Is your mindset keeping you from achieving your career goals?

A Career Framework for What’s Next
May 5, 2021

In my experience coaching clients through career transformation, I have identified mindsets that promote an individual’s success and those that impede them. The three mindsets to especially watch out for are:

  1. Being asleep at the wheel 
  2. Being fixated on doing it right or not making a mistake 
  3. Feeling stuck and overwhelmed

You may suffer from one or more of these mindsets when it comes to your career aspirations. Left unchecked, these mindsets keep you from finding and landing your right job. A belief transformation is required for each one. 

Let’s take a closer look at each of these mindsets in action.

  1. Sarah is a VP of Engineering. Suddenly after many years on the same job, Sarah decides she wants to make a career change. However, she quickly realizes that her resume, job skills, and network are all outdated. In fact, having been buried in her work, she has not kept an eye on marketplace trends and doesn’t have a sense of how to even go about a job search. Sarah is suffering from being asleep at the wheel. 
  2. Jim, a sales executive, wants to make a change in his career, but he doesn’t want to start talking to anyone about a new job until he has his resume and Linkedin profile perfect, has crafted his elevator speech, and knows exactly what he is looking for. As a result, he doesn’t start the networking process. He continues to show up at the job he despises, feeling drained every day. He promises himself that when he finally finds the right words he’ll put all this into action. Jim is suffering from the mindset of fixating on doing it ‘right’ and not making a mistake
  3. Martha is a communications executive who wants to make a change, either growing more influential where she is, or moving into a new organization. However, she’s constantly overwhelmed and doesn’t know how to find the energy or time to make the desired changes. She works late each evening, focused on the needs of everybody else who works for her, and just can’t find the time to get everything done. She feels tired and worn out but determined to continue juggling everything. Martha suffers from being stuck and overwhelmed. 

To successfully make an intentional move in your career – whether to grow in place, shift to a new job, or make a career pivot – Sarah, Jim, and Martha each need to embrace a belief transformation. 

Sarah needs to move from being asleep at the wheel to being the active curator of her career. Among other things, she needs to focus on updating her skills, either by taking courses or by pursuing new work assignments.  She should work on re-establishing connections in her industry to revitalize her network.  And finally, Sarah needs to research current job search strategies to understand what has changed since she last went through the process. 

Jim needs to move from being fixated on doing things right and not making a mistake to taking imperfect action. He needs to start by making sure his resume and LinkedIn profile are updated to reflect his most recent work experience and prepare a simple summary of the value he can bring to a new employer that he can recite should an opportunity present itself.  Once Jim has these items ‘good enough’ he can start holding exploratory conversations which will in turn guide him on any further refinements. 

Martha needs to shift from being stuck and overwhelmed to restoring energy and flow. She needs to reclaim some of her precious time, prioritizing the work that’s on her plate and deciding what to scale back on in order to make room for the effort it takes to transform her career.

These mindsets that hold us back are difficult to see but clearly prevent us from moving forward to create and enjoy Livelyhood (intentionally misspelled), a sense of vibrancy, impact, and fulfillment in our career and life. Consider taking stock of where you are suffering from a mindset that needs shifting, focus your efforts on embracing the belief system transformation, and watch what happens.