Career management is not a set-it-and-forget-it strategy. It requires diligence and motivation. The sound of the term alone can be incredibly intimidating.
The truth is — yes, it’s difficult to start and sustain your career management practices, but it’s not as hard as most people tend to believe. You can make small adjustments to your daily routines to get better at planning and executing your career goals.
Let’s take a look at the EASY approach to successful career management:
The impact your physical well-being has on your overall well-being, including your mental health, cannot be overstated. Sedentary behavior can leave you unfocused, tired, and disengaged.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) released a study in January 2015, where 56 employees participated in three weekly 30-minute lunchtime group-led walks for 10 weeks. The study found that these walks improved their enthusiasm and sense of relaxation, and reduced their nervousness at work.
If 90 minutes of light exercise had that impact, imagine if you made exercise a part of your daily life. These advantages will have a direct positive impact on your career. Ready to feel more alert and experience better concentration? Check out these quick exercise tips on how to work up a quick sweat in your day.
- Challenge friends to competitions to motivate yourself to exercise regularly
- Track your activity levels and measure where you want to improve
- Join a local gym and sign up for classes ahead of time
- Do what you like, such as interval training, and avoid what you hate, like running
- Perform your exercise in the morning so you can get your priority done for the day
If you’re stuck in a negative mindset, you will not be able to learn and grow, and you’ll fall short of your goals. Look at athletes and how they adopt a growth mindset when it comes to their careers.
A growth mindset is holding onto the belief that the talent and abilities you have can be developed through dedication and practice. Michael Jordan spoke a lot about persevering through obstacles and furthering his development.
“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed,” he said. “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” His attitude of not giving up is what made him one of the best NBA players of all time.
It comes down to willpower — you need to consciously develop a positive attitude and accept missteps and shortcomings as part of the process. Despite what many studies have previously found, your willpower does not deplete over time.
A July 2016 study published in Perspectives on Psychological Science found no evidence of what is known as “ego depletion,” the concept that people who are completing a self-control task experience reduced self-control and suffer from poor performance on the next task. What’s more, when people get this idea in their head, that they can, in fact, lose mental energy for maintaining their willpower and self-control, they are more likely to lose their willpower.
So in other words, you can maintain a high level of willpower and manage to stay committed to achieving your career goals. Just stay focused on your process.
Each day, write out the biggest fears you face and remind yourself you have what it takes to try. Value your learning process. Reflect at the end of your day to note how you could have approached situations better and express gratitude about your daily successes.
The third aspect of the EASY career management approach involves education. Continually strive to educate yourself and learn new skills and knowledge in your industry.
First, you need to find the skills gap. If you’re pursuing a career in sports marketing and have a sales background, you need to find what technical skills and knowledge you need to learn. For example, if you want a brand marketing and communications position at a marketing agency, you’ll need to learn about scheduling, managing editorial calendars, and pulling reports.
When you know where you are lacking, you know what you need to learn to get to the next level. You can educate yourself with online resources, like Treehouse, Skillcrush, Udemy, and Khan Academy. They offer a wide variety of courses that give you a basic understanding of specific topics.
You should also get some in-person connections within your industry. Join professional organizations so you can meet people and learn more about what it takes to succeed in your prospective role.
For example, talk to marketing coordinators and communications experts to get some more detailed information about the field. A professional’s personal perspective is far more insightful than a job description.
Build education and networking into your daily routine. Assign yourself reading schedules that include books on topics you want to learn, enroll in online courses, follow-up with professional contacts, or listen to educational podcasts. There are several educational resources and networking opportunities to pursue.
Define who you are as a professional and stay true to your values. First, you need to define your values — what gives you purpose. As a sports marketing professional, you might say you have a purpose to tell stories and connect people with meaningful content.
Your purpose statement should align with your core values and passions. Once you know your purpose and values, you can practice staying true to yourself on a daily basis.
For example, if you value hard work, reflect everyday on how your efforts played out. Be deliberate in your decision making. If you value connection and know your purpose is to grow in the sports marketing profession, you will be able to make career decisions faster. You’ll know when to say no and what success looks like for you.
How are you simplifying your career management process?