You Get What You Ask For

Posted: July 9, 2011 in Psychology
Tags: ,

Do you feel like you’re doing all the right things and getting all the wrong results? If you’re the only one who knows what you’re going for, there’s a good reason you aren’t seeing good results.

Your Job

If you have a job as a graphic artist, for example, and help out with technical documentation on your own time, don’t expect to be offered a technical writer position. Promotions are offered in line with your current job. You need to be explicit about what you want. Let the managers who work with technical writers know that you want to switch roles. Get their advice and take assignments from them. Study what they tell you to study to get ready for any required tests and to prepare for the change.

Keep track of everything you do to prepare for the role you want and you will be ready if the company happens to be one that blocks role changes. The same studies, practice and certifications that would have gotten you what you wanted in your current company can help you get into the role in a different company.

Your Entrepreneurial Sideline

I’ll continue with the graphic artist example. Let’s say you want to go into freelance graphic design and leave your day job. If the only thing you do is apply for graphic design work on freelance job boards, you won’t get anywhere. Work you do for others usually can’t be used as an example of your work (you’ve sold the rights) and you sure can’t use examples from your day job. You’re not asking for what you want. You’re settling for what you can get.

A better approach is to create examples of your work that you can use to show off what you can do. If you want to use the internet, you can put your examples on the same website where you advertise your services. In the real world, you can have the examples available for when clients drop by.

Your Relationships

If you keep making new friendships in the same places you’ve always gone to find friends to drink with, don’t expect to find people interested in business. And the reverse too, if you want friends you can unwind with. You’re setting yourself up to fail. Go to the places where people with similar needs would go. If you want to become an entrepreneur, go to business association meetings. If you want to quit drinking, go to A. A. If you want to become a carpenter, go to trade school. You’ve got to get the ball rolling yourself. Nobody else is going to come along and make your dreams happen.

Now is the Only Time

Make a new commitment to your intentions. Learn. Do. Be. Practicing the life and career you want produces new learning opportunities and improves your abilities at your craft. Immersion in your work keeps it always on your mind and it will come up in conversations. Meeting with others is an opportunity to increase your community and collaborators. Sometimes you will be surprised at who can help you.

Don’t make plans for the future. Make plans for today. Start now.

Article text copyright 2011 David Arthur Smith. All Rights Reserved.


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