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Don’t Do It

Sometimes, people are quick to tell you what to do.  It just might be easier though, to share what not to do. Whether you are changing or advancing your career, below are the top four “don’ts” you want to keep in mind.

1. Don’t do it alone

Even if you have a new program to build from the ground up or a new unit to form, there is an existing organizational process for you to follow. Because there might not be a written standard operational procedure or guide, ask questions of those who preceded you or are more seasoned staff.  Ask questions of others who are not in your agency who have done similar work. 

Everything might not go smoothly, so document your strategy. This action serves multiple purposes, including the substantiation of end-of-year appraisal narratives as others tend to notice not only what you did but how you did it.

2. Don’t do it because you feel compelled to check a box 

This statement is similar to “running with the crowd” or “keeping up with the Joneses.”  When just checking the box, small things get skipped.  Missing too many of these small things will lead to a bigger problem in the long run.  Instead, chart your own course/path and be the one others want to keep up with.

As the Good Vibes online blog said, “The day you are not doing it for you should be the last day you do it”.

3. Don’t do it when your heart is not in it 

As a small child tasked to do something, did you ever ask the question, “Do I have to?” And when told “yes”, what did you do? You likely muttered and puttered around, prolonging the completion of the task, and negating any positive experiences or outcomes. You also might be negating any opportunities. So, if your heart is not in it, take on the assignment when it is.  Life has a way of making us regret what we never got around to doing so don’t procrastinate too long. 

4. Don’t do it just because 

Ask yourself the “why” question and you’ll likely come up with another, much better answer.  Let your innovation and creativity prevail.  You might catch the eye of someone needing your talents. 

As Steve Jobs once said, “Deciding what not to do is just as important as deciding what to do”.

After retiring from the Federal Government, Sandra Hill launched her business – New Horizen Coaching & Professional Growth Advancement. She has a passion for coaching (life, business, and career), helping those who seek to build their confidence while facilitating transitions in their personal or professional life. Sandra is a best-selling author, podcast host and writes career coaching articles for Forbes and other industry magazines.

Fulfilling her personal mantra, “Each one Reach one”, Sandra also volunteers with several non-profits and serves as a mentor and partner with local schools.

Image created by the author, Sandra Hill

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