Forget The How, Focus On What

Published: April 24, 2012
By: Faye Hollands

If you’ve been contemplating a career change, but don’t know how or what, it’s critical to get your head engaged first so that you don’t find yourself stuck in the same boring career this time next year!   The key to getting your brain working FOR you, and not against you, lies in knowing your left from your right.  Let me explain…

Ready, Steady, GO!

Ideally, when thinking about a career change, you really want the experimental right hand side of your brain to kick in because that’s the side that lets us be creative and truly think about what we want to do.  The right hand side of your brain is where 95% of your untapped potential lies and it has the ability to imagine, take risks, see the fun things and be curious.

However, what can and often tends to happen, is that the logical left hand side of your brain jumps into action very quickly as soon as you allow yourself to start contemplating something new.  The left hand side of your brain is the side that keeps you safe – it makes sense of the things you’re thinking and feeling, it follows rules, avoids doing the wrong thing, and punishes itself for making mistakes and imperfections.

So to put this into context, you might start thinking about what you’d LOVE to do professionally and all the exciting career options potentially available to you, but then all of a sudden you stop and start contemplating HOW you would make those things actually happen.

Before you know it you’ve forgotten about all the exciting options out there in the big wide world,  and instead you’re back at square one with a career that’s safe and ‘makes sense’ to you because it’s what you know – a.k.a. your comfort zone (which isn’t always comfortable!).

As you can imagine, if you let yourself be ruled by the left hand side of your brain 100% of the time you’ll find yourself living permanently within your comfort zone, a dangerous place to be if you want to progress personally and professionally.

As a Career Coach I regularly meet people who have let the left hand side of their brain kick in and stop them from creating a career they love.  The safe side of their brain has shut down all the options they had, or would have liked to explore, and instead they’re bogged down and feeling trapped in their current career.

So one of the first steps you need to take when you think you want to change jobs is to get the right hand side of your brain working and to explore what your ideal career and lifestyle looks like.

If you truly want to carve out a career that you’re excited and enthused about then you have to readjust the balance so that the experimental side of your brain is allowed to kick back in.  To help you do that follow these simple steps: –

  1. Play Time: Get a big piece of paper & lots of coloured pens – this is a creative exercise designed to engage the right side of your brain so it’s important to release your inner child and have some fun with this.  Ruled A4 paper and black biro’s are banned!
  2. Imagine: Draw a picture of what your ideal career and lifestyle looks like to you,  ideally using images rather than words where possible.  The idea is to get down on paper all of the great ideas that are swirling around inside your mind and all the images you have of the life you would like to lead.  Don’t hold back – as long as you believe that what you’re drawing and writing are possibilities then that’s all you need to worry about.  And if you’re not sure on what your next ideal job looks like, just imagine elements of it like workings hours, industry, location, team, salary … and so on.   The more detail you can build up the closer you will get to identifying the next steps for you.
  3. Remember: Whilst you’re doing this exercise it’s important to think about WHAT you want and not HOW you’re going to achieve it – the how comes later!
  4. Invest:  Make sure you set aside at least an hour to do this, in a quiet place where you can let your mind wander and invest quality time in really exploring what you want your life to look like.

This exercise is not about reality, it’s about creating possibility and exploring options.  Importantly, focus on WHAT you want, and forget HOW you’re going to achieve it.  Yes, the ‘how’ is important, but only when you know WHAT you want (and it’s amazing how the ‘how’ becomes so much easier when you’ve identify something you REALLY want!).

By allowing yourself to simply consider what you would truly like to do, you will create options and possibilities that you can start work on.  You might not find yourself in those particular jobs, but by taking the blinkers off you will create ideas and opportunities that you probably hadn’t explored before.

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Written by Faye Hollands – Director at Outshine Consulting and Busy Working Mumma. Faye is an accomplished Career Coach, Small Business Coach and Productivity Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success.

To receive your FREE MP3 download of Faye’s popular teleseminar ‘How To Create A Career You Love‘ and weekly articles to improve your career, business and time management skills click here.

You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email fayehollands@outshineconsulting.com

Faye Hollands

About Faye Hollands

Faye is an accomplished Career Coach, Small Business Coach and Productivity Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success. To receive weekly articles to improve your career, business and time management skills click here or book your Free Focus Session here.

You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email fayehollands@outshineconsulting.com

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