Putting Your Career in High Gear

By Jeff Davidson

As you progress in your career, the goals and aspirations that you had during earlier years often don’t match the ones that you now have.

You might seek to take on more responsibility at work and to be paid more for your services.

More Challenging Goals

Here is an issue which is subjective and simply isn’t the same for everyone, yet there are common indicators that point to the right times to ‘up’ your goals

If you’ve achieved some of your challenging goals in a fraction of the time you originally allocated, that’s a strong indication that you could set even more challenging goals, or keep them the same, but decrease the time frame for reaching them.

Chip Eichelberger, formerly Tony Robbins’ International point man, has been a motivational speaker to 1000+ groups. He says that as your competence and expertise develop, and the ease with which you perform compared to others in your profession or industry is notable, that is as good a sign as any that it’s time to make your goals more challenging. Some notable examples will bring this topic to life.

Oh, Oh, Oh, It’s Magic

When Michigan State sophomore Magic Johnson won the NCAA basketball crown in 1979, he entered the NBA and became the starting guard for the Los Angeles Lakers. Among many other rookie stars that year, he sought to make his mark in the pro leagues, and be a major contributor to his team.

During his first season, he received rave notices for his passing ability and leadership skills. During the NBA finals that year, against the Philadelphia 76ers, when All-Star center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was forced to miss the sixth and deciding game because of injury, Magic Johnson filled in at the center position.

In an amazing performance, he scored 42 points and was named the finals MVP. As his Lakers team was crowned NBA champions, it was apparent even in his rookie season, that one championship for Magic wasn’t going to be enough. Any earlier goals he might have had regarding his performance, how the Lakers would fare, and what kind of champions they might be, suddenly became outdated.

Consumer Advocacy Redefined

Ralph Nader had been a one-man crusader for consumer rights in the middle of the last century. In the early 1960s, when he challenged the automobile industry through the court system and with his book, Unsafe at Any Speed, he was quickly hailed as a consumer advocate par excellence. The book, which went on to become a bestseller, documented the known risks and engineering shortcomings of the nation’s most popular selling cars.

Whatever goals Nader had as a consumer advocate, following his sparkling victory in compelling the auto industry to increase its safety standards, soon became surpassed. Nader realized that one well-presented jury case was more impactful than 10,000+ protesters clanging on fences outside of General Motors headquarters.

Not resting on his achievements, Nader initiated the Public Interest Resource Group (PIRG), which ultimately launched a branch in every state. He founded Common Cause, an organization and national magazine directed at illuminating the practices and procedures of special interest groups, in particular, when they ran contrary to the “common causes” that benefited so many more people.

After that, Nader became an unbowed advocate of environmental protection. He relentlessly exposed corporate and multinational interests that appeared to act contrary to the wants and needs of larger society. In perspective, Nader’s whole career was one of choosing goals, and then by enlisting the dedication and support of legions of followers, – primarily volunteers, making his goals even more challenging.

When everything inside of you cries out that you can reach your goals, and achieve even more, it is an appropriate time to make your goals more challenging.

From His Dorm Room

Michael Dell is the founder of Dell computers. As you might know, when he launched his company decades ago, it was from his college dormitory room! At many junctures throughout his career, in his 20s, 30s, 40s and now 50s, he has upped the ante in terms of the goals he has chosen.

Today, this multimillionaire many times over sponsors one of the contests on the PGA golf tour, the Dell Technologies Championship. Dell has said that you don’t have to be a genius or visionary, or even a college graduate to be successful. “You simply need a framework and a dream.”

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Posted by Jeff Davidson

Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony.

Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including:
* Managing the Pace with Grace®
* Achieving Work-Life Balance™
* Managing Information and Communication Overload®

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