One of the greatest secrets for career success is your out-of-office life.
Most career books miss this altogether or barely address it. Most employers will not care what you do in your free time (as long as you don’t do anything to embarrass them). However, your life outside the office has a huge impact on your life inside the office. Being proactive with your out-of-office life will make you happier and increase your performance at work. I often wonder how much better my experience could have been with my dream job in the NBA, if I knew then what I know now about taking charge of the other areas of my life.
Make sure you are headed where you want to be in every area of your life, not just your career. If not, determine what you need to change to get there and create a plan for making it happen. Instead of just setting New Year’s Resolutions, look at your goals in monthly increments to make them more manageable. Most importantly, spend 1-2 hours every weekend (all year long) reflecting on the previous week, planning the following week, and thinking about the overall direction of your life and your contribution to the world. I could have enjoyed my twenties a lot more (and achieved even more professionally) if I had started this practice as a student.
If you don’t think this weekly ritual is worth doing, what are you doing in your free time that is more important?! Most people unfortunately spend more time worrying about the lives of their favorite celebrities or athletes than they do in planning their own lives. As you get older, your values will also change. Mine certainly have.
If you don’t stop along the way to make sure you are headed in the right direction, you can end up far away from where you really want to be.
When was the last time you spent 1-2 hours to think about and map out your future?
P.S. To receive a FREE 25-page report on Job Search and Career Success Secrets for Students and Young Professionals, visit my web site at www.PeteLeibman.com.
-Pete Leibman (Pete@DreamJobAcademy.com)
-Author of “I Got My Dream Job And So Can You: The Blueprint For Career Success As A Young Professional” (due out through AMACOM in spring 2012)
-Founder of Dream Job Academy
-Keynote Speaker for The Dream Job College Tour
–Creator of The Washington Wizards’ Sports Careers Day