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30 Jul Posted by in Blog Posts | Comments Off on “I DON’T HAVE IT IN ME ANYMORE” by Pat Goodwin

“My life has been filled with terrible misfortunes, most of which have never happened.” – Mark Twain



Do you see your friends and others being more successful than you?


Do you hear others talking about their crowning achievements?


Are you in a slump because once again you have been passed over for a promotion?


You are not alone.  Almost everyone gets to a point in their career when they start second-guessing themselves.


What can you do to overcome this heavy weight of self-doubt leaving you lethargic and unmotivated?


Discouraged?  Don’t be.  There are things that you can do that will help you get back to a good place.


Get things off your chest:  It’s always helpful to unload your feelings even if you aren’t the kind of person who can easily do this.  Find someone whom you are comfortable with and can express things confidentially to.  Someone you know that will be empathetic, but remain objective.  Pick a spouse, a close friend, a mentor, a respected colleague, anyone that will actively listen to you, but not judge or lecture.  Someone who can bring their perspective while providing constructive advice when solicited.  Have it be someone who can act as your sounding board allowing you to bounce off ideas with them.


Define the problem – ask the right questions:  If you need to figure out what is going on with your career, your job, your performance, or other areas, you need to figure out what the problem is first.  Below are some suggested questions that might be useful:


Do I enjoy my job? What parts of my job do I enjoy?
Do I feel like I am making a difference? What parts of my job don’t I enjoy?
Do I feel I am able to be creative? Do others take credit for my work or ideas?
Are others taking advantage of me? Do I have the right supports in place such as technical, team, management, administrative?
Do my colleagues take me seriously? Are my ideas ever considered?
What is the corporate climate like? Does my actual job match the job description?
Am I being underpaid for my position? Do I have autonomy or am I micro-managed?
Am I prepared in completing my assignments? Have options or recommendations for change been discussed?
How do I present to others? Am I communicating effectively with others?


Example: I had a young client who worked for a privately owned medical supply company.  His job consisted of taking and fulfilling inbound orders.  He was very good at his job, but he was also very frustrated.


I started working with him just by listening and allowing him to vent his dissatisfaction.  He was so unhappy, disengaged at work, and actively looking for other work.


As I started asking him the “right” questions, it became apparent why he was so disappointed in his job. His bosses were not acknowledging his overall skill set and therefore they never considered him for any other company position.  He wanted more responsibility and better pay.  Once the problem was defined then it became clear as to what this client needed to do.


After learning and practicing communication strategies with me, this client was able to effectively address his bosses by articulating his value and ultimately changed his role within the company.   He was promoted to manager with a pay increase and has been happily employed for a long time.


Review existing documentation to shed light on your situation.  What do your existing documents state about your job performance, what are the kinds of projects that you have been involved in and what have been the outcomes?  What do emails indicate about any company-wide or personnel changes that have been implemented?  What do team meeting minutes suggest?  What are the abstruse meanings in emails to your colleagues and boss?  Write down your thoughts and put them into a sequence of events to help you identify what might be the underlying reason(s) for your career pause.


Develop an action plan with realistic objectives and goals.  It is the small steps that are taken that ensure success in reaching goals.  You need to decide what areas need to be addressed for improvement?  What issues can be addressed immediately?   What issues are long-term?  What issues can be resolved independently? What issues need professional assistance?


Example:  I had a senior level client who was referred to me by his company for in-depth coaching about his inappropriate work behavior.  He was described, at best as being over-bearing, insensitive, and intolerant to others’ needs.


With extensive coaching he better understood and was able to incorporate methods for changing his outward appearance, learning how to more effectively manage his frustration, and improve his communication style thus consciously working to repair his work relationships.

Below is a sample of one of his goals:

GOAL Demonstrate client change in professional attitude by assisting immediate manager
Objective Ask immediate manager how I can be of help?
Quantity Initiate 2X weekly, building up to 5X week
Meaurability Provide to coach two specific examples of how boss was helped
Start date Monday, July 7, 2012
End date Friday, August 8, 2012
Review If not objective incomplete, re-assess and make adjustments as necessary
OUTCOME Built trust between client and immediate manager, demonstrated initiative, company loyalty, follow-through, increased respect and recognition for work performed


In using a well-thought out action plan, this client retained his employment and is now considered an even more  valued employee, a subject matter expert, and someone others view favorably.

Ongoing self-assessment is a must. For career success to happen or continue, you need to always be reviewing and aware of the turns and twists in your professional life. You may need to repeat the afore-mentioned steps in order to know whether make changes, implement new strategies, and revise or develop an action plan.

Give yourself a pat on the back: Change doesn’t happen overnight.  It takes planning, implementation, and patience.  Acknowledge your accomplishments, regardless of how small, such as completing an objective in your action plan.