Want Your Career to Go Faster – Maybe You Should Slow Down

The vast percentage of people I first meet for coaching are quite emotional, if not agitated. They have a problem (not so well defined) which they have been trying to solve (with rather random efforts) – unsuccessfully.

The more emotional they get, the more blocked they feel. The more blocked they are, the faster they try to solve their problem. Faster and faster they go and it’s a doom loop.

So, my first advice is "WHOA"! Slow down. I ask the person to describe what they do for a living. In short, they analyze data, synthesize, do research, form preliminary plans, get feedback on these plans, plan a specific course of action, meet with their constituents, kick off the solution, constantly course correct, measure, alter course and manage toward objectives.

Perfect, I say. Are you following your typical work pattern, then, as you look to solve your career problems? Huh, they ask.

Where’s the data, where is your analysis, where is your preliminary plan? I don’t have time to do all that, they say.

You need to run your career and life like it is a business. Call it "Me, Inc." You are the CEO. You are in control. You, you have no data so there can be no analysis. No analysis equals no strategic plan. So, you go in ever decreasing circles of frustration.

If you really are the CEO of Me, Inc and if you really want to be successful, you need to define success on your terms. By the way, you need a Board of Advisors to keep yourself honest. The only product of Me, Inc is your career. And you have a crisis. You have little or no data. Ergo, no plan.

You seem to have a very pressing question. Yes, I do. It all makes sense to me but how do I get started? Specifically, what can I do to stop running around in circles?

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