I love shopping with brands that offer a guarantee for their products. If something isn’t working or doesn’t meet expectations they make it right. Lots of products offer a warranty or a lifetime warranty. It gives the consumer peace of mind that everything will be alright and they can be confident in their purchase and satisfaction. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have the same thing for our careers? You know, a lifetime warranty that things will turn out ok? While we don’t get a guarantee, there are steps you can take to make sure that your career path is successful and be confident that things will work out. Here’s how:
Use Hindsight to Create Peace of Mind: It’s easy to forget the progress you’ve made in your career so far. Even if you’re just getting out of school and starting your officially full time career, you’ve been taking steps to build your knowledge and abilities for years. Use your experiences to build your confidence. You’ve figured out things before and they’re worked out. It may have put you on a different path or changed the course of your career, but it worked out. Chances are that you’re a driven person who will figure out a way going forward too. While it’s not a guarantee, it’s a pretty good indicator of the future!
Be Your Own Best Advocate: When you buy something that has a guarantee, you don’t worry the whole time if that guarantee is actually real or if it will be honored. It’s the same in your career. Don’t worry that you won’t be successful or that it won’t work out. You’ve proven in the past that you’ll work to succeed. You’ve succeeded before. It’s important that the monologue going in your head is one of reassurance not doubt.
Don’t Give Power to Outside Doubts: I recently read that when someone tells you your dreams are too big, it’s their limitation not yours. They either can’t imagine the world you are working for or there’s something else fueling their discouragement. Be intentional with the voices you are listening to. If those voices aren’t building you up and encouraging you to achieve your dreams, listen to different voices and find a new support group full of those who will encourage you relentlessly.
Set Goals: I love the quote from Lewis Carroll, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” To get that successful career you’re working for, you have to set goals. Where do you want to go? What does success look like to you? Check out our lifetime goals spreadsheet to help you map these out.
Look at Obstacles as a Problem to be Solved: This was one of the big takeaways I had from the Bob Iger book, The Ride of A Lifetime. Every obstacle isn’t a roadblock, it’s a problem to be solved. There is always a way around it. Nothing is unsolvable. When you know a resolution is inevitable, the journey through the obstacle loses some of it’s bigness.
Be Willing to Take Changes to the Plan: While making a plan is so important to having a fulfilling career, you also have to be flexible in the ‘how’ you get there. For me, some of my best jobs and learning opportunities have come out of left field. It wasn’t the path I had laid out or the plan I had in mind but somehow, I made progress towards the larger goals on the new path. In many cases, I learned and grew in better ways than I could have set up if I had charted out each step. Be open to changes and flexible to continue learning and growing no matter where the journey takes you.
While none of us get a “guarantee” in life or our careers, using these six tips will help give you peace of mind that wherever your career journey takes you, it will all work out in the end. Isn’t that the point of the guarantee anyway? It’s not a promise that everything will be perfect, just a comfort that it will be made right. When you set your goals, work towards them and give yourself grace, perspective and flexibility along the way, you can have that same confidence that it’ll all work out.