Do your attitudes toward your career advance your career development? Are your beliefs and behaviors positive, growth-oriented, or negative, constraining? Are they in harmony with the real you, and the 2030s?
Career Advancement Attitudes
Answer "yes" or "no''
- I learn from my mistakes.
- I'm too old to compete with younger job applicants.
- I know and accept myself.
- I prefer the tried and true ways of doing things.
- Career success is defined personally.
- I do what I "should" rather than what I want.
- I welcome criticism as a way to grow.
- I won't consider relocating for an attractive job elsewhere.
- My successes are the result of hard work, determination and some ability.
- I'll accept a promotion to a job I don't like for money or prestige.
- My job gives my life meaning and direction.
- I'm looking forward to retirement so that I can do what I want.
- I'm flexible, self reliant and optimistic.
- Career success means having social standing and money to buy the good things.
- I'll take a salary cut to further my career.
Scoring: 1 point for each "yes" to odd numbered statements, and each "no" to even numbered ones. The higher your score, the more you possess positive, growth-oriented career attitudes. If you scored less than 6, consider reevaluating your career attitudes.
Advancing Your Career
Reevaluate your definition of career development. View career growth as a lifelong process of personal and professional development -- a continuing quest to maintain harmony between who you are and what you do. Also see career as an opportunity to express yourself and pursue your mission. This gives you a sense of direction, inner peace and joy.
Know yourself and options. Identify your skills, major accomplishments, needs, purpose, and other attributes. Specify your ideal job; include field or industry, title, tasks, type of company and location.
Don't choose an occupation because experts predict it will be in demand or to please others. Rather, select alternatives that are in harmony with personal qualities. If you follow your heart instead of "shoulds," money may be a by-product.
Take charge. Restructure your thinking to that of creating a job rather than applying for one. Reevaluate your career goals periodically. Modify these as you learn more about yourself and your changing environment. Embrace and grow with change. Be flexible, resilient.
Recognize you do have options. Testing your options may mean tradeoffs, but usually they're worth the inconvenience.
Continue to learn. Welcome opportunities to discover new technologies and enhance transferable skills, such as computer literacy and verbal communication.
Know how to market yourself (your product) to prospective buyers (employers).
Think out of the box. Develop and use your intuition. Take quiet time dally to tune into your inner self. Meditate on an object, such as a candle flame or mantra. Ask your dreams for direction before going to sleep. Keep a journal. Communicate with nature.
Enhance optimism. Believe good things will happen. Every time you hear your inner voice criticize, stop and think of something positive to say such as "I'm making progress." Write down things you like about yourself such as "I'm flexible and creative." Post the list where you can see it often.
Strengthen courage to risk. Start with small risks in daily activities. Then proceed to more challenging ones. Think of an important risk you'd like to take. What's the worst thing that would happen if it turned out badly? Where could you get information and support to make the goal less risky? Break the goal into small steps. When can you take the first step.
Live in the present. Don't worry about what might happen. Depersonalize failure. View setbacks as learning experiences. Persist.
Believe you'll attain your goal. Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life offers numerous examples of Questers who are living their goals well into their 90s; https://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1508408963
Carole Kanchier, PhD, is an internationally recognized newspaper/digital columnist, registered psychologist and author of the award-winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life and the forthcoming Arouse the Force Within You! Dr. Kanchier has taught at University of California, Berkeley and Santa Cruz and University of Alberta, and served as visiting fellow at Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, and other institutions of higher learning. Dr. Kanchier is known for her pioneering, interdisciplinary approach to human potential.