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How well do you really know yourself?

 

The immediate answer for many people is “completely”, or sometimes just “what a stupid question, of course I know myself”.

But is it really a stupid question?

Of course, you do know yourself. Hopefully better than anyone. But how much of that are you really aware of, and do you realise how not knowing and not being able to articulate it may be seriously limiting your career.

Here’s Why!

You see, as human beings we operate very much from our conscious minds and for most situations this works extremely well for us. When you first learn to do something, you have to think about every step consciously in order to do it effectively. It could be driving a car, playing a sport or a musical instrument, or doing your job.

Once you’ve learnt it though, you’ve trained your subconscious mind and it can then deal with the mechanics of the activity without you needing to consciously think about it.

Now, you just jump in the car and drive, pick up the instrument and play, make that complicated tennis backhand, or do your job. You no longer have to think about the detail of how you do it. This leaves your conscious mind free to deal with decision making, being creative, responding to events, and so on.

It’s how we manage to function so well in the world and is therefore almost always really useful.

Except, that is, when it comes to managing your career.

Sure, you can just go with the flow and let it drift along. Indeed, that’s what many people do: nothing is bad enough to make them want to change. But equally, they aren’t all that happy.

Driving your career

Let’s take the analogy of a car. You set off and point it down the road in the direction you want to travel. If you notice someone driving, you’ll see that they keep tweaking the steering wheel as the car drifts towards the centre of the road or the kerb. That keeps them heading in the direction they want. If they took no action, eventually they’d hit the kerb on one side of the road or the other.

Your career is a bit like that, especially when you stay in an organisation for a while. Little changes come along and you absorb them because they are just small changes. But as these accumulate, your job drifts further and further away from your ideal. I see it with so many clients when they say things like “I haven’t really enjoyed my job for a couple of years now” or “I’ve been in a comfortable rut”.

In order to be a good driver in your career, and take the roads you want to take, you need to know yourself really well.

Action time

So, I’m going to invite you to treat your career a bit like someone driving a car and I’m going to give you the tools to do it:

1. Book a meeting with yourself once every couple of months

This is a great opportunity to review your work values (what it needs to do for you) and whether what you are doing is just right for you.

2. Treat it as the most important meeting with your most important client (you).

If someone asks to meet at the same time, tell them you already have a meeting that can’t be moved, and suggest an alternative.

3. Stay aware and take action

Notice if there have been small changes that are taking your job further away from your ideal. If there are, take action to bring it back in line.

I promised you the tools to do it, and better yet, it won't cost you a penny.

Click here to sign up for my 9 Days to Career Success course.

In this 9 day free course I show you step by step strategies to keep your career heading down the road you want it to.

After all, do you really want your career to be a car crash?

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