Crisis a la mode

Many of my clients come to me in a state of panic. They are prompted to call me because something has gotten so bad at work that they feel they just can’t take another minute of it. It could be a horrible boss whose negative barrage wears them down. It may be a job that is so mind-numbing it puts their minds into a permanent state of frostbite. Or perhaps they have worked extreme hours year after year at a job that they hate.

There usually isn’t an exact moment they can pinpoint, but they know they need to make a change and they simply cannot wait another minute.

Then something surprising happens. Over our weeks of working together, something normally gives. Their boss lets up a bit, a new and exciting project lands in their lap, or the hours lessen. However, these are usually temporary reprieves that often lead to a negative result.

I know what you’re thinking: how can positive changes at work end up becoming negative? Do I really just want my clients to continue suffering in misery? No; of course I’m happy for their well-deserved mini-vacation. The real problem is that these reprieves make many clients lose their negative motivation. The negative aspects of their jobs and careers were what brought them to me and motivated them to seek a career change. Once the negative is removed, even temporarily, the motivators are gone. I often hear from my clients during these respites, “I don’t know why, but I’ve become complacent.”

So the question then becomes, how do you replace your negative motivators with positive ones? Try to imagine what a truly great job or career would look like. Maybe you’ve even experienced it before. What was that like? Can you imagine your life being better? Capture that image, thought, writing or concept. Now put it in your pocket. I mean, literally, put it in your pocket. When you find yourself feeling complacent again, take it out and read it. Allow it to inspire you. Motivation leads to action, action leads to change, and change leads to improved circumstances and a better quality of life. So get your positive motivation, put it in your pocket, and kick into high gear!