Do You Have a New Year’s Career Resolution?

By: Steve Bohler

Repeat after me: “I will read this article”

The new year is a time for new beginnings, focusing on priorities, and making a resolution to take (and maintain) action. It’s a perfect time to make a resolution or commitment to find work you love.

BUT, finding a natural vocation that motivates you every day because it uses your trademark talents and satisfies your own core needs requires more than just wanting it.

Everybody wants something. People want a large house with columns, a new partner, a different body and a vacation in Tahiti. They even want a new life – at least a new work life. At least that’s what the statistics and my observations reflect. If so many people are longing to be in their dream career, then why do too few actually achieve that goal? The answer, my dear reader, lies mainly in the difference between wants and commitments.

Want: n. the state of desiring something that is absent or unavailable.

Wants are our hopes, dreams, ambitions and passions. Wants keep us going, but they’re a dime-a-dozen. This is because they’re so easy to have. Wanting does not require an action. You can lie on your couch watching “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”, and all the while your wants float in and out of your head as easily as fantasies, which is about what they are.

Commitment: n. the act of binding yourself (intellectually or emotionally) to a course of action.

Commitments, on the other hand, are requirements that you establish for your life. They are solemn promises to achieve a specific outcome. They supply you with the raw energy—the motivation—you need to live an extraordinary life.

Compare the two statements:

Nancy: “I want to find a career I love”
Karen: “I will find a career I love”

Who do you think has a likelier chance of find a career they love?

The bottom line to all of this is that if you want to achieve a fulfilling career, you must make some commitments to yourself. There’s no way around it.

Where to go from here?

The key to positive career choice lies in:

1. identifying your comprehensive list of wants
2. deciding which wants to commit to

Identifying your complete list of wants involves examining every aspect of you and your situation: your natural abilities, personality, work values, goals, ideal work environment, and family situation. I have found that the most effective way to accomplish the first step is through a methodical combination of (a) introspection, (b) personal assessments and (c) exercises/inquiries posed by a professional career counselor/coach.

Once you have that list, you can start on the second step—deciding what you want to commit to and what you’re willing to work for.

Why don’t we get what we want?

Because life simply is not fair. In fact, it can be downright crappy at times. Our odds of stumbling into a wholly wonderful life are only slightly better than hell freezing over. But the odds increase dramatically when you commit to having a wonderful life.

As the Rolling Stones said “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” Notice that they didn’t say “You Can’t Always Get What You Commit To.”

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Steve Bohler is the founder and head coach of the Oxford Program. The Oxford Program has helped over 1000 people worldwide change from the wrong career to a "Natural Vocation." Go to The Oxford Program.

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