How do you know it's time for a professional make-over? It's time when you don't feel what you are doing is making a productive difference in your life or in the lives of anyone else. It's time when you fell stagnant and have lost the direction you once had. It's time when you feel out of touch with current industry trends and needs and can't seem to find a purpose for your contribution in society. It' time when you feel stale and not moving forward or moving at all.
It really has little to do with your actual job and more to do with your perception about what you have to offer and where you are headed with your talents. People can be quite satisfied with a very menial position if it meets their needs and they are able to feel a sense of purposeful living as a result. A professional make-over, much like a physical one means you need some substantial change to feel alive again.
Think of a professional make-over using the acronym MADS...what do you need to Multiply, Add, Divide or Subtract from your current situation to feel like things are finally going in the right direction professionally.(You can use this same technique with a product, but we'll save that for another time.
Multiply...What do you need to expand exponentially to creat the professional opportunity you enjoy? Do you need to actually have several different things to do at once to feel invigorated? Are you a person who feels more complete with many irons in the fire and a variety of activities to be invested in to feel purposeful? Maybe you simply need find other interests and outlets and expand your reach instead of depending on just one field or expertise to suffice.
Add...Does your current profession make you feel invisible or not really like you are a player in whatever arena you choose to contribute? If you feel you are performing only sideline tasks, maybe it's time to add more responsibility. Do you need to become involved in a more meaningful activity? Is your current situation not your true passion and do you need to add time to your schedule to work towards your true passion? Is it time to add a class, seminar or event that will help redefine your profession?
Divide...Often our professions become a nest of entangled jobs within our jobs. Are you exhausted from wearing too many hats and need to start thinking about a better system of delegation? Do you crave a time when you felt you could roll up your sleeves and tackle a job and get it done without constantly being distracted, pulled in too many directions and leaving too many projects in remnants never completing anything? You may need to seriously decide how to parse out the unessential or unnecesary components of your profession and concentrate on what you do best. If you must micromanage everything you will become professionally exhausted before you reap the best benefits. Learn to let go of the things someone else can do and concentrate on your true talent.
Subtract...Sometimes it's just a matter of deciding what you want to accomplish and how you want to do it and then identify the obstacle that prevents you from feeling the most successful in accomplishing it. If you feel you could perform better with more time, you must subtract something that consumes what time you do have. If you are short on resources whether financial or emotional perhaps you need to decide what one thing you could eliminate which could free up some funds or lessen stress. Everyone can start with one thing to help reduce the burdens that make our professions less enjoyable. Sometimes it is a commute. Can you take mass transit but use that time to sleep, read up on a new skill or catch up on another activity? Could you choose to be more flexible with your schedule if you subtracted something else? Is it time to think about letting go of something that is no longer profitable or even holds your interest?
You can keep doing more of the same and getting nowhere or you can decide that it's time for a serious professional make-over and see how things look a month, a year, two years from now. Just like those seriously vintage shoes which are no longer in style or that retro hairdo that is doing nothing for you, unless you tackle changing some things, you will continue to feel like you are in a professional rut, struggling to just peer out above the walls around you.
Spring is just around the corner, so maybe it really IS time to work on "cleaning house" and getting around to that make-over you have been promising yourself professionally for some time now. You might not need the hairdresser or the make-up artist but you might just need a career coach, specific training, a mentor, a master-mind group or even a vacation.
What part of MADS would help you improve professionally?
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