Work can be draining. And especially so, when we’re working on our next career move.
- Perhaps you’re in a role you’ve disconnected with. And that itself makes work a drain.
- Perhaps you’re not in work right now and struggling to find the next role. And that’s a drain.
- Perhaps you’re loving your career and ready to move-up a level. But trying to find the necessary time and commitment for that next big push – it’s a drain.
In spite of so many of us knowing exactly the physical and emotional demands of a career move, we nevertheless firmly fix our focus and attention on the move itself. And quickly forget the imperative need to look after the driving force behind the change – ourselves.
So, here are 10 ways to stay motivated, maintain energy and generally look after SELF. To fuel your next career move.
#1 Set an energy goal.
We set goals for many things; but rarely for “energy”. You know how to create inspiring and meaningful goals. Apply that now and create for yourself an energy goal: a detailed vision for your near-future self who is energised, motivated and in balance, ready to take on your professional goals.
#2 Identify the energy drains.
And remove them! We all put up with a lot of stuff, much or most of which is an unnecessary burden and an unhelpful waste of time and energy. We’re often taught not to complain. But park that! And notice now the tolerations, both small and large, that are getting in your way. List them out. Ask: “why am I putting up with this?” And commit to clearing them, one by one, as quickly as possible – starting with the one that’s costing you most dearly.
#3 Say “No!”
Socialisation and other external pressures has us saying “yes” far more than we should do or need to. Notice how you’re using your “Yes” to create the imbalances that are currently getting in the way of your primary goals. And start experimenting with your “No”. Use it everywhere, almost to the point of discomfort. And notice what it does for your personal wellbeing and energy.
#4 Slow down.
We’re in such a rush all the time; such an incessant need to get into our own futures, that we forget any given moment contains all the time we need. If only we’d stop to notice and consciously choose different priorities. Of course, very difficult to do when we’re under pressure – but that’s exactly the moment this strategy pays most dividends. Add it to your toolkit now: permission to slow it all down.
#5 Get some headspace.
Like coaching, meditating and mindfulness are practices that need to be experienced for their value to be understood. But commit to it, little and often, and you’ll quickly understand the benefit of taking a mental step-back. New ideas, new perspective, new space, new energy. No special equipment needed: just a quiet space, 10 minutes and the commitment to be very still. If you’d like some guidance, check-out the Headspace app.
#6 Recommit to your health and fitness goals.
You don’t need me to tell you of the all-round benefits of regular exercise. You probably do need someone to tell you to go do it, though! Commit now to a regular, thoughtful and disciplined exercise regime, preferably in the morning.
#7 Be grateful.
You may be looking to improve your lot, but there’s much already to be thankful for. To increase your positive attitudes and energies, list 10 things and 10 people you are grateful for, right now. And if you enjoy that exercise, why not call a couple of those people and tell them exactly how grateful you are for having them in your life.
#8 Get positive about your current work.
As above, you might be looking to make a change: but positivity about your current situation is the best platform for change. It will help maintain perspective, keep your energy levels up and bolster your self-esteem: all important qualities when it comes to applying yourself to the task of change.
#9 Take care of your certainty, autonomy and relatedness.
The brain uses the same circuitry for physical reward/threat as it does for social reward/threat. And certain social domains trigger that circuitry more intensely than others. Certainty (predicting events), Autonomy (control over events) and Relatedness (connection with others) are among those social domains most important to the brain. What changes could you make to introduce greater certainty, autonomy and relatedness to your current circumstances?
#10 “Spring clean” your life.
Our lives are made-up of many pieces, all interconnected. And try as we might to compartmentalise, there will always be “leakage” between areas: both positive and negative. So it’s well-worth a quick check of all aspects of our lives: looking for elements that could stand a “spring clean”. Download my Personal Development Checklist and notice which areas need focus.
Bonus Tip: Have a conversation with your “powerful self”.
Have a conversation with your most powerful self. Imagine now … noticing a figures ahead of you. They are smiling in your direction and beckoning you. You feel drawn to them. And as you approach, you see it’s yourself, 10 years from now. Take a moment to ask your powerful self some questions: What guidance can you give me? What is my next step? What do I need to learn now, before I can move ahead? What do I need to let go of now, in order to move ahead? And note down the answers that come to you.
This last technique works wonderfully as a guided visualisation. I love to spend a short session with my clients on this exercise. If that’s something you’d like to experience, ping me an email at email@example.com.