If there’s one primary way that life is like football, it’s that it’s necessary to have multiple solid strategies in place—and your career path is no exception.
It’s not a secret that I’ve been thinking about my post-NFL career moves. And if there’s one good thing that’s come out of this time spent quarantining, it’s that it has caused me to be evaluative and focus on my additional interests that aren’t solely limited to or related to football.
You can similarly follow suit by reflecting on what has or hasn’t sparked joy for you up until this point, and looking forward to post-pandemic life as a new beginning.
In this post I’ll explore how you can:
- Shift your perspective as you pivot your career path
- Adopt new, healthy habits that can help you with accomplishing your goals
- Develop a brand that will allow you to effectively showcase your interests and expertise
Reflect By Asking Yourself “Why?” and Do Your Research
First, it’s important to take the time to ask yourself, “What are the positives that exist in my life and what do I like engaging in the most?” Make sure that you’re clear on specifics, since this will help you to pinpoint what’s important to you in the next phase of your career.
When I initially began thinking about my future career path, I started off my thought process by asking and answering the following:
- “What about football do I enjoy best?”
- “How should the aspects that I love about the sport inform my decisions moving forward?”
Then, I decided that the elements that I wanted to keep in my life as it progresses must be beneficial in the long run, or else they’re not worth holding on to.
Take working out, for example. No one wants to hit the gym (not even me, at times), but we all need to exercise to maintain our health, and I personally need to be fitness-conscious to avoid getting injured.
If you find that you’re feeling a little lost in the process of creating a career roadmap, the easiest way to get some clarity is by leveraging your network and conducting informational interviews with individuals who appear to have achieved similar goals that align with the ones that you desire to accomplish. This will allow you to pick others’ brains and get feedback about what direction you should head in.
Shift Your Perspective
Instead of fixating on what you want to accomplish, try shifting your perspective by focusing on what you have currently.
This might seem counterintuitive, but once you decipher the resources that you have readily available or connections that you’ve already acquired, you can assess how they can help you to get to where you want to go. To an extent, everyone has a certain amount of privilege, so take inventory of what you possess that could help move you further through your career journey.
It’s very easy to imagine a set of goals and think that you’re setting your mind to them, only to watch time pass without progress. If you’re looking to avoid this occurrence, consider listing them—especially since you’re 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down.
It’s also important to remember that when it comes to your career path, you’re in the driver’s seat. Even though you might feel powerless while in the process of changing it, you can reclaim a sense of personal power by realizing that you’re in control of your life’s pathway and decisions. Psychologists refer to this as maintaining an “internal locus of control.”
Since 82% of business owners that use vision boards report accomplishing over 50% of the goals that they include on their board, make sure that you’re taking the time to visualize or picture your goals coming to life.
Adopt New Habits
As you work on pivoting your career path, adopting new, healthy habits will help you to remain in a constructive mindset. This can be as easy as working a new exercise routine into your schedule, or drinking more water on a daily basis.
A few ways that you can build new habits and ensure that they stay consistent include:
- Convincing yourself that you’re capable of adapting and changing your behavior—a lot of healthy habit-forming boils down to simply believing in yourself.
- Starting small so that you can set milestones. Begin with a five minute run so that you can work your way towards a fifty-minute one.
- Being as specific as possible when defining each habit. If you’re looking to become an entrepreneur, consider using the following example for yourself: “Every morning I am going to wake up at 7am and journal about the goals I have for starting my company.”
- Reduce any obstacles that might be hindering your progress. If you’re trying to get up earlier but keep snoozing your alarm, put your phone or alarm clock far from your bed so that you have to get up to shut it off, and can avoid being your own worst enemy.
- Link your goals with triggers. If you want to work on writing more regularly, each time you turn on your coffee machine in the morning, open your laptop so that you’re primed to start typing. Then, after you’ve composed a couple of pages, you can engage in self-reward by brewing your coffee.
- Don’t be hard on yourself if and when you struggle. We’re all human, and we all make mistakes and encounter challenges!
Work on Developing Your Brand
Keep in mind that a well-developed professional brand can make completing a career change easier.
As someone who’s been dialing into my own brand, I recommend curating a consistent digital presence that showcases your viewpoints and expertise regarding topics that interest you and are applicable to your career.
If you’re wondering if people will consume your content, take note that when messages are shared by individuals across social media outlets, they get 561% more reach than when the same messages are shared by brands’ social channels.
To get started on building your brand, try taking the following steps:
- Define your voice, tone, interests, messaging, positioning, and content pillars
- Identify audiences/personas that you’d like to reach or engage with
- Create customized macro and micro content including:
- Blog posts
- Social media posts that you can share across different platforms
It’s a Prime Time to Think About Your Future
Just because there have been a variety of changes implemented as a cause of the pandemic, doesn’t mean that we can’t look forward to what the future has in store.
Now’s the time to really focus on defining your major career goals and identify what it’s going to take for you to eventually reach them.