I can imagine the scene: as you go back to work this week, this first week of 2016, your first thought is, “What the heck was I working on before the holidays?” And then that is quickly replaced by, “If I am still doing this job in _____ (June? April? Next January?) I am going to wallow in a puddle of pinot grigio for all time.”
Why? Because you’re tired of hating this merry-go-round you’ve found yourself riding on, as if an unwitting part of a horror movie on repeat where you can’t get off, but nothing you’ve done to date has worked. So by March or so, you give up and resign yourself to the fact that summer is around the corner and you might as well enjoy that….and then it’s fall and then the holidays and then…
WHAM, it’s 2017!
Ok, so that horror movie-esque situation does not have to play out. There IS a way, and I’m gonna share it with you. So again, this article is for people who are unwavering in their commitment to change in 2016. If you’re still on the fence, the following will most likely NOT work for you (and that’s ok, but seek out some advice from a coach or an article on that first).
I do this particular thing for my business goals, thanks to my wonderful business strategist and I’m going to show you how to adapt it for your personal career goals (or any other goal for that matter!)
What’s your career goal for the year?
Be as specific as you can be. Maybe it’s “be IN a new career” or “Figure out what it is that I want to transition to this year” or “Quit my job outright and take time off to be intentional about my next move”. Whatever it is, write it down. (I recommend a tool like Evernote to organize and track everything.)
What is the 60-Day Goal?
Life and your full-time job can get in the way, so let’s not rush this, but let’s not make it last all year either. 60 days is a good medium term length of time that’s manageable but not too nebulous. Let’s say the yearly goal is to be IN a new career by first quarter 2017, to continue with the example above. Like, I’m talking LEAVE your industry and DO something else entirely (think ‘financial services event planner turned career coach’—ie me!)
What do you need to do first? A natural starting place is to think of options for new careers that might be exciting- no decision making yet! So the 60 day goal could be to think of options and start exploring them.
What is the Weekly Goal?
So in 60 days there are approximately 8 weeks (I’m a genius!). This means that at the beginning of the next 8 weeks- maybe Sunday evening as you’re preparing for your week- and think about what needs to happen that week for you to feel there’s progress, but also that it’s doable and not too much with what else you have going on that week. And yes, if a project for work is due one week, there may be lighter weeks during this 60-day period. That’s ok, but don’t make it the norm.
Carrying on with our example above, perhaps it’s evaluating what you’re good at and what your interests are. Perhaps it’s evaluating what your values are. (All of these things are important and should we done during a career change.) Commit to a couple of hours of deep work the first couple of weeks each week and mark the time in your calendar for when you can do it so you have the ‘accountability’ of it in your calendar and a reminder. (I also do this with my exercise. Works wonders!) You’ll start to see as you move through the process that you’ll do more and more deeper work and because you’ve committed to start small and manageable, it doesn’t feel so onerous.
Make sure you re-evaluate the weekly goals EVERY WEEK! It’s ok if something spills over from the previous week. As you get better at managing your time and understanding how long things can take, it will happen less and less. Or you’ll be more and more comfortable with it.
If you’re committed to a complete career change and all of this sounds good but you’re not sure how you’re going to muster it all, I am running the 30(ish) Day Swift Kick in the Pants online bootcamp, starting at the end of January. So use the next 3ish weeks to start thinking about the steps above and join me here. I will take you through your career change in a small, supportive, private community.
There is some early bird pricing available now for the next few days, so snag your spot here.