Back to Back Issues Page
Career Change Tips. The 5 Minute Career Coach January 2010
January 01, 2010

Helping Career Changers Around The World

January 2010


Welcome to the New Year 2010 edition of The 5 Minute Career Coach!

What's in this Issue

With very best wishes for the year ahead. I hope it brings the new career you are seeking.

Quote of the Day

"It's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."
Abraham Lincoln

So as you face the start of another new year, don’t just think about how this is another year added to your total score.

Think instead about how you can put more life into the year that lies ahead.

What will your input be to 2010? What will you do to make it a memorable year for your career and for your life?

Top Tips For Getting 2010 Off To A Good Start

Need some inspiration? Here are my three Top Tips for getting 2010 off on the right foot.

Tip No 1
Start by spending some time reflecting on 2009, but I want you to focus on what went well last year in your work and in your career change plans. Take a sheet of paper and make a list of what was good about last year. What were the successes and high points? What happened that was a pleasant and unexpected surprise? What did you do that you feel proud of?

As you write, you may find your mind wandering to some of the things that went wrong too. Don't worry. It is a habit that many of us have got into. Just write these negative events on a separate sheet of paper.

You might like to come back to this exercise a few times over a day or so. Maybe share it with a colleague or partner so you can bounce ideas off one another. They may well remind you of things you have forgotten.

When you are done, put the list of successes up on the wall where you will see it. Let it be a reminder to you that you do achieve things, you do get things right and happy accidents do come along in your life.

And the other sheet of paper – the negative things? 2009 is over and done with and all those things are behind you, so just scrumple it up and throw it away!

Tip No 2
Think of someone who you have met or maybe even just heard about last year who you found inspiring. It could be a friend or relation who has struggled with a major challenge in life and yet who has managed to stay positive. It could be someone you heard about in the news who put energy and commitment into making something happen, maybe in your local community or even on a global scale. It could be a person who has achieved a high level of success - and I mean the kind of success that you see as important. Maybe they have made the break and finally changed their career!

What exactly was it that you found inspiring about them? What qualities make them special in your eyes?

Now commit to (in a virtual way) taking that person along with you in 2010. Have them in your mind acting as a mentor for you in all you do. As you face the daily challenges of your work and life, use them as a source of encouragement to keep you feeling upbeat and positive. Let them continue to inspire you as you go through the year.

And of course, if you have chosen someone you actually know, then why not ask them to be your mentor for real this year? They will probably be pleased and proud to help you. You only have to ask.

Tip No 3
One of the prompts I gave you in Tip 1 was to check for unexpected, happy surprises and coincidences. I really believe that there are many opportunities out there that we regularly fail to spot because we are so fixed on the daily treadmill with our eyes down and our brains stuck on autopilot.

I challenge you to make a conscious decision to be more open to chance opportunities and encounters in 2010. Just keep your mind open to the possibilities that may arise from people you meet or from events you hear about and could get involved in. Be ready to ask 'what might I learn or gain if I just gave this a try?'

People in particular can be incredibly powerful catalysts for change. They can help you see your career change plans from new perspectives and introduce you to new ideas and communities that can set your work and life off in a new direction.

So from today onwards, commit to being open to serendipity and see what opportunities for your new career emerge. But make sure that you also commit to getting out there with an open mind. Don't wait for opportunities to come to you – go and seek them out!

The Career Change Question

Challenging questions are a key tool in helping to create change.

Each month I offer you a question to think about. Just let the question wander round your mind for a few days, or even weeks and see what answers unfold for you. The questions are designed to get you thinking in new ways and hopefully gain insights that may open your mind to new possibilities for you career and for your life.

What are you just putting up with?

It is so easy to avoid tackling the things that are not quite right in your life. You are just too busy, it would be too difficult, you’ll do it next year, when the children are older, when you have just finished this big project...

Trouble with this is that you can end up just putting up with things for weeks, months, years even. Do you really want to find yourself looking back on all the time you have wasted being less happy than you might have been?

How about making 2010 the year when you stop just putting up with it and do something about it?

Your Subscription Information

Back to Back Issues Page