What matters most in your financial future? Everyone has dreams and that’s why you set goals—to work toward a more fulfilling life.
But if all you do is dream and find yourself looking back at missed opportunities as you make the same goals repeatedly, you need to harness your dreams to a plan of attack.
Make 2014 the year you try a different approach that could make this the year you change the trajectory of your entire life. All you have to do is start working towards it.
Don’t count on your employer to take care of you - but be a top-notch employee
Job security is a thing of the past. Nevertheless, see yourself as a problem solver with a particular area of expertise that is indispensable. You can do so via the following:
- Execute every aspect of your work in ways that anticipate, identify and reduce the occurrence of the problems that typically plague my week.
- Execute your responsibilities in ways that show respect for the responsibilities of others, both within your department and elsewhere, who in turn must deal with the product of your work.
- Address the problems and challenges that occur within your areas of responsibility in an efficient, professional, timely and good-natured manner.
- Learn something from the problems you tackle every day, that will help you improve personal productivity by anticipating preventable problems, and lessening the impact of the unpreventable ones.
Unfortunately, technology constantly changes the skills you need to do your work. If you are not consistently developing new skills, you are being paid for abilities that are rapidly becoming obsolete, a situation that can cost you this job and your ability to find another.
Even if you do everything right, in this unpredictable economy, you may still find yourself unemployed. You can regain control of your life by replacing blind loyalty to faithless employers with a commitment to your own long-term economic survival.
Make this the year you commit to understanding and applying the new career management strategies that will put security and fulfillment back in your life. It’s just a question of making time in an already hectic life.
Steal time to invest in your dreams
The average American spends up to 11 hours per day between television and digital devices. You can begin to make your dreams reality simply by giving up one 30-minute sitcom, four nights a week. Steal just two hours a week and invest it in learning how to manage your career. In just 12 months you can revolutionize your life.
Approach this investment of time with the understanding that no one cares about your survival except you and it is up to you to do something to improve your situation: to learn what it takes to get back to work, to protect the job you have, to get a better job, to get a promotion; to plan and execute job or career change without disruption, to write that novel or launch that business.
Do not remain stagnant if change is what you truly desire.
At the same time, you can begin to think about your entrepreneurial dreams.
Depending on your goals, all you need is a plan of attack that steadily takes you from where you stand today to where you want to stand tomorrow: just what will you have to do to get from here to there?
You then break those big steps down into smaller and smaller steps, until there is some small action you can take today, and every day, that will bring you one step closer to realizing the goals that give your life meaning. You can build plans, and the stepping stones for their achievement for your corporate career and for your entrepreneurial and dream careers.
For your core corporate career
Become the best you can be to secure the job you have today, then to land the job you want tomorrow. Commit to learning the employment skills you need to survive: how to write a resume, how to turn a job interview into a job offer, and the handful of other critical job search and career management skills that you must master to survive.
For your entrepreneurial career
Recognize that because paths running parallel to your core professional career take time, you must start working towards them now. Study for certification, develop the skills that help small business owners succeed and make contacts. Start doing whatever it is that puts the juice back in your life.
Make the commitment to take control of your destiny by learning how to survive and navigate the twists and turns of an increasingly volatile professional life. Give yourself to the dreams that bring you joy, and the strategies that will ensure your economic survival. What’s worth more, that time you won’t even miss watching TV or your future success?