How To Stop Sabotaging Your Career Success With One-Dimensional Definitions

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Have you been sabotaging your own career without realizing it?

One of the most common stumbling blocks you may need to overcome in order to truly have success in your career is to recognize and then remove self-limiting beliefs, attitudes, interpretations, and the supposed "truths" that have defined your life.

"Self-limiting" refers to something, either physical or mental, that you create and that limits you.

You may be inhibiting your own progress by definitions that have been given to you by others or that you adopted that no longer work for you, but you've bought into, anyway. 

These self-limiting factors could be based on your current career field, job title, geographic location, gender, race, ethnicity, age, intelligence, or physical condition. 

Think about these self-definitions as constraining. However, you can transition to intentional choices as expanding possibilities for your own happiness. 

Avoiding sabotaging your career success with self-limiting definitions.

What may be easy and likely because you've been living it for a long time may actually be holding you back from doing what's attainable for your satisfaction. But, this may involve some risk to venture out of your comfort zone. 

If you're willing to take calculated risks for your own happiness, then you may be surprised by how whole and alive you can feel by distinguishing yourself from what is just expected and predictable. 

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Transform your self-definitions to distinguishing characteristics and accomplishments.

Attitude precedes behavior change.

So, first, compare what you think is a fixed truth to what is actually true by imagining how your life could be better.

Before choosing pathways to success and transition, create a set of goals for yourself. Do you want more autonomy, flexibility, progress, purpose, or better collaboration?

Think about how you feel about yourself, the people you work with, and the purpose in your work as interactive criteria for happiness.

Improvement in each of these factors can be indicators that you are making life better for yourself. 

If you set realistic goals, you can begin the process by planning steps that are achievable.

Start by examining your own self-limiting definitions and habits that hold you back and now begin your career plan to distinguish yourself through breaking out of those definitions.

Here are 4 ways to break out of the self-defining limiting beliefs that lead to sabotaging your career. 

1. Geographic limitations.

The trend to geographically dispersed work (virtually connected by online services such as Zoom and WebEx) has been increasing for years.

The pandemic has accelerated this movement to now provide many more ways to break out of your geographic confines and work from home or in a workspace in your own community.

Virtual work busts the silos of geographic community boundaries for work. Online platforms, such as Flexjobs, Indeed, and LinkedIn enable work opportunities to find you based on your skill sets and experience.

You become an individual contributor to work teams and projects that were not apparent and can now be revealed to you. 

2. Demographic limitations.

Multi-functional and geographically dispersed work teams are now more prevalent.

Diverse people are working in teams and so you need to expand your competence and comfort levels to work with people who are not just like you. And you don't have to be just like them, either.

So, fitting into a narrow definition is no longer a paramount qualifier for employment. 

The diverse online workforce enables those who may be excluded by race, age, sexual orientation, or other factors to more fully participate in the job market.  

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3. Job specificity.

Many new career paths and jobs have been created with the adjacent possibilities of new technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), platforms, apps, and global exchanges such as Amazon Web Services and Etsy. 

Most people are only aware of what they're already familiar with from their own limited experience. New career paths are now opening fresh opportunities so you can find work that best fits you as an individual. 

4. Continuous learning.

Certifications and badges are the best way to up-skill to increase your market value and compensation.

Look for certifications that affirm competencies that are required for job specifications, such as Salesforce Trailhead, Coursera Google Professional Certificates, and LinkedIn Learning.

Online job skilling is the easiest and least-expensive way to immediately increase opportunity. 

Also, check out the many training courses offered at your local community college that provide certificates of completion you can post on your LinkedIn profile and resume. 

Now is the time to re-imagine yourself, your career, and your future.

If you feel stuck and disengaged from your work, now is the time to re-imagine what may be possible. Then have both a plan and the grit to make things happen for yourself in concert with others who can help you on your way.

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Jeff Saperstein is a career transition coach. For more information on how he can help you land your dream job, visit his website.