Life is funny in that things start to move in a complementary direction once you are clear about your goals and take responsibility for overcoming inertia. Essentially, once you get started, it’s as if the cosmos conspires to help you; but you must start on your own volition. Further, the cosmos does not care until and unless you care and whether you’re willing to start is an indication of how much you care. Finally, the cosmos sometimes signals that you’re moving in the wrong direction by putting up barriers to your desired goals despite your efforts.
Consider this: your career is a type of cosmos. You’ve got to put something into it, and you must go first. Then, if you notice that you’re not getting a return after consistently putting forth your best effort, you decide either to move on or make other adjustments.
As it relates to your professional status, taking responsibility for where you are and your sense of self-efficacy form the foundation of your confidence and are completely within your control. The nine commitments below will improve not only your confidence, but your actual resume and competitiveness in the job market (which is important if the cosmos tells you to move on).
- I will frame my complaints in terms of opportunity cost (i.e., I don’t like “x” because it impacts “y” in this manner and those resources could be better used to achieve “a” by doing “b”). Complaining is the chorus and verse of the powerless and makes you feel defeated. Articulate actions that make more sense based on reason.
- If math and science aren’t my thing, I commit myself to learning the fundamental skills of those subjects so that I’m not (or less) threatened by the STEM emphasis in the economy. People who are threatened tend to resist change. Like it or not, change is inevitable; thus, you can choose to find a way to be part of it or be pummeled by it.
- I will intentionally develop my communication skills, specifically public speaking and writing. I will seek out opportunities to practice these skills on my own time and at my own expense (Check Toastmasters International and local writing enrichment classes for options) because I know these skills are useful in every area of my life.
- I will be more introspective and exercise greater emotional intelligence. I will evaluate my own behavior and motives while studying my impact on the work place. If I struggle with relationships, I will find somebody who I trust to give me honest and consistent feedback (Studies tell us that individual who lack emotional intelligence don’t get enough honest feedback on a consistent basis).
- I will be honest about how I feel about my organization, team, and leadership. Hence, I will actively contribute at 100% or look for a different job. I will not indulge excuses that encourage half-hearted performance, and I will commit to the job and organization.
- I will stop relying on old accomplishments. I will start/complete a credential that serves my current and future interests. Continuous development boosts your confidence and helps keep you marketable. The current economy and culture of work dictates that you must always be ready for opportunities and sudden shifts of employers.
- I will take on a project or assignment that involves risk. If you never have to sweat it, you aren’t growing. When you aren’t growing, you’re getting bored. When you’re bored, you become careless.
- I will study the theory of loose ties and create a relevant strategy within my organization and beyond.
- I will be a person of integrity by establishing clear boundaries and keeping my word. I won’t be the disingenuous person on the team. This mantra goes beyond gossip. It means having a basis for what you do and working out the conflicts in your character. It means giving respect and requiring it.