Has your new job or position overpowered your thoughts in such a way that it’s hard to remain focused? Does it feel like it’s not working out for you?
Have you taken a leap of faith on your new job or career change recently? Or possibly, you have exciting plans for your career, but the sheer magnitude of your plans leaves you wondering – “Where do you go from here?”
Or perhaps (gasp) you have failed? Welcome to the land of overwhelmitis – the most uninspiring place for anyone.
But don’t worry, you don’t have to be here long. Pack up all your negative mental baggage and frustration and kick overwhelmitis out the door. It’s time to inject new life into your new job or career – and frankly, it starts with you.
‘Overwhelmitis’ Strikes 2 in 3 Career Changers
When you are overwhelmed by a new position, you are mentally overpowered by thoughts and feelings. It’s a serious job challenge, simply because it leads to so many other undesirable outcomes. For instance, it can manifest externally with crappy management behaviours or disenchanted employees struggling with your management or team work style, who end up managing you while you should be leading them.
I’d venture an unscientific guess that “overwhelmitis” strikes two in three career changers. In fact, I know from personal management experience that it is a major, underlying cause of failure for a large number of job and career changers.
I’d like to stress the point, underlying, because it is a root cause that is symptomatic of a host of visible business ailments.
Consider this with me: If you are human, you have been overwhelmed. If you have decided to accept a new job or make a major career change, you have definitely been overwhelmed. And if by some fluke of nature you haven’t — trust me, bookmark this blog post, and stay in your new job or career a little while longer — soon you will be able to relate to my insight.
Is ‘Overwhelmitis’ Keeping you up at Night?
Try to honestly reflect with me for a moment …regardless of our various levels of previous career successes, we have all been overwhelmed at some stage of our working life. Why? Simply, because we are human. But don’t use this as an excuse. I know from my own experience that when you’re overwhelmed it becomes increasingly hard to be creative, productive, develop your next marketing plan, focus on your next sales conference call and conduct meaningful and profitable business.
Learning how to overcome being overwhelmed is the first step in mastering your mind, which will in turn prepare you to master your new job or career change.
Why You Should Care About Being Overwhelmed
Why should you care about being overwhelmed?
Simply put, being overwhelmed by your position not only causes stress, it often also generates multiple breaks in concentration.
A scattered mind can lead to many unwanted side effects at work – one of the most common one is multitasking. I’d venture that you’re familiar with the ‘not so new’ news that multitasking is not a good thing?
Being overwhelmed forces many of us into a type of mental paralysis or, sometimes, the exact opposite. You know what I am talking about? I am talking about the multitasker business where some type of activity is deemed better than none at all.
This is bad for your new job or position and also your new employer because when you constantly multitask to get things done, what you are actually doing is rapidly shifting your attention from one thing to another. This rapid shifting kills the mind, it makes you ineffective and your co–workers, managers and clients take notice.
A 3 – Step Cure for Job Starter & Career Changer ‘Overwhelmitis’
Are there any easy solutions to overcome being overwhelmed? Yes certainly! Here are three simple steps to get started:
I don’t remember where I read it, but apparently the average person looks at their phone 150 times per day. How often do you do it? Try this, it worked for me.
Take out a day of the week to unplug, to refresh, rejuvenate and restore your mind so you can move forward with the next step. Unplugging is also good when you are with friends or co-workers in a restaurant or at a meeting. Try out Phone stacking.
# 2 Overcome inventive doubt
Many of my clients share moments of inventive doubt with me when they are faced with a dilemma. They want the new job or a new career, more money or a better position and they expect me to provide the answers, but they handicap themselves with a truckload of inventive doubt. I don’t have a one size fits all answer and so I always remind them that they should never forget that between their observations and their various deductions often lies an important mental moment … the crucial need for a moment of quiet reflection.
I suggest that you too try to take your time. Try not to stress and try to reflect honestly, without inventive doubt and you will discover something that will lead you in the right direction.
I can give a personal example: Early in my career a recruiter who had recruited me before offered me another opportunity for a higher paid position. I was tempted immensely and luckily rejected after I took time out to reflect, instead of dabbling in inventive doubt. It took only 45 minutes to work out that I was not the right guy for the job and looking back, it saved my career as I learned 12 months later that the job offer was for a company which was looking for a manager to do the dirty work as they were preparing for a takeover.
# 3 Selectively say “No”
Yes, I know it’s not trendy – and I will probably get a few comments from guys who love to ramble about passion a.s.o but it is practical, it works and it could save your career.
Think of managers or co-workers or other role models who you admire. I imagine that you will agree with me that it is highly unlikely that they say “Yes” to everything that crosses their desk. Why? Because they realise that attention is a limited resource. Distractions really take their toll. You can end “overwhelmitis” if you make a commitment to do so. Reclaim your personal and professional power — take control of your career.
Tomorrow is a new day. So get started and if you know someone who struggles from “overwhelmitis”, share this blog post. And remember, if you have decided to start all over again and find a new job, remember to hunt wisely!
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