Three changes that can enhance your career trajectory
Positioning yourself in the marketplace and staying relevant to potential employers involves much more than simply developing career specific skills and writing a great resumé. Your mindset and attitude play a large part in your professional success. In fact, there are three specific mental programming techniques that can make a huge difference in whether you fulfill your career aspirations or flounder occupationally.
1. Abundant Thinking
You can approach your career, job search, or anything in life from one of two viewpoints: scarcity or abundance. With scarcity thinking, the belief sounds something like this: “There are a limited number of jobs, and there are many more people who are qualified for any particular job. Therefore, I have to make sure I’m number one. Too bad there’s really no unique way for me to stand out.” Scarcity thinking tends to fuel competitiveness, aggressiveness, and even learned helplessness. After all, why bother trying if you tell yourself that you don’t have a chance of succeeding anyway?
The flip side of scarcity thinking is abundant thinking. With abundant thinking, the inner dialogue sounds something like this: “There are plenty of opportunities available. It’s just a matter of finding the one that works best with my unique skill set and experience. With a little patience and time, I’ll be able to find the right position for me.” Abundant thinking tends to promote tenacity, persistence, and realism. It enables you to reflect on your gifts and talents in a more holistic fashion, rather than a narrow fashion.
Of course, abundant thinking doesn’t mean delusional thinking. You have to be realistic. For example, perhaps the career you want really does have a limited number of positions, such as being an astronaut. Mathematically, it’s true that there are a limited number of astronauts. If you think abundantly, though, you can say, “My chances of being an astronaut may be limited, but perhaps there’s a position that supports astronauts that I can investigate. So what are some astronaut-related occupations? Who supports astronauts? What technology do they use a lot? If they have a crisis, who helps them?” When you keep your focus on abundance rather than scarcity, you are better able to recognize the opportunities available to you.
A positive effect of abundant thinking is that it fosters creativity, which is also important when seeking a new position or enhancing your professional life. For example, suppose you’re contemplating a career change. When many people start envisioning a new future for themselves, they immediately believe there is only one path to get there (scarcity thinking). However, there’s something called the law of equifinality, which means there are multiple paths to the same destination (abundant thinking). In essence, when you’re creative your goal might be fixed, but you recognize that there are multiple ways to achieve that goal.
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