Three Small Steps to a New Direction for Your Career

Blog Post created by susan.hodge Champion on Feb 16, 2015

“If you don’t change the direction you are going, then you’re likely to end up where you’re heading. When you want something you’ve never had, then you have to do something you’ve never done. That means changing.”   - John Maxwell, “The Difference Makers”


It seems appropriate for Pink Petro’s launch that I write about taking a new direction.  New directions require change.  If you want your career to accelerate, you can’t keep doing the same things the same way.  You can’t work harder in the same old way, relate to the same people and use the same skills.  Something has to change.


If you want to improve your relationship with your boss, teammates, family, etc. you can’t keep interacting with them the same way.  Something has to change.


If we want women in energy to be more connected in new ways, then something new has to come into being: Thus enters Pink Petro.


In my work at Women Leading Together, I occasionally come across women who bemoan their current circumstances. Yet when given the opportunity to gain a new skill, try something new, change a work pattern or behavior, they have lots of reasons why it can’t happen:  not enough time, too much work, my boss this, my family that….


Here’s the reality:  the pain is not yet greater than the fear of change.  When the pain, unhappiness or consequences become too great, then we change.  Absent a crisis, it takes more than a twinkling of desire to change….unless you kick in these principles:


Reflect on what is holding you back.

This is not about “who” is holding you back. This question is about you – what you are doing, feeling, failing to do…and why.  When you are resisting change, it’s useful to consider:  “What is it about the current situation that is serving you?”  Underlying our resistance to change are things that give us comfort, that are familiar and that are satisfying.  This is what keeps us where we are.  Maybe it’s being needed, maybe it’s not upsetting the status quo, and maybe it’s self-doubt about the next step.  Whatever it is, it’s worth understanding because that “thing” is holding you back.


Not long ago we delivered a skill-building workshop for a company’s departmental offsite.  As we worked with the group it became clear that they couldn’t focus on learning something new. There was a deep underlying morale issue in this organization that was limiting their ability to move forward.  But there was also a reluctance to get past it.

We designed the workshop to bring to light why they were comfortable with the status quo.  Once they gained understanding of what held them where they were, and only then, they were free to choose to move forward.


Expose Yourself to Something New.
Take a course, read a book, join a new organization, subscribe to a new newsletter or follow a new blog.  Do one thing differently that will get you exposed to new material, new ideas or new people.  Make your motivation last by committing to something that will show up regularly on your schedule, your inbox or your phone. Don’t do it tomorrow – do it today.


Establish a new habit.
“Winners have simply formed the habit of doing things losers don’t like to do.”  Albert Gray


There’s no doubt you have daily activities that you don’t think about. You just do them.  Maybe it’s checking your Facebook page or reaching for your coffee first thing in the
morning.  Whether you realize it or not, many of your actions are governed by your daily habits and “systems”.
The key is to establish a new habit around one thing that
you want to change.  Make it a small change: if you want to increase your networking, schedule lunch every Wednesday with a person in your team.  If you want to become more knowledgeable about what’s happening in your industry, make checking the Pink Petro website the first thing you do every morning.  Identify one thing that needs redirecting and look for a small change in habit that can support a new direction.


The three keys above are not an exhaustive list of what it takes to create change in your career. But if you start with these, you’ll be headed in a new direction to create opportunities.


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