Continuing on the theme of setting and sticking to goals, the next 4 part post explore the barriers that could creep in once we start to consider career options and explore our side projects. From loosing momentum, having trouble with goal setting, or being overcome by the obstacles, these could all lead to staying stuck.
Are You Over It?... Then Let’s Problem Solve
By now you should be you’re buzzing with ideas you could try as part of your side project, or redefining what role, industry or approach you want to take with your new career.
But if you’re not buzzing and your career redesign has lost its shine, you might be becoming complacent or unable to take the next steps. Maybe it’s starting to feel like it’s a problem rather than an opportunity.
Dr Sarah Edelman, author of Change Your Thinking, believes that our approach to overcoming our problems or difficulties depends on both the situation we find ourselves in, as well as what personal resources we have to respond to it. These resources include many of the ideas covered so far like in this program, like our attitudes, beliefs, mindset strategies and problem solving skills.
In previous posts we’ve explored how we approach risk and uncertainty through the creative elements as well as why we’re afraid of change. We’ve also been asked to check if we have an ‘avoidance plan’ that’s stopping us making a decision about the next steps.
If you’re really stuck, let’s consider a problem solving approach to get you out of this mindset.
Dr Sarah Edelman writes that we must start from the premise that a solution exists. If we do this, then we are more willing to look for solutions and are more likely to apply them.
She also believes we must recruit the support of others to help us come up with more ideas, reinforcing the tribe and collaboration concepts discussed in the course program.
“Some situations lend themselves to problem solving more easily than others. Sometimes the solutions are obvious and, while we may not always be keen to make the effort, we know what we need to do…. But what about those tough ones - those difficult situations for which no obvious solutions exist? …. Brainstorming possible options and then narrowing down to a short list is the best way to work out what needs to be done”.
The 5 Step Problem Solving Process
In Change Your Thinking, Dr Edelman provides a structured problem solving approach to complex problems.
1. Define the Problem Clearly
When we feel like the career directions are overwhelming, we need to define the problem. This will make the situation feel more manageable and help us define what the next steps could be.
2. Brainstorm Possible Solutions
When solutions are not obvious we need to think creatively and brainstorming can help us explore a wider range of career options. Brainstorming allows us to write all our ideas down, regardless of how practical they are and if we do this with others, we can often get further creative ideas.
3. Identify the Best Solutions
Now it’s time to cull the career ideas and eliminate the ones that are neither feasible nor realistic. This assists us to identify the most workable solutions to our redesign process.
4. Set Clear Goals
From the list of best most workable solutions, now start to set some specific goals that can help you focus your future career or side project actions.
5. Break Down the Goals into Smaller Goals
For the more complex goals that could require more planning, break them down further and see these as stepping stones to your main goals. It will help to start a timeline with start and end dates.
This five-step process probably sounds quite simple, but it’s surprising how many of us don’t follow a logical process when confronted with what appear to be overwhelming problems.
Further to this, is staying focused on our desire for change and ensuring that as obstacles come along, we don’t loose hope or give up and loose the momentum for a new career.