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Hand on heart: how do you really tackle new projects or goals? Are you a planner, or do you just jump straight into the action head first? For a long time, I would blindly jump into the cold, dark waters, but that’s not always the best option. Especially while living with MS.
Over the years, I’ve come to understand that sometimes my body just needs a break and to take things at a slower pace. At the same time, I’ve started to expand my horizons and set my own boundaries, helping me live well and adapt things as needed.
And when it comes to goals or projects, planning is key. Planning needs to be that common thread that accompanies us through life from the start of an idea to the finish.
You can still deviate from a good plan, of course you can, but you’ll do just as well to return to it and keep going when you’re ready. It doesn’t matter if you move away momentarily or stop altogether. So long as the thread is there, it will still be there when you’re ready to pick it up again.
A good plan can save you time, energy and be a source of help through life. As you grow, plans can give you new perspectives and evolve with you.
The plan before the plan… identifying your priorities!
Before the plan, you need to take stock – or the plan before the plan, you might say. Your talents, abilities, knowledge and priorities both in terms of MS and life in general are all important factors in finding the best way to move your career forward or find a new job altogether.
These next few questions can give you an insight into where things currently stand:
Ask yourself the ultimate question: what’s important to you? In the end, take a good look at what makes you you and what you’re looking for in life.
It’s also important that you discuss your ideas and include your family, your doctors and your friends. They can help you keep track of everything and will often have other tips or questions you hadn’t thought of, or maybe even know someone who can help.
A careers coach or psychologist can also help you identify a strategy, while job centres can provide tips on funding projects that might help.
And now? The master plan!
Milestones are important, these are small goals that can be achieved within a given time frame. As you succeed, you can celebrate your achievements and at the same time, take small incremental steps forward.
One idea might be to update your CV and cover letters. For example, you could create digital versions of your old paper copies so you can forward them at any time. That would be a good first step.
Are there any educational avenues you want to explore, or perhaps a new area of responsibility? An evening class on a topic you find interesting, to get back into education and improve your skills? Or maybe you’d like to take part in a course to achieve a qualification or certificate of attendance?
All clear? Progress feels good, doesn’t it? It’s important to take regular breaks and check that you’re still feeling good about what you’re doing. If not, you can speak to a coach, your MS nurse or neurologist who can all help you make alterations so that things run more smoothly in future. Accepting help is neither a weakness nor anything to be ashamed about.
Your next step – proceeding pro-actively and following that common thread!
Working pro-actively will help shape your life. As such, your next pro-active step could be to write some applications, find some job offers you’re interested in or perhaps even do some networking, e.g. online on LinkedIn or on other social networking sites.
If your goal is to forge a career in your current company, it might be helpful to arrange a chat with your boss or supervisor to discuss promotion and the next steps in your career there.
What’s your goal? And what could be Plan B if that doesn’t work out? Which intermediate stages could also help you achieve your goals?
It’s important that these pro-active steps and commitments help you stand up for yourself, trust in your own abilities and proceed self-confidently.
Never losing sight of your goals and priorities are important factors in achieving what you really want in life and following your common thread.
As you can see, planning is key. Those who are aware of their goals and priorities can formulate and achieve them. That way, you’ll find the right reasons and solutions you need to achieve the bigger goals.
So, how are you planning your career with MS?
Date of approval: July 2019
Ontdek met het kaartspel ‘doen, durven of de waarheid’ zelf welke dingen je in je leven met MS anders kunt doen. Doen, durven of de waarheid.