“May the Fourth be with you.” If you have any Star Wars fans in your life – and if you haven’t, please pardon the rest of us as we electronically sidle away from you – you’ve probably already heard this a couple-hundred times this morning, counting online mentions. So you already know that today, May 4th, is a holy day for Star Wars fans and pun lovers everywhere. But what you probably don’t know is that today is also an excellent day to think about what’s missing in your career, and to set about fixing it. Forget your career bible of choice – what you need is The Force.
(Photo Credit: JD Hancock/Flickr)
Don’t believe it? Think about how different your career could be if you do the following:
1. Listen to your inner voice.
It’s important to make decisions based on data, but when those decisions are about your life, understanding what you truly want and need is essential. It’s no good, for example, to look at a static list of best schools in the country or the jobs predicted to grow the most in the next decade – if the school or job isn’t right for you, there’s no point in trying to make it fit. (A good alternative to those static lists? PayScale’s College ROI Report and Best Jobs for You tool.)
Think about Luke switching off his computer when he destroyed the Death Star. He probably used his navigational system to get that far, but then he needed to listen to his inner voice. The best decisions come from a combination of data and self-reflection.
2. Minimize distractions.
“With my blast shield down, I can’t even see! How am I supposed to fight?” Better, as it turns out.
Everyone loves to describe themselves as good multitaskers, but there’s just one problem: hardly anyone really is one. Minimize distractions, and you’ll be able to do what you need to do, one thing at a time.
3. Resist the Dark Side.
Yoda tells us that the Dark Side of The Force isn’t stronger, but that it is “quicker, easier, more seductive.”
In real life, we run into this all the time, whether it’s being tempted to take a shortcut at work or to sign up for a two-year program instead of a four-year degree. (Which can be a good decision, but not if your industry looks favorably on bachelor’s degrees. It all depends on what you’re doing.)
Sometimes, the fastest way to do something is the slow way. When you find yourself cutting corners, ask yourself if you’re being more efficient … or giving in to the Dark Side.
Also, regarding the anger part of the equation, you’ll never go wrong by taking a deep breath and cooling down before you answer that email or get into a discussion with your boss. Decisions we make in anger are rarely the best ones.
4. If you have confidence, you don’t need magic.
“These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.” Magic, or just a lot of self-confidence?
OK, in the context of the Star Wars universe, closer to magic. But in real life, you can go far just by speaking with confidence. That doesn’t mean blustering away with no clue what you’re talking about, but if you’ve done your due diligence and know the scenario, state your case – with no ums, uptalk, or apology. You’ll be amazed at how far confidence can take you.
GIFs via Giphy.
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