Expectations are the strong beliefs that shape our reality and impact our behaviors and those around us. In Norton Juster’s story, The Phantom Tollbooth, the main character Milo learns:

“Expectations is the place you must always go to before you get to where you’re going.”

The duality of career aspirations.

As you’re exposed to new opportunities and experiences, you can expect your feelings about what you want and need to change. You may grapple between feeling grateful for what you have and wanting something different, and as a result, ping-pong back and forth between complacency and resentment. This internal conflict and misalignment can feel like never-ending contradictions and influence how you view your predicament and overall work satisfaction.

Watch out for doubt which may seep in during change.

When embarking on new ways to do something, uncertainty creeps in unexpectedly. You may experience moments of hope and optimism and then ruminate about what is not possible. One way to catch yourself in this negative spiral is to pay attention to what you’re saying or thinking. For example, “should” is a warning sign that you’re holding onto a limiting belief or passing judgment. The word often shows up when you’re out of alignment with where you are and want to be.

As Eckhart Tolle eloquently expressed:

“Stress is caused by being ‘here’ and wanting to be ‘there.’”

It’s easy to blame others or an organization when unhappy or frustrated. However, by focusing on what’s in your control and embracing a fresh perspective, you can reimagine multiple ways to move forward and put a career plan in place.

Attaining your new aspirations.

Understanding what fulfills you and what you value most is crucial to evaluating your options. The more you can demonstrate what lights you up and how these capabilities contribute to the company’s vision and goals, the more influence you can potentially have in reshaping your work. As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, surmised:

“Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least.”

Identify what lights you and what depletes you.

Conducting a SWOT analysis can help you boost your confidence and align your career aspirations with your assets and liabilities. You can also take the free Sparketype® assessment to pinpoint the work that makes you come alive and the type of labor that requires the heaviest lift for you.

To help you assess your career and prioritize your wants and needs, think through the following:

  • What are the three to five things I value most, i.e., what makes me happy with my job?
  • What makes me unhappy with my current work, i.e., what’s missing and draining me?
  • How is my work environment impacting my satisfaction?
  • What’s in my control to change?
  • Have I discussed expanding my scope or focus to include more of what I like doing?
  • Are there other career paths for me to consider within my organization?

You can also check out these previous blogs for ways to define your career goals and gain clarity on your career values. This insight, coupled with overcoming any resistance, limiting beliefs, and quieting your inner critic, will support you in your overall assessment.

Take ownership of your career.

If you’re looking to ignite you or your team’s fullest potential, please reach out to me. I provide customized services, programs, and workshops tapping into various disciplines, modalities, and techniques to achieve the desired goals and activate the best in you and your team. Schedule a free call with me to learn more.

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