When Life Throws You a Curve Ball, Throw it Back!

Part 9 of 13 in the Series: Become a Leader

Life Throws A Curve Ball,  Then What?

Life Throws A Curve Ball, Then What?


Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans – John Lennon

The truth is that work is a lifetime constant. It’s a marathon and not a sprint, so along the way you may start getting tired or even feel like quitting!

If that describes you or if you have ever felt like that … don’t give up hope because help is much closer than you think.

And here is why. Today I will be dealing with a pressing problem that is facing many of you, which is: How to you keep your career from stalling when life happens.

Many smart people like you start their careers with a sky-is-the-limit trajectory. Perhaps you were also voted “most likely to succeed” in high school or college.

But twenty years later, you find that though you had fun for a while and made some money along the way, your career has sputtered or stalled for seemingly inexplicable reasons.

What Do You Do When Life Throws You A Curve Ball?

Once you were a pie-in-the-sky, bright-eyed young college graduate who just landed his or her first job. It was (you thought), a high-paying job that guaranteed a comfortable lifestyle, a nice house in the right neighborhood and a decent car.

You were probably single at the time and the life in-front of you seemed to be full of promises. So, you started a fast-track career with grand ambitions. And after a few months or years, you met someone you liked, got married and added a kid or two to complete the picture.

Then life happened! You don’t know how you got there and you don’t know why or when … but your career stalled, sputtered and slowly ground to a halt!

What happened is that maintaining career success required much more energy than you anticipated, so while you were worked at having a life, your career sputtered and stalled.

The demands of life and family seem irreconcilably opposed to the demands of technology and a fast-paced workplace and It is becoming increasingly difficult to juggle both the demands of personal life and an ever-advancing technological workplace.

So, it was subtle and you were not fully aware of the drift. You began to fall two steps behind, then another and another until one day you wake up to realize that your career has stagnated and you ‘re no longer as energized as you once were at the beginning.

If you are in a stagnating or stalled-out career, don’t despair. There is still hope for you. Start doing things the IT Career Coach Way …. Learn and Practice.

Let’s look at the top reasons why your career is stalling, how to prevent career stagnation or how to give yourself a fresh start because you deserve it :-)

You have lost steam and enthusiasm. You’ve lost your vision, energy, focus and drive. And you’re only going through the motions of the job.

HOW TO FIX THIS PROBLEM

  1. Get focused, stop procrastination and start setting specific goals.

  2. Break down your career goals into Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely (SMART) steps.

  3. Consider making a lateral change within your company as this would get you thinking outside the box for a change and invigorate you with new challenges.

Your network is too narrow. Your only career contacts are your boss and co-workers, and your company is so small that you have to wait for someone to die to get a promotion. You have allowed yourself to become isolated from your industry and the better opportunities in your field.

HOW TO FIX THIS PROBLEM

  1. Don’t let networking fall by the wayside.

  2. Keep your name out there in your industry and with the leaders in your field. Remember that personal relationships weigh more in business or hiring decisions.

  3. Keep your resume updated with your achievements on an ongoing basis even if you are happy in your current position.

  4. Know your own strength. Don’t avoid jotting down your strengths because you’re afraid of tooting your own horn. There’s something to be said for humility, but in order to advance in your career and keep that spark alive, you must always be tweeting what you are about doing!

Life has gotten in the way. You’ve got health issues, you’re in debt, you’ve too many bills or your personal relationships are not what they should be. All of this is sapping your energy.

HOW TO FIX THIS PROBLEM

In between the daily grind of life and getting the work done, be sure to take care of you … because you are Numero Uno.

Here is an analogy: you are with kids in an airplane that is going down. Oxygen masks are falling fall around you. And you are instructed to position your own oxygen mask first before taking care of others. Because you will not be able to think straight or function properly until your personal oxygen line is secure.

So, pay strong attention to your personal physical, spiritual and emotional fitness. Just as physical illness can sideline you from getting work done, personal, emotional or spiritual upsets, relationship trials or money problems can get in your way, by cluttering your thoughts, sapping your energy or killing your drive.

Your skills are too localized. You only know one software language or business analysis technique and you’re not even an expert at that. Your foundation is weak and you’re always playing catch up with real-world skills or technology.

HOW TO FIX THIS PROBLEM

Just as a house built on sand falls like a pack of cards in stormy weather, a career that’s weak at the core will come apart in a tough economy. So, stop procrastinating and master the fundamentals of your field.

Make every effort to keep up with the fast-pace of technology change because the price you pay for sitting back, doing nothing or getting comfortable will be too high.

Your feel like a dinosaur. You plan to pay off your student loans while getting more certifications, diplomas and accreditation … hoping that a lucky employer would recognize your intrinsic worth. and before you know it, you’re deep in debt, you’ve wasted a lot of time and no-one is making you a decent job offer!

HOW TO FIX THIS PROBLEM

  1. Change your thinking and you will get a different outcome from life.

  2. This is a new world order. And employers are hiring proven, productive workers with relevant hands-on experience and tightly focused job skills.

  3. Here is the game changer … try the IT Career Coach Way. Work on both studying or learning and developing practical, hands-on career oriented skills at the same time.

The Law Of Inertia – Sir Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton in the First Law of Motion explains a fundamental principle of physical life … every thing continues in its state of rest or motion unless compelled to do otherwise.

Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1726)

Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1726)

In other words … Get Off Your Rockers! And do something

Use what you have to get what you want. Use your skills and experience as a launching pad and don’t be sitting on them.

Stay ahead of the technology curve. Take an online training or coaching class to to advance your practical skills, It doesn’t get in the way of work and you’ve got no excuses for not investing in your life. Often times, your company or employer will be glad to pay for your training, so do yourself a favor … just ask!

If you can’t afford coaching or training then keep a table at your local borders or barnes and noble bookstore and keep yourself up-to-date with the advancements in your field.

Though it may appear that career stagnation happens all of a sudden, the truth is that it happened slowly, gradually, eventually over time. And just as it takes time to come to a place of stagnation, it will also take time to light a new spark to yor now stalled-out career.

Though, time may not seem to be on your side, be patient and take it one step at a time. Each positive, forward step you take, renews your energy and propels you towards a bright and promising future … remember Sir Isaac Newton.




1 Discussion for “When Life Throws You a Curve Ball, Throw it Back!”

  1. ROBERT SCARBOROUGH

    Kingsley,

    I’m pretty much focused on the cisco CCNA stuff now because thats something that fits my skills more and a lot easier to learn for now.

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