Take opportunities when they come up, and make opportunities when they don’t, explains Heather Baker
“When we’ve got a bit of money, we’ll go on a really nice holiday.”
“I’ve always fancied working abroad.”
“I’d love a job like that.”
“I wish I were thinner.”
And I’m sure you can think of many more! We’ve all done it. Dreamed of a top job, an exotic holiday or a catwalk figure yet, how often do these things come to fruition? We sit and wait for money to drop from the sky, for weight to miraculously disappear or the MD to walk into our office and offer us our dream job. It won’t happen; we have to make things happen.
Quite a few people have told me how lucky I am to do the work I do. I appreciate their comments but there wasn’t really a great deal of luck involved. It was down to picking a course I enjoyed after school, working hard to get qualifications, applying for jobs I wanted, taking opportunities if they came up by chance and making opportunities if they didn’t.
The only thing that’s stopping you achieving your ambition is probably you.
OK, so, first step; how can you make that dream come true if you don’t know what it is. Oh yes, we know vaguely but that’s not good enough. Let’s take each of those desires and make them specific :
“When we’ve got a bit of money, we’ll go on a really nice holiday”
“When we have £3,000 we can holiday for 2 weeks in Barcelona”
“I’ve always fancied working abroad”
“I want to do my current job, but in Paris”
“I’d love a job like that”
“I want to work as a PA to a television executive”
“I wish I were thinner.”
“I want to be a size 12 again.”
So, now we’re getting somewhere; now we know precisely what we want we can start to work out how to get it. Let’s take Barcelona. We now have a focus to work on. We need £3,000; how long will it take us to save that, or when do we want to go to Barcelona? Let’s say we want to go in 12 months’ time. You probably have to pay for the holiday a couple of months before leaving so let’s say 10 months (it’s easier maths that way too!). We have to save £300 a month. Is that feasible? If yes, go for it; if not, change the plan or go later. Once that’s in place, you’re almost on your way.
How about doing your current job but in Paris:
- Does your type of work exist in Paris?
- Do you speak French? If not, what can you do to learn or should you look at another location where English is spoken?
- Where are jobs advertised?
- Have your joined relevant groups on LinkedIn?
- Are you a member of a Europe-wide networking organisation?
- Where would you live – could you afford it?
- Does your organisation have branches overseas?
Let’s look now at the PA to a TV executive. Ask yourself some questions:
- What qualifications are necessary, and do I have them?
- If I don’t have them, how can I get them?
- Which newspapers and websites advertise these types of jobs?
- Which agencies have TV companies on their books?
- What work experience do I need, and do I have it?
- If not, how can I get it?
- Do I know anyone who can help me?
- Is there any voluntary work I could do which would help?
- Is it worth sending my details to a company anyway, just in case?
Finally, losing weight; this is possibly the easiest to plan and the most difficult to achieve – and I speak from personal experience!
- What is your target weight?
- When do you want to achieve it? This time element is a vital part of any goal.
- How much must you lose each week?
- How will you achieve the weight loss? What will you eat, how much (specifically) will you exercise, etc
- With all goals it’s good to throw in an occasional treat for achieving targets on the way.
Establish a clear, specific plan, set yourself deadlines and stick to them. And, as Thomas Edison said, “Just when something seems impossible, that’s the time to keep going”.
You can do anything.