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What's Your Next Challenge? The 5 Minute Career Coach October 2011
October 01, 2011

Helping Career Changers Around The World

October 2011


Welcome to the October 2011 edition of The 5 Minute Career Coach.

What's in this Issue

Penny and MartinMy sister got married this weekend. It was a wonderful day and the sun shone. It was great to see her and her husband looking so happy and relaxed, and it was also an opportunity for some of the family to wear their very special celebratory outfits, as you can see!

Pete and AlexAs always when there is a family get together, it is interesting to hear what people are up to. There always seems to be one who is only too ready to moan about their situation and blame their difficulties on the recession.

And yet a recent client of mine was talking very positively about being ready to walk away from a job that really bored her, because she was confident she would find something else – in spite of the recession.

It made me curious about what it is that stops people from moving away from the passive complaining position to a 'what can I do about it’ attitude like my client displayed.

Maybe it has to do with willingness to take on challenges?

Nothing in life will change of you are not prepared to take a risk or two and stretch yourself a little. And getting married is one of those risks that many of us are willing to try, so we are not all totally risk averse.

So what about you? How ready are you to take on a challenge?

Take a look at this month's article for more thoughts on this.

With very best wishes

Are you up for a challenge?

La Haute RouteA very good friend of mine took on a special challenge recently. He walked what is known as La Haute Route which goes from Chamonix to Zermatt – a 12 day hike across high level terrain in the Alps. Each day involved walking up to 15k often with over 1000m of ascent to contend with too. Not something to be undertaken lightly!

So why do something like this? Perhaps I'd better ask him what made him to take on a challenge like that, but it seems to me that if you go through life without ever pushing yourself, without ever just seeing if you can do that bit more, be that bit bigger a person, then it will leave you open to all sorts of regrets at the end of the day.

When was the last time you really stretched yourself? Is it time you gave yourself a new challenge? Perhaps you don't need to tackle anything as big as La Haute Route – although if you like the idea, why not?

Challenges come in all shapes and sizes and you need to choose something that will give you a little frisson of excitement without being so scary that you bottle out before you have started.

Where do you think you could just push yourself a little? It could be a physical challenge, but on a smaller scale than La Haute Route, perhaps.

Or maybe it is time you stretched your brain by learning something new? Or perhaps you need to push yourself to extend your circle of contacts by getting involved in a new social activity?

Changing career is of course another example of a stretch – often quite a big one, because it requires you to challenge your own identity. If you have been in one career for a long time, it will be quite a shift to start thinking of yourself as someone different. Accountant to Osteopath, Social Worker to Lawyer or even just employed to self employed can be a big deal and sometimes it seems so big that you end up putting it off to another day...again.

So here's the thing.

Are you always going to stay in the safe and comfortable box you have created for yourself or will you take a risk or two to see just what you are made of?

Have you got any challenges lined up for yourself in the next few months – even small ones?

Go on, I dare you!

If need be start with something a bit smaller than the career change you know you need, but make sure you keep on stretching the boundaries a little.

As I heard Les Brown say on a teleseminar recently:

"If you do what is easy, your life will be hard. But if you do what is hard, your life will be easy."

Are you ready to take the 'Haute Route'?

Something To Think About

"Without continuous personal development, you are now all that you will ever become and hell begins when the person you are meets the person you could have been.
~Eli Cohen~

Recommended Resources

Your Best Year Yet

Your Best Year Yet!
Jinny Ditzler

This book is a great tool to use at the beginning of a new year, but that does not have to be the only time you stop and take stock.

There's no time like the present and if you are feeling inspired to take up a challenge like changing your career, then this book will help you plan it out. It does not focus specifically on careers, but you can choose to make work issues the centre of your Best Year Yet plan.

Jinny gives you a structure and a process so that you come up with a carefully thought out plan, that homes in on what you decide is important for you right now.

The Best Year Yet process is built around 10 key questions that start with a stock take and then look forward to what you will do in the next 12 months. You choose which areas of your life you want to focus on and then set goals accordingly.

At each step, Jinny explains the reasons behind this particular question and gives you lots to think about.

At the end of the book, she has created a series of worksheets for you to fill in as you work through each step. She suggests that you do your Best Year Yet planning in one session. You need to block out an evening just for this process so that you can give it your full attention.

A whole evening, you say? Does that sound impossible?

Surely it's got to be worth it to put aside just one evening if it could make a significant impact on the way you live the year ahead. This could be your chance to really get to grips with the career change you have been promising yourself. Or will you just carry on dreaming?

Go on, get the book and just do it!

More recommendations
If you would like to see more recommendations for books and similar resources, follow the link to the Career Change Books page of the How To Change Careers website. Do keep popping back to it as I am adding to it all the time.

And if there are books, websites and other resources that have inspired you and that you would like to recommend, there is a place for you to do so on that page.

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