“Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.” – Steve Jobs
Almost everyone has a moment at some point in their professional life when they wonder, Why am I working so hard at this job that is not taking me where I want to go? It can feel very much like Peggy Lee’s old song, “Is That All There Is?”—a bit scary and overwhelming.
Many of us stuff these distressing thoughts into the back of our minds and keep plowing ahead, doing what we are doing, perhaps convincing ourselves that getting to the next level, the next success, the next opportunity, will make it feel better and feel right. But what if it doesn’t?
As Steve Jobs implied, deciding what not to do is essential to paving a path to satisfying and fulfilling success. So harness the courage to rethink your career—thinking costs you nothing. If you do decide to reboot your job or your career in a new direction, this great step can effect powerful change and create unexpected opportunities in your life. Always remember, it is never too late to try something new!
- Pause and reflect. Give yourself time and permission to pause and reflect on what you really want to be doing every day, and where you ultimately want to be. Get clear on your goals. Write them down. Read them every day and let them guide you.
- Refocus your attention and time. Once you are clear on what you want, refocus your time, effort, and attention on the parts of your job or current career that align with what you really want. Track your time for a couple of weeks to make sure that more of your time is focused on what matters to you.
- Reboot your career. If you find your current job is out of line with what you really want, take a deep breath and a first step to rebooting your career. Whether this means applying for a different job or taking a class that points you in your desired direction, nothing is ever wasted. Start small or big, but start today; channel your skills and experience to things that matter to you for greater success and satisfaction.