This morning I was rereading certain passages of As a Man Thinketh by James Allen and How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie. The authors pointed out that having a vision and holding onto that vision was key to their success. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, they discussed the preparation that goes into that success. Simply holding an image in your mind isn’t enough if you do nothing to align your actions with that vision.
How do you want to spend your time? A friend of mine is in the process of making a career change. Armed with the recent passages I asked him if he had a clear picture of what it was he was looking for. “How do you want to spend your time each day?” I didn’t need his answers – these were questions for him to ask himself. I advised him to make sure that his actions were in line with the image that defined his goal. “Don’t waste time looking at jobs that won’t support the vision of your career. Unless,” I added, “you are looking for something to tide you over. Even then, be careful. Don’t take a temporary job that isn’t in line with your overall goals unless you know in your heart it’s temporary.”
I know there are a lot of underemployed people and it would be a shame if they decided their temporary situation was a reflection of who they must be, what they must deserve, and therefore they give up and let it become their new reality.
It’s one thing to pay the bills. It’s something else entirely to have a job you hate. That will destroy you, slowly, from the inside.
I advised my friend not to focus on anything that wasn’t in line with his career vision. “Make sure everything you do is something that will bring you that much closer to your career goal. Every thought, how you spend your time, what you read…is it in harmony with that vision you have for yourself?”
What is your image? I knew it was a Saturday and that means he didn’t have to be in a suit but was he dressing the way someone in that career would dress casually?
Wearing Birkenstocks with white socks would put you in Berkeley, California in my mind. Cringing at the sight aside, I would think you were trying to permanently live the college days. It says I am not a grown-up.
Looking sloppy tells me you are disorganized, don’t care, and possibly have a poor self-image.
Who do you think you are? Is the image you are projecting who you are? Get rid of clothes that don’t reflect who you are. If you need help with this, invite friends or family into your closet and hold up various items and ask “What does this say about me? What do you think of it?” Take everything that doesn’t match who you are and donate it.
Nature hates a vacuum. Don’t worry about the empty spaces in your closet and drawers. New outfits will come into your life, either through gifts or your own purchases.
Take someone you trust with you to help ensure you don’t buy the same old stuff. Buy outfits that say who you are. Trust me, once you do – you will find that who you are starts shining through loudly enough for everyone to take notice. You will feel great.
What is your story? A Best Selling author advised the writers in her audience that an outline or synopsis was how you would tell your story around a campfire. It helped me reframe the way I looked at summarizing my idea but it wasn’t enough.
In our attention challenged society we have to be prepared to tell our story quickly and succinctly.
I summarize my ideas as I would for my kids. This ensures it’s interesting, short, and to the point.
If serendipity walks in? I asked my friend “If you struck up a casual conversation while out and about, and the person you were talking to, by coincidence, was looking for someone to fill a position, would you make an impression on that person that would make them consider you? Would the clothes you are in, even on a casual day, tell that potential employer you have it together? That you’re a class act? That you take pride in your appearance at all times, not just for church on Sunday?”
And your story? “If he asked what it was you were looking for, could you summarize it in two or three sentences? And would it be worded in such a way that he’d want to know more?”
How do you want to spend your time? I asked him if he had really considered this. Did he really know what he was looking for in a career?
I know plenty of people who are looking for a job. That won’t do. A job is not a career. If you want a career then the job you are working at, even if it’s temporary, should be one that gets you closer to your career goal.
You need to be able to summarize what you are looking for which means you should understand that yourself.
And you need to project an image that says you are already that person. You feel it inside and out and you see it every time you look in the mirror. You project it to the world.
That way, when serendipity shows up, you’re ready!