By Michael Mayher

Well here we go again, another year behind us and a new one ahead of us. For six years the economy has settled into the new normal. For some people it is okay, for a very few it is great, but for most the economy and jobs market seems stuck on mediocre to poor. However, often perception is reality and while a large number of people are willing to accept reality, as told to them by others, the more determined and goal oriented among us say no, we want better, we’re determined and nobody’s going to tell us otherwise. And we really don’t care what others think of our determination.

If you feel stuck, if you have long felt dissatisfied, as though your career progression is stalled, do something about it. For years I have watched as people increasingly make more excuses than to take action for their own sake. Many claim there is nothing they can do and their lot in life is beyond their control, preferring instead to bitch and whine about how unfair the world is - wellboo hoo, get me a tissue. Each one of us has the power and ability to improve our station in life to varying degrees, yet many choose to do nothing. What about you?

If you’re already satisfied and see no reason to change or alter anything that’s cool, then it’s all good – for the time being. However, if you sense that you can do or should be doing better, take stock of your situation and formulate a plan; regardless of how simple or complex, recognize it might not happen overnight and get to steppin’ (move) in the right direction. But you’ve gotta know where you want to go or get to, figuratively speaking; that is, if you want to make a change, know what it is you want to accomplish. If you can articulate what is lacking and how and what you want to change, that’s a start, good for you. If it is a new job, a promotion, a pay raise, more responsibility, or maybe you want to do something completely unrelated to your current job, you first need to figure it out.  Change is a good thing and it prevents atrophy of the mind, body and soul. Who knows, it is possible that in your future an opportunity may present itself and your career could change direction, perhaps dramatically. Some may read that sentence with trepidation, while others are inspired. 

If you resolve that this is a year to make a change, be realistic and don’t expect it to happen right away. The good jobs, the kinds we want, don’t come along as often or as easily as they once did, although there are companies hiring every week of the year. And if you have a choice, never leave one job until you have secured the next.

But I suppose the primary take-away from this blog entry and frankly, what I want most to communicate, is not to let others tell you what you can or cannot accomplish. If you listen to those who tell us what we’re supposed to think and do, you’ll voluntarily be limiting your own potential. The opinion of anyone else, who is not a close family member, colleague or friend, has little meaning nor should it influence your efforts. Draw your own conclusions as a free-thinking individual. Groupthink only diminishes and handicaps potential because that is what it is meant to do. When I lecture or give presentations and I am asked by someone what they can do to set themselves apart from the crowd, my reply is simple: don’t be a part of the crowd, be different; look at what they are doing and innovate to serve your own purposes. But be prepared for disapproval from those who, for whatever reason, choose to remain within the herd mentality and tell themselves the status quo is good enough.

More articles by Michael Mayher:
Periodic Update of Your Resume 

About the Author: Michael Mayher has been an international direct search recruiter on two continents for over 22 years. A consultant, published author, lecturer and blogger, he re-introduces professionals to critical Soft Skills lost in our digital age and necessary to effectively navigate their careers. You can find more information by visiting his blog and website

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