5According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a career is defined as an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress.

It has also been defined as an occupation or profession followed as one’s lifework.

Based on the average 9 to 5 occupation working 5 days a week, a person spends a quarter of his/her time every week on his/her career. In reality for many of us, these figures are much higher. That IS a significant period of a person’s life. And for some of us, it IS our lifework.

So when you find yourself in a career slump, at career crossroads, your job is in jeopardy, your role is shifting or expanding, or you are being considered for promotion, it can seem that your whole life has been turned upside down as it is often a stressful, nerve-wracking and overwhelming time of change.

So what can you do about it?

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Here are five fundamentals which you can apply in any of these situations to not only help you navigate the changes you are going through but to ensure long term career success.

1. Set clear and precise goals

7As with any area of your life, be it career, relationship, health or spirituality, it is important to know what you want or are aiming for to give you forward momentum, clarity, and provide accountability to yourself and/or others.

In the short to medium term, set daily (I suggest 3 goals a day to make it manageable), 6 month and 12 month goals. Give yourself a reward and celebrate it when you meet each one, although the reward in itself may be in the achievement of it.

It is important to think, see and feel bigger picture too, so set yourself a long term goal or what I call a career lifetime goal. This will keep you on track and serves as a compelling reminder and focus of why you do what you do.

2. Know your strengths and weaknesses

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Identify your best selling points as well as those you know need working on. By being clear on this, you will be able to cultivate your strengths, be realistic with your expectations on what you can do, and focus on exactly what you need to do to upskill, adapt and move forwards.

3. Be passionate about and love what you do

9For me, this is one of the, if not THE, most important fundamental.

If you don’t love what you do, how much more difficult is it to cope with the daily stresses and inevitable changes that will be thrown your way?

I’m not saying that you have to love and enjoy EVERYTHING that you do. Just that you should enjoy the core of what you do.

For example, I love to coach and mentor others. However I don’t enjoy dealing with the IT and administrative aspects of my role. So whenever I am about to tackle an IT or admin related task, I remind myself that this is a necessary part of the bigger picture of what I do which I love.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to wake up every morning and look forward to going to work?

4. Be open and adaptable to change

10Change is the only constant in this world. So when we resist change, we suffer.

By accepting and adapting to change, we can respond appropriately to whatever life and our career might throw our way, and through this, we learn, develop and progress.

Our ability to roll with the punches can often be the fine line between career success and career stagnation.

For example, if your role changes so that you are expected to perform beyond your current skills set, you can adapt by firstly accepting or embracing this change, identify what you specifically need to do to fulfil these additional expectations, and develop and implement a strategy to action this.

Remember –

Resistance = Stress

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Acceptance/Adaptability = Progression leading to a much happier YOU and therefore a much happier life.

5. Surround yourself with inspiring and supportive people

12It is said that the people you surround yourself with in a meaningful way reflect parts of who you are.

So it makes sense to have positive, successful, happy people around you who encourage and inspire you to be the same, right?

People who you can turn to for advice or guidance (this could be different people for different areas), who might be willing to mentor you, and who can connect you with other like-minded people.

It is well-known that the most successful career people in the world have mentors and coaches they can turn to for help and guidance.

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So, there you have it! Five Fundamentals to Career Change.

(There are actually more, however this is all we have time for in this article!)

What are your thoughts? I would love to hear from you to tell me which of these five resonate, appeal or you relate to, and which of these strategies will help you the most.

You can reach me directly at mimi@mimifong.com.au. Have an inspiring and successful day!

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