Tag Archives: transition

Passion vs Paycheck

Given current economic conditions, it’s no surprise that many people are considering returning to college or a change in careers. AsPassion vs Paycheck some who has spent the past 13 plus years in higher education, I naturally endorse this strategy of looking to return to school or wanting to go into a career you are passionate about. The issue becomes the inability to focus on the right things to achieve ones ultimate goals, doing what they are passionate about. Here are some steps to take to help ensure you chase your Passion not just a Paycheck.

  1. The first thing to do is spend more time thinking about your interests than you do thinking about money. That sounds counter-intuitive  but returning to college or changing your job has to be about more than chasing a paycheck. It’s been said that if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. So finding and following your passion is time well spent.
  2. If you are not sure where your passion would take you let alone what it may be, then sit down with pen and paper and make a list: things you like to do in your free time, different talents or skills that come easily to you, people whom you admire, subject areas and classes you enjoyed while growing up, topics you relish reading about and people you prefer to be around. The answers you provide to these questions will sharpen your focus. 
  3. After you have identified a career path that not only uses some of your strengths but one that also engages you in the type of activity and thinking that you most enjoy, meet and interview people currently working in that field. In some cases, they may let you shadow someone in their office. As you evaluate your options, consider both the positive and the less attractive aspects of the desired industry. For instance, if you like helping people, you might be inclined toward healthcare; but think about how you will respond to sick or sad people on a daily basis.
  4. It’s important to determine what you are willing to sacrifice in order to do what you are passionate about. So ask yourself: can I devote the time and energy necessary to be a successful?  Will I set priorities, budget my time and money and impose discipline in my life? Once you have decided what you are willing to sacrifice, time to create your plan.
  5. Don’t let any opportunity slip away where you don’t set goals for yourself. This is especially true as you are looking to make changes in your career future. Your goals should lead you down a path where you are following your passion. The longer you chase a paycheck, the less time you have to do what you really want. Money is important and needs to always be a apart of your formula for success but don’t to get caught up making it the only focus.

As you stay focused and determined, you will achieve the success you truly dream of. It will not be easy and the reality is, it shouldn’t be. You want to feel rewarded and accomplished. This can happen with greater peace, happiness and joy as you are allowing yourself to do what you feel you can do best and are most passionate about.

Now, go make something great happen!

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Finding Strength In Times of Adversity

This may be a pretty big assumption but I will make it anyway, we will have times where we will face major adversity in our lives. This adversity will come as a result of losing ones job, death of a family member, financial shortfalls, marriage problems and thousands of others ways. We have also probably all heard that we need to be strong during those times. Well guess what? It’s true.

To make a quick analogy I will put it this way because I am one who actually makes this statement quite often, “if it’s good for you it probably doesn’t test good.” Now, I know this is not 100% true but stay with me on this. Let’s say it does not taste good but it does make you healthier, it does give you energy to exercise, it does provide the right nutrients to help your muscles recover and so on. So what is actually happening is while I am “forcing” myself to eat this healthy food (adversity), I am actually providing much needed strength to my body.

So it finding strength in times of adversity is so critical, how does one go about doing it? Here are some quick ways that have helped me:

  1. Take a step back and see the bigger picture. Too many times when a challenge or trial enters our life we react in ways that can often make things worse. It is crucial to be able to try and see the challenge within a larger picture. This will help provide perspective and can even help you to see that maybe things are not as bad as they have initially appeared.
  2. Be positive. There is a difference between being positive and happy. Being positive means you are focused on seeing the good in things and pushing forward. Being positive means you refuse to sit and talk about all the bad things that led to this specific trial or adversity. Being positive means you put into action a plan to make things better.
  3. Find a go to partner. You will need to talk with someone. This person maybe different based on the type of challenge but be sure you have a trusted person you can speak with. It maybe your wife, a close friend, a past boss, a sibling or your church leaders. The key is, you need to find someone so you do not feel so alone.
  4. Note the lessons learned. Be sure and grab a pen and paper and write down your feelings. Within those writings, be sure and note what you have learned about the adversity you are facing. This can be so helpful as there will be times in the future where you will face a similar challenge or someone you know will. These writings can be key in helping you or them through the situation.

I will be the first to admit that finding strength during times of adversity is actually a lot easier to say than do. However, I have found that there is so much peace, comfort and joy that comes as I apply the four points above. There is nothing wrong when we are faced with adversity, in fact it is a sign we are normal.

As crazy as this may sound, I am thankful for those times in my life when I struggle as it brings me to my knees and reminds me that I am human. It reminds me to swallow my pride and look to others for support. I will always be thankful for those who have been there for me and hope I am someone that others can lean in their times of need. Leaders find way to turn times of challenge into learning and teaching opportunities. Most likely because this is an area where more people can relate unfortunately.

One last thought, as you learn to find strength in times of adversity, you will feel more empowered  When you feel empowered, there are no limits to what you can achieve so do all you can to find that strength so you can feel empowered.

Now, it is time to pump some adversity.

Seth

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Don’t Burn Bridges

One of the things that many professionals overlook, especially when they are young in their career is the importance of not burning bridges. The concept of burning bridges refers to what can happen as you move from one opportunity to another one, you do so in a way that does not allow for there to be an opportunity with those you have associated with previously. This often happens as an employee leaves one company and is upset how they were treated. Their exit is accompanied by negative noise. When this happens a company will surely not allow that employee to return to work for them in the future.

When a decision is made to leave one opportunity to pursue another one it is in your best interest to do all you can to make the transition as professional as possible. You never know who you will need in the future or who will end up being your boss. Your ability to make a positive exit will pay huge dividends to you, your company and often those who you work with.

I have learned that leaving one company and going to another one can be one of the best personal and professional development opportunities of my life. I have made the decision to leave one company to go work for a competing company and everytime I have made this decision, I have done my best to leave with respect, professionalism and relationships intact. Here are some helpful hints for those that are or will be making important transitions:

1. Once you have made your decision, don’t apologize for the actual decision you have made. Your ability to be confident in your new opportunity will ensure respect with yourself, boss, co-workers and new company.

2. When you give two weeks, be willing to work out those two works and give it everything you’ve got. Stay focused.

3. Something I learned from my years in Boy Scouts, leave your position better than when you found it. Help ensure that the person coming behind you can pick-up where you left off and even do better. Put together transition notebooks, if you are lucky enough to spend time with your replacement, give them all the knowledge you can.

4. Don’t create company buzz about leaving. You need to be fair to your company and co-workers as they will be there when you leave. Keep things positive and focus on the great things about the company you are leaving. Let your company decide the best way to communicate your decision.

5. If possible, leave at the top of your game. Nothing is more powerful, empowering and respectful then leaving when you are at your best. This ensures that you will leave with a good relationship intact and in the chance that you need help in the future from your previous company or someone there, you have a much better chance of receiving it.

At the end of the day, leaving a company is never easy no matter what the situation might be. It may take extra effort to leave in a respectful and professional way but that extra effort will always be worth it. Don’t do anything that would burn bridges you just might need in the future. I know first hand that this is true. I have been re-hired by company’s I have left.

“Even Heroes will go through transitions. Heroes don’t burn bridges, they build them.”

Be A Hero!

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