Today, it is increasingly important to have an agile and flexible approach to your career.
Career || Yet many of us get stuck in analysis paralysis, believing we must put ourselves in one tiny little box that is easy to read for other people!
You may be asking yourself questions like:
What’s my next career move? How will this internship help or hinder my ability to get a job? What can I do now to improve my chances of getting my ‘dream job’?
Today I’d like to share some simple tips you can use to break out of career paralysis and start moving forward, without the worry that you’re sabotaging yourself or moving away from your dreams.
TIP #1 – Give yourself permission to try out new things.
This is super important, because we often think that if we’re studying a subject we have to end up marrying it!
The truth is, at the beginning of your career you don’t have enough information to know whether the subject you’re studying is what you want to do in life. I’ve spoken to many successful people, from VPS to CEOs of large companies, and many of them admitted to me that they still don’t know what they want to do in life!
So, what I would really encourage you to think about is what is the smallest next step that you can envision?
What is something that you would really like to try out and are excited about?
Give yourself permission to try it without worrying what it looks like on your CV or what it’s saying to the world.
The biggest career breaks I have had in my life came from fellow entrepreneurs and business owners looking at all of the things that I’ve done and saying: “Wow, it looks like you took a lot of chances!”.
Make sure that you focus on trying out different opportunities and projects because it will inform your understanding of what you enjoy, while helping you learn highly marketable skills.
TIP #2 – Figure out what kind of lifestyle you would like, and work back from that.
This is really important because when you’re in your 20s, you’re going to have so many different messages coming to you about who you should be and how you should live your life.
And it’s really easy to spend years getting stuck in the trap of living the lifestyle that somebody else really wants you to live, or a lifestyle that isn’t actually adapted to who you are.
So what I would recommend is to start trying out the lifestyle that you think you want.
Find small ways to dip your toe into the future you would like to experience, and then work back from that and ask yourself: “Do I really want this?”.
For me, that meant buying my first Prada bag at 16, earning 55k a year at 22 years old, and spending crazy dollars on a personal trainer. Once I had enough perspective, I knew that travel, freedom, and growth were actually more important to me than material success. I used that information to inform my approach, and now I live next to the beach in San Sebastián, and run my business entirely online!
When trying out the lifestyle you would like, always ask yourself:
“Does the value that this contributes to my life warrants the amount of effort that it will take me to get there?”
The only way to do this is to sample the lifestyle you want.
Sample the corporate lifestyle, sample what it feels like to work for yourself (you can even do this by working for an entrepreneur as an intern or VA), take internships, and ask people questions.
You will get a distinct feeling about every new experience, and this is going to help you understand what you truly want, and work towards it in a practical and purposeful way.
TIP #3 – Invest in change
Try to invest in areas of change that you would like to see in your career. If you’re interested in changing your life you must invest effort, energy and resources into that change.
If you can’t find a job at the moment and you’re worried about your next move, take a course and learn a new skill or offer your services to someone for free in exchange for the learning curve.
There are unlimited opportunities open to you at all times, you just need to remember that you can access them and that you are worthy of accessing them.
Ultimately, the choice is yours:
Which area would you like to change, and what are you going to do about it?
TIP #4 – Never stop learning
The most surefire way to get out of career paralysis is to continue learning.
The more you learn about new industries, new career paths, organisations, and people, the more you’re going to know deep inside of you whether that resonates with you or not.
So keep learning! Keep pushing forward, taking chances, asking for opportunities, and experimenting! And don’t worry about an opportunity standing against you or holding you back.
The world rewards action.
Fortune favours the bold.
Don’t let yourself be held back by paralysis.
Don’t worry that people might read an opportunity as a ‘mistake’ for your CV.
The opportunities that are meant to come to you will come to you, but you have to meet them with eagerness, positivity, and action.
TIP #5 – You can get anywhere in life. Just make sure you want to be there!
A lot of the time, we spend so much energy thinking about the handbags we want to buy, the places that we would like to live, or the beautiful holidays we’d like to book.
One thing that I’ve learned through visiting the world’s most beautiful locations and being on a higher salary at a very young age is that not all of those things are perfect for you.
If you’re experiencing career paralysis, remember that you can actually have any of the things that you’re worried that you might not deserve or that you might not be able to obtain.
You can have all of them.
What you need to do is figure out which of those things is most important to you, and what practical step can you take now in order to start moving towards them?
Make sure that you want to be there. Try it out.
Buy the nice handbag. Go and live in a beautiful area. Go somewhere you didn’t think you ‘deserved’ and pay attention to how you feel.
Give yourself access to all the opportunities and levels of life, and make an objective, well-informed decision.
When it comes to making choices to get out of career paralysis, the most important thing is to set aside worries and fears of how things are going to look on your CV.
Don’t try to engineer an opportunity without knowing whether you want to be there in the first place.
Be kind to yourself, be open, grow and learn as much as you can and ask good questions to the right people.
And remember that whatever happens, each experience will become part of a bank of career moments that you can draw from at any time.
Taking chances is what life is about. Your career is no different!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rashina is an international copywriter and digital strategist who has made her clients millions in product sales. She speaks 3 languages and lives in San Sebastián, Spain. In her spare time, Rashina she enjoys walking her dog on the beach, reading about self-improvement, and working on her upcoming book!