If you‘ve ever asked yourself this question, you’re not alone. It’s a hard decision to make. The sure thing is the job you have now, but a better opportunity for advancement or more money or a new location, etc. is out there somewhere. That feels risky.
As a speaker and coach, I tell my audiences and clients this all the time – Deliberate Decisions Determine Destiny. Your job or career can go in whatever direction you decide to take it. Your deliberate decisions, your deliberate actions, and your determined attitude will take you wherever you want to go. You’re only stuck if you believe you’re stuck. You’re only out of options if you believe you’re out of options. You’ll never be selected for another job if you believe you’ll never be selected for another job.
Former President Ronald Reagan said he learned the need for decision-making early in life. An aunt had taken him to a cobbler to have a pair of shoes made for him. The shoemaker asked young Ronald Reagan, “Do you want a square toe or a round toe?”
Reagan hemmed and hawed. So the cobbler said, “Come back in a day or two and let me know what you want.”
A few days later the shoemaker saw Reagan on the street and asked what he had decided about the shoes. “I still haven’t made up my mind,” the boy answered. “Very well,” said the cobbler.
When Reagan received the shoes, he was shocked to see that one shoe had a square toe and the other a round toe.
“Looking at those shoes every day taught me a lesson,” said Reagan years later. “If you don’t make your own decisions, somebody else will make them for you!” (Source: View from the Cockpit, Archie B. Lawson)
What decision are you putting off? If you wait too long, the decision may be made for you. You may get laid off because you didn’t show your value. Someone else may be selected for that promotion because you thought you were a shoo-in so you didn’t prepare for the interview.
In order for you to get where you want to be in life, you must make deliberate decisions and take deliberate action now. Anyone who has ever accomplished something they are proud of will tell you it didn’t happen by accident. It required deliberate hard work, deliberate sacrifice, and deliberate persistence. If you want to be in control of your future, you must be deliberate.
There are things you can do right now to prepare yourself for what’s next in your job or your career. Talk to people who are doing what you want to be doing in your job or career. Ask questions. Ask for advice. Ask what skills you should improve or add. Learn as much as you can.
- Develop your skills and add new skills in the job you already have. Find ways to benefit the organization and your own future.
- Volunteer to lead a special project with a specific timeline (3 months, 6 months)
- Serve on a committee that interests you
- Mentor a new employee
- Champion a new program
Update your resume now
- Don’t wait until you’re under pressure to beat an application deadline. A rushed resume never looks as good in the hiring manager’s hands the next morning as you thought it did the night before when you were frantically finishing it.
- Write your resume or answer application questions differently than other applicants. Don’t just state what your job was, elaborate on what you accomplished.
- Instead of writing, “I was a training instructor” write, “I trained 30 employees a month for 3 years when our company implemented a new software program.”
- Instead of writing, “I was the manager for a product re-launch” write, “I led 137 employees in a massive product re-launch. We met our goal of selling 100,000 units in the first quarter.”
- Look outside your job or career. What contributions have you made to your community, your church, your kids’ activities in athletic or the arts or civic groups? As a stay at home mom or dad describe your success with keeping the schedule of 3, 4, 5 busy people, balancing the finances of a growing and changing family, managing all aspects of a family household, etc.
Deliberately take control of your future. You can’t start planning for your future on the day an opportunity arises. That’s way too late. That opportunity will pass you by. Your job or career can go in whatever direction you decide to take it. Your deliberate decisions, your deliberate actions, and your determined attitude will take you wherever you want to go.
Be deliberate. It’s up to you!