Maybe the reason you’re not getting what you want from your career is because you aren’t able to see the type of person you really are. Fundamentally, there are two types of people. There are the “stick with what I know” folks and the “try anything once” bunch. Which one are you?
If you are in the first camp, you live your life knowing more or less what you are going to get. The upside is you minimize disappointment. The huevos rancheros at your favorite breakfast spot are always good, the trip to NYC is fun every time, your tried-and-true presentation never fails to be a hit. This approach keeps events, experiences and interactions predictable, painless and none too challenging. Your attitude ensures that your experiences and performance are consistent, maybe even average and, most certainly, dull.
The truth is this tactic often doesn’t get you the results you want, yet ironically you keep doing it anyway. You deliberately have your difficult conversations via email and it works out okay, no major blowups, no tears, no storming out of the office. So, you keep having these conversations via email and your relationships with your peers and clients seem to stay the course. Fine, but the question is do they get better? Are the talks less frequent? Are you more connected to the people around you? The answer is probably, “No.” To change the outcome you must change your approach and “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” won’t do a thing.
Most of us still are searching for our holy grail, that professional goal you have yet to obtain. Perhaps yours is more meaningful work, a better quality of life, prestigious clients, greater respect, less turbulent relationships, or the big promotion. There is no question that it is good to be striving. The problem is when you find yourself searching, and searching, and searching for your heart’s desire yet again.
The way out is by trying something new. If you want to reach a higher level of success in your career, take a look in the mirror. If you don’t see a person with a “life is one big experiment” philosophy staring back at you, that may be the problem. It takes a “no regrets, everything is a learning opportunity” state of mind to get results that matter, make a difference, and are remembered.