By Shannon Houde
Every January, millions of people lay out goals and resolutions for the new year. But by February or March, they’ve almost always forgotten them. Resolutions to lose 10 pounds or call your parents more often are good ones, but I wonder if they are so easily breakable because of how rooted they are in routine. If you are unhappy with your day-to-day routine, sometimes you need to make a much bigger change to shake things up.
So this year, why not set a goal to make a change in the way you think about your day-to-day life, the way you think about your career? Make a 2017 resolution to find a job that will empower you to do the work you really want to do – to have an impact!
You may already have a sense of what that is, but to make this resolution one that you are going to keep, you need to get specific. Here are some tips on how to make a new year’s resolution that inspires you to get a truly fresh start in 2017.
Listen to your inner voice to be true to your purpose
I want you to ask yourself two questions:
How is success (or making a difference) defined for you? What does it look like?
- Draw a picture if you are a visual person. Or write down one word or a short sentence (mantra). You can always change it later, but the first thing that comes to mind is probably the most authentic.
You have a distinctive set of strengths that make you unique. Do you know what these are?
- Write down three words that define you, make you unique, are core to your true self.
These reflections are meant to help you build your personal mission statement, a universal statement about who you are and what you are on this planet to do. If these questions are hard to answer, don’t worry. You are not alone. Research has found that fewer than 20 percent of leaders have a strong sense of their own individual purpose. And even fewer still can distill their purpose into a concrete statement.
Take some time to listen to your inner voice and clearly define your mission. Remember, don’t define your purpose by what you think it should be. Frame it around the “who” you can’t help being.
Be honest with yourself about what you love doing and the potential you offer commercially
Once you have a strong sense of your purpose, it’s time to start thinking about how you can harness that passion and bring it to the real world. How can you use your personal mission to affect change? How can you find a job to help foster that purpose and grow your potential?
Start off by clearly identifying the things you are good at. Look back on your career and think about your skills and the times you have excelled. These skills or tasks should meet three criteria. Write about things you:
- Are great at doing
- Love doing
- Can get paid to do (the market wants these skills)
Sheryl Sandberg once said, “Being confident and believing in your own self-worth is necessary to achieving your potential.” Once you define greatest capabilities and feel confident about what you have to offer, you can start to make moves toward leveraging your skills to further your purpose.
Naturally position yourself for success by reaching out through your personal network
We all have access, in one way or another, to people who can help us succeed. Making a career change means you have to be creative, hungry and determined. You never know who in your network may know someone who is hiring – just one other person they can put you in touch with. Eighty percent of job-seekers now find positions through networking. And with social media and LinkedIn, networking is now easier than ever. There is no excuse not to do it.
So, as I always say: Now is the time to call everyone you know. Share your personal mission. Share your skills. You never know who may be able make an introduction or help you make your career move. And hey, maybe you’ll get that call in to your mom as a part of this resolution after all.
The new year is always a good time to think about ways we can improve and live happier and healthier lives. If you would like some more help defining your mission, targeting your dream job, or putting together your elevator pitch – please reach out. My personal mission is to help people realize their potential to convert their passion into purpose and pay while having a positive impact on the environment and community. I want to hear from you.
Shannon Houde is founder of Walk of Life Consulting, the first international career coaching business focused solely on the environmental, sustainability and corporate responsibility fields.
Image credit: mstevencox via Pixabay