The issue with time
Time. It’s a small word with big connotations for career aspirations.
For many of my clients, after the jubilant clarity that comes with determining the right career path or job role for them, their sense of time kicks in. And it does a great job of quashing their ambitions by telling them it’s too late; they should have started earlier; they don’t have enough time to start working on something new; they should have made more progress by now. Or in many cases, all of the above.
The consequence is a thought pattern that tells us to get real, putting the brakes on any activity that might take us towards our heartfelt goals and returning us to the same safe but unfulfilling treadmill before we make a mistake, look foolish, or worst of all, fail.
The importance of goal setting
But time doesn’t have to stop us in our tracks. One method used successfully by my clients to negate the time trap involves baby steps – and I mean seriously baby steps.
Rather than imagining you have to work on every aspect related to your career goal all at once, which is often our instinct, try breaking your goal down into the smallest possible pieces – making them so small they don’t really feel like an action at all - and choose the easiest one to start with.
The trick is to avoid over-commitment, which makes progress feel hard or impossible and leads to ultimate defeat. Baby steps require less discipline, lower the mental barrier to change and importantly, feel good as you start to build momentum at the right pace for you.
How does this work in practice?
From day-dreaming about becoming a writer, Elijah wrote almost half of his first book in 2014 while holding down a full time job. His first step was writing for two hours one Sunday afternoon.
Combining her love of cooking and cycling, Sian wrote a business plan earlier this year while in full time employment, which was awarded first place by industry professionals tutoring the Leith’s food business course. Her first steps involved clipping recipes and cooking for people in her office.
So, to combat the time trap, increase the probability of realising your career aspirations and create big change, think small!
What do you think? Let me know in the comments!