Baby steps lead to big outcomes

Many are in situations at work or in personal life that seem routine with little improvement.  The day to day responsibilities at work, home, family, and community are ever constant and take up a significant portion of our time to maintain stability in our lives.  We endure the status quo to the best we can no matter how frustrated it gets at times.  In many instances, the situation can be changed, even if it looks daunting at the beginning. Once you commit to change, it is time to chart a journey to bring about that change. In the beginning, you might know the next step or two, and not have a fully baked plan. This is quite normal – when you are trying to do something new, you are not going to be good at it immediately.  It is important to start the journey with baby steps (small goals) that you can think of and over time, it can lead to big results.  Here is a simple example of how to navigate a career change journey.

Goal 1 – Awareness

Firstly, it is important to be self-aware.  For example, you must know that your current job is not going to fulfill your aspirations in the long run. A simple way to gain this awareness is to write down the top 3 to 5 things you love to do in a job. Similarly, write down the top 3 to 5 things you do in the current job. Compare them to determine the gap with what you want to do and what you currently do.

Goal 2 – Assessment

Having gained self-awareness, the next thing to do is to assess the type of change that you want to see. In the job example, not every job comes with the responsibilities we all like. If we spend the majority of time doing the things we like to do, most of us can endure those aspects of the jobs that we are not thrilled to do.  Next, identify the ideal job profile that maximizes the type of responsibilities you like. It is also good to identify any training or education you require for the new job.

Goal 3 – Planning

Armed with this assessment, the next thing is to plan. You still have the current job to do and your day to day responsibilities. That is why it is important to plan – to find the time, getting your priorities right, and building a support system.  The biggest investment you will need is with your time. This may mean you have to sacrifice a few things. It is also important to reach out to your friends and family to build your support system. If you need training, getting guidance from others who have done it before helps. You may also have to save to pay for the training.

Goal 4 – Execution

With your plan in place, now it is time for executing your plan. One important aspect of your plan is understanding important milestones along the way. This will help you understand the true progress you are making with the plan. There is a good chance that you will encounter unexpected challenges along the way. All the prior preparation gives you a good framework to tackle these challenges. Don’t panic if you must go back to the planning stage – this is all part of the journey. Remember your journey is unique to you and you cannot expect to know and plan for every eventuality. You will need to improvise and keep moving forward. Milestone by milestone, goal by goal, you will eventually end up in a better position than you started. It may not be the ideal situation you aspired, but better than the one you were in before. Most importantly, you made it happen. You changed the status quo and took control of your life. That is a huge morale booster and propel you further to newer goals.