Posted on January 6th, 2010 by Colin and is posted in Career
This is a guest post by Sital Ruparelia
If you speak to a financial advisor or expert, they’ll tell you that the key to avoiding financial troubles is to focus your spending habits around your “needs” rather than your “wants.”
When you spend in accordance to your needs, you’ll be satisfied, happy and financially successful. When you spend based based on your ‘wants’ at the expense of your ‘needs’, it’s a slippery slope to financial trouble, instability and debt.
And often when you do spend on ‘wants’ it’s masking a ‘need’ that’s not being met (e.g. you spend because you’re feeling bored, sad, lonley, insecure, angry, tired etc) and so seek out the short term hit or high from spending. But the high is only short term and so eventually you’re back to where you were before – only a little poorer.
The very same applies to your career
I often meet people who are stuck in a rut. They’re not happy with their work and career situation, but don’t quite know what’s missing. Or if they do, don’t have the confidence or know-how to do anything about it.
They eventually hit a breaking point or get charmed by a head hunter and end up taking a role that meets their ‘wants’ (e.g. a ‘change’, more money, fancy title, more responsibility) but fails to meet their ‘needs’. So 12 months later, they find themselves in a very same position as before – albeit it with a different title and maybe a little more money. And once again get caught up in the same cycle of frustration.
The key to getting out of such situations is to figure out your *needs* and developing a strategy to meet those needs.
Here are 4 steps that will help:
1. Identify your key needs
Look at your past experience and identify your top 6 or 7 key needs that you have in your professional life.
Here are my own top 7 needs below. If most of these are ‘ticked’ in an average week, I’m very happy:
- The need for autonomy and flexibility
- The need to spend most of my week using my strengths and unique talents
- The need to create and innovate
- The need to be around people
- The need to do work that makes a difference. To create a legacy
- The financial need to pay the mortgage and live the lifestyle I choose
- The need to laugh and have fun whilst I work
2. Rank your needs from 1 to 7
1 = currently the most important to you
7 = least important
3. Identify what’s currently missing
Review your current role (or most recent role if you’re not working) and identify what’s currently ‘missing.’
4. Get creative about how to fulfil ‘most’ of those needs
Not all of your needs have to met through your day job. Or indeed, one job. You may decide to volunteer, help a non-profits, take a second part-time job or start a home-based business to fulfil needs which can’t be met from your day job.
For some of you, your financial need may be your most important need and so trying to make a complete change may not an option. And so you’ll need to be creative about how you fulfil your other needs without changing jobs.
In my experience, the key to getting unstuck is to ‘unlock the pad lock’ to your top 3 needs. If you can find a way to quickly meet your top 3 needs 70% of the time, it creates a sense of release that effects your job, your relationships and your health.
You stop looking for the short term ‘hits’ and avoid going down the slippery slope that has you getting constantly stuck in careers and roles that don’t meet your needs and so make you miserable.
Sital Ruparelia publishes “Straight Talk“, the weekly newsletter for 6-Figure Professionals who want to be more effective and achieve their career goals. If you’re ready to jump-start your career, have greater success, satisfaction and rewards then get your F.R.E.E tips now at www.6FigureCareerManagement.com