Finding energy to blast past
your career comfort zone

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Are you in a career comfort zone? Use this simple approach to help you find out.

Finding energy to blast past your career comfort zone

Career change, like all transitions, call for moving past a familiar zone of comfort.

Breaking free feels like blasting out of the earth's gravity zone: you need lots of energy to get started before finding a new momentum.

Gaining energy means staying away from energy drains and spending time around energizers.

To see where your energy is going, begin an energy journal.

For the next three days, keep track of how you spend time, hour by hour. You may combine blocks of 2-3 hours if you're in one place.

For each hour, write:

(1) What did you do? Be specific: Instead of "worked," write, "drafted proposal for the new account." Instead of "walked dog," write, "walked dog around the block and stopped to chat with two neighbors."

(2) Were you alone or with others? Indoors or out? Engaging in familiar activity or trying something new? Voluntarily present or feeling you had no choice?

(3) At the end of the hour or block of time, did you feel energized, drained or neutral? Were you ready to take on the world or crawl into bed with the cat?

I recommend waiting at least three days to study your journal and identify patterns.

You can also try journaling three days on a long weekend and comparing that journal with three days during a week.

When you're drained by television-watching or hanging out with friends who are on a lower energy wavelength, you can create your own action plan.

When your job, location or family drains your energy, that's a sign for deeper excavation, possibly with a coach and/or counselor.

Too much neutral can keep you stuck in a comfort zone.

You need energy to make a change -- and that calls for surrounding yourself with people, places and actions that charge your batteries and get you pumped for action.

Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., author of Making the Big Move, helps midlife professionals navigate career and business transitions.

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