How to Get Ahead in Your Career

Bigger Better Deal. That's what everyone always hopes will come along. And if you are one of the few who don't, maybe you should reconsider!

Last night I was at a happy hour gathering of a bunch of my friends. There were 14 in all and we had quite a time playing musical chairs every so often to make sure everyone got to talk with everyone. We amused many of the people on the sidelines who wondered who we were and WHY we were having so much fun. The energy was contagious!

At one point the conversation settled in on what people did for a living. Since I'm getting more and more into the recruiting and placement side of my business, it seems that everywhere I go, people want to get me their resume. They want me to keep them in mind as I find new job opportunities. At first I was secretly surprised that so many people seem unsatisfied with their current work. It's not something that people usually talk openly about so when a certain conversation came up, I thought was quite interesting.

One of the fellows that we were with happens to work at NASCAR. He's extremely bright, hard working and loves what he does. But his attitude about work was one that I'd love to share with many of the people that I coach or have coached, because it ensures that he'll never be stale or stagnant in a career.

He said that he told his boss "if you think I'm not always looking for another job opportunity, you're crazy! I'm always looking and if something better (the BBD) comes along, then I'm outta here" . He also shared with his boss that he should be the same way, and that most ambitious people are like that. His attitude is pulling him forward constantly about looking at opportunities, and its' not sitting back complaining about the situations he has no control over. He's a great worker so there wouldn't be any way he'd be fired for something like this, but it's an example of how someone can continually get ahead.

After he shared the story with us, nearly everyone at the table shared a similar story. They're all in great jobs, making an excellent income, but none of them want to become stale with what they're doing. They want to remain excited about their work place and the work that they do, and yet, most of them had long histories with their current employers!

The conversation went into WHERE they each wanted to work after they left Charlotte. The places that came up were: Oregon, Southern CA, East coast beach town and FL. That was me of course, because my husband and I are moving there! In every case, the job was a secondary concern to HOW they wanted to live their lives. They considered the environment or the weather as one of the most important things and what the area offered them in relation to their hobbies. Some of them wanted to move just to experience another part of the county, and some of them wanted to be close to the best athletes in the world. The draw for me is coming home to family so my son can grow up around relatives.

The other sense I got at the table last night was how fortunate every single person there felt that they had met a group of people who genuinely liked each other. Everyone there had swimming in common, even if they didn't swim, their mate did. But everyone seemed so happy to be accepted for who they are and seemed to just love the camaraderie. I remember having groups like this in high school, college and when living in NYC, but hadn't had this again until recently until this group came together.

So what I see, is that it isn't MONEY that makes people happy. It isn't their house or the clothes they wear or the jewelry they adorn themselves in. It isn't the car that they drive. Rather, it's being with people who accept them, working in a profession where they are respected and are able to use their talents well, and live in a place where they feel comfortable.

So ask yourself: Have you gotten content? Have you settled? Are you happy with the place where you are in life? If so, FANTASTIC! If not, then get the wheels turning and get out there and start generating action. Talk to people about what they do for a living and how they like it. Call people from college or from the "old days" to check in to see what they're up to! Subscribe to the local newspaper of the city of your choice and call a recruiter (ME!) who can start the job search for you. And JOIN a group of people who are doing something that you enjoy. It doesn't matter if it's scrap booking or swimming, just do something. You'll be glad you did.

Making our decision to move was a big one, and I've noticed that my leap of faith has caused others to review their own life to see if they're happy or not. I find that if you see yourself being envious of another person for making change, perhaps it's time you made one too.

Change can be scary. Things don't always work out. But going for the life you'll love will always be worth it. And who knows, with a lot of persistence, you might come across that BBD!

Go for it.. and call me if you need help!

Mary Gardner, The Charisma Coach! is an Executive Communications Consultant and Trainer. She works with, coaches and trains individuals, sales teams, executives, and celebrities. She owned and operated one of the first coaching institutions on the east coast, CCI, in NYC, Philly and NJ. Mary has appeared on ABC's 20/20 and has self published a book on public speaking. Mary is married to Sway and is mommy to Jeremy 5, and lives in Orlando, FL.

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