Ready for something unorthodox? Today I’d like to show you how to make the most of your downtime when you are keen to achieve career success!
Leverage your downtime to strategize your career
Yes, you’ve been busy all the time and at last, you have some “me time” for yourself. Hence, during your downtime, you can read a book about career advice or take an online program that teaches you how to get your ideal job in record time. Then you will see the transformation in record time. Invest time in yourself now and you will reap the benefits.
Your network is your net worth.
It turns out that your downtime the best time to mingle with the right people that you should totally meet for your career success. No matter it’s catching up with old colleagues or meeting acquaintances that have the right resources you need, these are literally networking events. By the way, your acquaintances are more likely to help you in terms of your career, whereas your family/friends are less likely to help you in this regard because you and your family/friends share the same resources – if your family/friends can help you with your career, they must have done it already.
In this day and age, changing directions in an individual’s career is commonplace. If a career pivot is done right, it can be the most satisfying thing in your life. But how can we pivot successfully?
Dig the well before you’re thirsty. Statistics show that most successful career pivots come from career contacts and business connections. That means you should totally build a powerful network and stay connected to your network. Remember: Your network is your net worth. Therefore, you must keep in touch with your most valuable contacts and see how you can help them (Yes, I said must, not should). By that I mean you need to see if there is something that you can offer other people first. That’s how you maintain your network. Don’t wait until you have to get a new job (because no one likes transactions); just do it now.
Learn something new. If you are interested in a particular career which requires a certain qualification, you’d better get the qualification as early as you can. Never stop learning. Apart from technical skills, you also need to develop your soft skills (including people skills) to help you stand out from the crowd. According to best-selling author and strategist Robert Greene, without people skills, your technical skills oftentimes don’t work.
Right now, we are in uncertain times due to COVID-19. Truthfully, no one likes uncertainty, but uncertainty is just a part of life that we have to accept. Obviously, a large number of industries have been seriously affected by the current global crisis. Therefore, when it comes to your career, it’s very important to carefully consider your career goals today.
Goal-setting and daily rituals: Frankly, goal-setting alone will not help you achieve your goals. In my opinion, both goal-setting and daily rituals are equally paramount. Let me explain. Let’s say currently you are a teacher, but you are looking to change your career and become a freelance writer before 31st December 2020. This goal is very good because it’s specific enough. Now what you need is daily rituals, e.g. every day you do something that helps you achieve your goal – you should learn how to find clients, how to make your existing skills transferrable, etc. That means every day you have to do something that moves the needle forward.
Allow yourself to feel unsure. I’d like to give you permission to feel unsure because this is a challenging period of time due to COVID-19. It’s absolutely normal to feel a bit anxious these days. There is nothing wrong with you if you are worried or overwhelmed. My suggestion is to do one thing at a time – that’s the best way to make yourself calm and grounded. 😊
Find your calling during your downtime.
Your calling isn’t just a job. But do you know exactly how to find your calling?
What are you curious about now? Maybe your interest has changed, so you are confused – That’s absolutely normal. When that happens, you can simply look at what you are curious about right now because that’s the best way to stop overthinking and start taking action. For instance, if you are curious about online business, you would be well-advised to read some books about this topic and then create a website. When you bring passion to what you are curious about, you will love every step of the way.
What is the thing that is obvious to you but it’s amazing to others? Of course, you need to monetize your hobby/interest in order to make a living. When you are still young, time is your biggest asset. Therefore, you can test various things and figure out your favorite field. But before you start something random, you’d better assess: A. what you are good at (because that’s usually what you like doing); B. what people would pay for (because you need to find a market). The intersection of A and B is your calling!
A final tip regarding your downtime:
Nowadays many people burn out because of overwork; therefore, it’s paramount to work smart instead of working too hard. I’d like to share three strategies that have allowed me to do less and achieve more.
Use the 80/20 rule. Tim Ferriss famously said, “80% of your big wins come from 20% of the things that you do at work.” Hence, identifying your 20% is very important – these are high-leverage tasks in your work. For example, 80% of my big wins come from two things that I do regularly: writing content and building relationships with people. Thus, I prioritize these two tasks all the time, i.e. I write content for four hours every day, and I catch up with my work friends three times a week. As for other tasks, I try to do as little as possible!
Go to bed early. I usually go to bed as early as I can, so I often get up very early in the morning and feel energetic. In this way, I become quite productive at work and can save a lot of time. As a result, I not only get more work done but also have more time to relax.
Create a weekly to-do list. A daily to-do list is less flexible because chances are unexpected things happen and many tasks require more time than you planned. That’s why I have a weekly to-do list instead. In this case, I have more flexibility – if a particular task isn’t done on Monday, I can get it done on Tuesday. If something on Friday is canceled, I can make new plans & I’m able to see what’s happening in one week in front of me (certainty and clarity are so key)!
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