Many of my clients decline opportunities for networking simply because they dread the piercing question:  “So what do you do?”  -As if, your sum worth can be captured by your day job or lack of it.  Take a look at the video below for a different perspective:

Brain Surgeon – That Mitchell & Webb Look, Series 3 – BBC Two

Remember that life is a mirror that reflects back what you feel inside.  So, if your last performance review eroded your self-confidence, or you are dissatisfied with your job, or are restless and searching for more, all of this will come across as you answer.

When you are in the driver’s seat, you have a road map, navigate with a personal strategic plan, have a clear vision and clearly understand how you can leverage your natural strengths and talents to support you to thrive or be successful and happy.  Ask yourself, when you take a road trip, what do you use to help you navigate:  GPS, an online road map, or a travel directory from AAA?  Why do you take more time and planning to design your travel experiences but fall short with designing a road map for your career and your life?

Right now is the perfect time to take a look under the hood and see if you’re in shape for success.  It is perfectly natural to come to the fork in the road and question if you’re on the right career path.  To help you evaluate if you’re on track or have lost your way, take a look at the top ten pitfalls and see if this describes you.

Top Ten Pitfalls: (You’ve lost or never had a career road map)

1.  When you wake up in the morning, do you hit the snooze button 20 times, thinking you can delay the inevitable?

2.  You are comfortable in your misery….so does misery make you comfortable?

3.  You are repeating the same career strategies and expecting different results:  this is Einstein’s definition of crazy.

4.  Your self-help book budget exceeds your paycheck.

5.  If you view your job as only a paycheck, who’s the slave and who’s the master?

6.  Your current job is sucking the life right out of you – like a human vacuum cleaner.

7.  You are calling in sick, hoping that when you come back, the players and the field has changed.

8.  You think “presence” on the job means surprise presents under your desk.

9.  You dread Sunday nights because Mondays keep showing up.

10. You are coming into work later and later, hoping that the job changes when you get there.

Does any of this sound familiar?

For years, the staff at Investor’s Business Daily has been studying people from all walks of life.  They have identified 10 common traits for success:

  1. How you think is everything.
  2. Decide upon your true dreams and goals.
  3. Take action.
  4. Never stop learning.
  5. Be persistent and work hard.
  6. Learn to analyze details.
  7. Focus your time and money.
  8. Don’t be afraid to innovate; be different.
  9. Deal and communicate with people effectively.
  10. Be honest and dependable; take responsibility.

Before you can use these 10 traits to become successful, you will need to create your personal strategic plan.

Identifying your strengths and creating your ideal work and home environment is the first step.


1.    What key strengths are you currently using at work?  Have you completed an assessment or instrument to measure your strengths or styles?  Which ones?  What did they measure?  How do your current strengths coincide with your assessment results?

2.    Remember one specific peak period in your life.  Now focus on this specific time when you were incredibly successful:  you felt you were at an all time high in your career, you were truly on top of your game and everything was just working well.  What was going on at that time?  Was it a period of rapid learning?  What skills were you using?  Who was involved?  What made this possible?

An opportunity happens when the conditions seem right.  The right place at the right time with the right action equals the right results.  So, the key to success is leveraging your opportunities or being prepared before they arise.  Here’s an example of how this worked for one of my clients.

One of my clients was stuck waiting on companies to decide her fate.  She only had applied to companies with posted positions in human resources and the training field.  Working in the coaching relationship for 90 days, she identified her strengths and created her ideal job description.  While interviewing for a lesser role as a recruiter at a company she really admired, she did something completely different.   She took out her copy of her ideal job description and handed it to the VP.  She acknowledged that working as a recruiter would not take advantage of her true talents and the company would be wasting an asset.  Yes, they were surprised and told her their first priority was filling the posted position but they would consider her offer and be in touch.  Two weeks later she began the negotiating process with this same company and even picked her job title and salary range.  It was a match made in heaven.  She agreed that life isn’t about finding yourself; it’s about creating yourself! And your perfect job!

Are you ready to jump-start your road to success?  Try a free coaching consultation with Wanda Ropa, your success coach to get you started and get clear about where you’re going with your career, or with your life so you can develop a strategic plan that really works for you.  With clarity, success becomes a natural outcome.

Posted by Wanda Ropa, The Success Coach.

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