Post Labor-Day Career Advice: Make it Happen vs Let it Happen

Posted September 12th, 2013

Labor Day marks the start of the business season. Lazy, hazy days of summer are over. Vacations are behind us and have hopefully re-charged our batteries. If we’ve used summertime as an excuse to lay back on our career pursuits, it’s time to look reality in the face. Career Advice - Make it Happen

While you were in summer mode, did any great opportunity somehow find its way to your door? My experience leads me to say, “Probably not.” I’m working on an eBook that we’ll be publishing in the near future, but one part of it is very appropriate to this time of year, so I’ve decided to use this post to give you a preview – and some career advice that has worked for me.

Out of work and looking for a job? In a dead end job and looking for a new one that will get your juices flowing? Seeking the promotion you deserve? Finally, seriously considering starting your own business? Whatever you’re trying to accomplish in your career, this one’s for you.

Why you can’t just let it happen

The number one element of success – or failure -- is how you perceive and feel about you. This definitely applies when it comes to your career moves.

Feeling that the world owes you a job or a promotion or any other workplace reward is a self-defeating idea. So is the idea that if you’re patient, something will come along.

In effect, such attitudes lead to a passive approach. You’re going to wait for – and expect – opportunities to come your way. When they don’t, you’re set up for disappointment. You feel defeated and angry at the world. This is not a good place to come from if you want to succeed.

Face the facts

The reality is that no one cares about you but you! And if you want to succeed, you have to take charge of the process. Once you recognize and accept that the future is in your hands, you put yourself in control. This fosters the sense of confidence you’ll require.

Without self-confidence, the future can seem like a place of terror where fear can prevent positive action. With self-confidence, the future becomes a land of boundless opportunity – limited only by your imagination. In order to make things happen in your life, you must adopt the latter point of view.

I was fortunate to understand that it was up to me to build the life I wanted early in my career. Getting every job I’ve held, starting my own company and becoming an owner of FFC all happened because I pursued these goals with passion, confident that I had a lot to bring to the table. From my experience, what I’m sharing with you works.

But you don’t have to take just my word for it. Norman Vincent Peale, the multi-million-selling author of The Power of Positive Thinking said, “Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”

Career Advice - Take ControlMaking it happen

Even more, I like the late tennis star Arthur Ashe’s take on the role of confidence: “One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.”

As an executive recruiter and franchise owner, my daily mantra is, ‘Plan and prepare’. Planning includes establishing goals and setting out steps to reach them. The engine that drives us to our goals is commitment. Preparation makes it easier to stay on track. Planning and preparing is a great confidence builder. Can you begin to see that these elements contribute to a continuous loop of career success?

Once you start to build the confidence to forge ahead toward your goals, you’ll feel more comfortable departing from conventional wisdom – which is often what it takes. When I speak to groups of job seekers, I tell them not to look for job postings and then email their resumes and see what happens. That does not represent sufficient action to get a job in the current environment. I tell them to look for companies they want to work for and then make a plan to get there.

The plan is sure to include some activities that may not be entirely within your comfort zone, but if you keep your own value and the ultimate reward in mind, you can do it. This post is designed to give you an initial sense of the mind set you must cultivate if you’re going to build the career and life you want.

In the eBook I’ll be sharing a lot of details about how to plan and execute your next career move. It will offer job search and career advice that you probably never heard before – based on the proven techniques that FPC recruiters use to place candidates in great jobs and my own philosophy of creative self-resilience.

We’ll be announcing the launch of the new eBook here, so if you’d like to get it when it comes out, just subscribe to the blog. Type your email address into the field at the top of the right column and you’ll get our posts delivered to your inbox weekly.  

Before you go, please share your thoughts on self-confidence and the role it’s played in building your career.

Categories: Career Change Executive Recruiting midlife career change Changing Careers Job Search Tips Career Advice