How to Find the First Step Toward Solving Your Career Problem
Suggested actions to help you get unstuck.
Career problems are big, but the first (or next) step toward the solution is small, and it’s within you.
It may be obscured, or overwhelmed by the many thoughts and variables that seem relevant, but it’s there.
In fact, the entire solution probably is, but right now all you need to worry about is taking one step; finding one micro-solution.
Here are some things you can do to coax it out:
Start a daily writing practice
Review the day’s events, make lists, go stream of consciousness, write short stories or jokes or haikus; it doesn’t matter. Just get the creative (i.e. create words on paper where they didn’t exist beforehand) habit started and watch all the new things that start to bubble up.
Try for at least 30 minutes, and preferably in a setting where you can JUST walk (rather than worry about vehicles, loud noises, dodging other people and such). If you’re in a city, go to the biggest park you can find. Leave the phone behind or have it on silent/DND but with a voice recording app at the ready.
Talk it through
This is the only one you can’t do solo, and it can be tricky getting the right person. They should be clear that their role is not to solve your problem, and ideally they check these boxes:
☑ Good listener
☑ Cares about seeing your ease and happiness increase much more than any agenda
Think of it simply as a brainstorming session. Articulating and hearing your thoughts will regularly generate new and valuable insights.
Drink water; lots of it
Energizes, improves mood, aids cognitive function. The original miracle elixir.
Pass on the booze
Sorry to rain on the parade if drinking is a highlight for you, but the fact is, your thinking is more active, clear, and optimistic when your system’s clean of alcohol. Just take a little break.
• Get enough (enough depends on you, but let’s say a consistent 7-9 hours per night)
• Mind the pre-sleep hygiene (no screens or stress for at least 1 hour before bed)
• Aim for dark, quiet, relatively cool
Habituate awareness of all the good things around and within you. It’ll improve your ability to spot resources and opportunities.
Recognize when the energy ebbs, when you’re a little less inspired or confident, and let yourself off the hook for a while. The creative, problem-solving energy will come back – a process that can be aided by some of the actions above – and then you plug back in.