasting along — I was working damn hard (too hard — burnout hit me) but I had no direction. Which, when I wanted to leave that company and industry I had no idea what I wanted to do nor what I could do.
So many of my clients come to me frustrated because they are not progressing yet they believe that mere hard work will lead them to where they want to go. That their boss has a telepathic notion of the position they want to be in. That their ideal organisation will drop them ‘the’ message on LinkedIn asking them to join in their perfect role.
They are working really hard and are super focused on the here & now that they have lost perspective on their future.
To avoid this state or to stop drifting ask yourself these 3 questions:
- Where do you want to be? This is in both life and work; What do you want in your life? What kind of career do you want to have? Here you will create and visualise the ideal for you. Allow yourself to dream here, no ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’ allowed at this stage as this is where you are creating your purpose and passion for what you want.
- Where are you in relation to where you want to be? Be realistic here and assess your current situation in detail. 2 years of a pandemic has not helped anyone but think about the full picture. These are your life and career priorities — the areas of your life you want to improve and focus on. Get them clear in your mind and have them at the forefront of everything you do.
- What can you do to bridge that gap between where you are now and where you want to be? This may seem like a huge step but break it down into smaller steps — create your action plan to get there.
- What do you need to stop doing/saying/thinking to help you get to your ideal? You may have to break a bad habit in order to create a good one first. Consider what is holding you back or stopping you from progressing and plan on how to overcome that.
To help you with this plan write everything down — whether that’s a Trello or Miro board, spreadsheets, app or plain ol’ pen & paper — just start thinking and writing.
Here are are few more questions to open up all of the opportunities available to you:
- What one thing can you do that will make the most significant difference?
- What is the easiest thing you can do to take you one step closer to your ideal?
- What is a quick win? Literally something that you can do in the next 24 hours
Think big and extreme here — your answers may be ‘impossible’ solutions, however, by exploring the impossible we invariably find what is possible and what we can do.
As Thomas Edison stated:
When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this — you haven’t.
You have your plan and you are up and running — marvellous work. But then you are faced with a choice. Dammit! Perhaps 2 companies you have longed to work for offer you a role. Or that promotion you have coveted suddenly becomes available but it means you will need to relocate. Perhaps you have found your dream job but the salary is laughably low.
Here is when you can employ the 10:10:10 formula. This works when there are only 2 to 3 alternative outcomes:
Take each outcome one at a time and imagine that you just made that choice, to the exclusion of the other option(s).
Now write down all the possible consequences of that decision:
- In 10 minutes
- In 10 months
- In 10 years
Repeat the above with each of your outcome choices and assess which one works the best for you.
If you have more than just a few solutions then consider the Best Case Scenario, Worst Case Scenario & the Most Likely Case Scenario. For each of your potential solutions map out the best and worst case scenarios for making that decision. Then consider what will most likely happen if you went down that route. How do you like each outcome? What is the most positive ‘Most Likely Case Scenario? And how can you make it happen?
Lots of questions today folks, yet helpful ones. When I work with clients I ask them to work through avoiding drift first and we then use sessions to explore their options, how they can make better decisions which are fully informed.
When it comes to making better decisions we invariably allow our ego to get in the way. Start thinking all of the options through and instead of pride speaking up, start listening to your gut instinct and your rational mind. Chances are there will be cross overs and therefore solutions.
If not — then get yourself a coach on board to help you thrash it all out and find the best way forward for you.
For more help and direction with your career talk to Coach Kate: firstname.lastname@example.org / www.kate-bishop.co.uk