In the movie Collateral, there is an interesting scene in the first few moments. The taxi-cab driver, played by Jaime Foxx, is making conversation and tells Tom Cruise’s character: "I'm not in this for the long haul. This is just filling in - I'm putting some things together - I'm going to open my own limo service." Cruise asks him, "How long you been doing this?" To which the taxi driver replies, "Twelve years."
This is a classic example of how "life happens." I once saw a client who had taken a temporary job at a bank. He knew that wasn't where he wanted to be; it was just a fill-in job for a month or two while he did his real job search. That was 14 years ago. Life just happened; he got used to where he was and didn't take enough initiative to move on to a higher level of success.
Here is a step-by-step process for change:
1. Clarify your current situation.
a. I have been in the same job for 12 years with no change in sight.
b. I detest the sameness and monotony of my current job.
2. Seek the advice and opinion of other people.
a. Ask 4-5 trusted friends or professionals what they would do if in your situation.
3. Identify the alternatives.
a. I could go back to school and get a degree in education
b. I could create a clear focus and do a job search with a company with some advancement potential
c. I could start my own chauffeuring service
d. I could request a manager’s position with this company
4. Choose the best one.
a. I will start my own chauffeuring service
a. I will create my business plan in the next 30 days, give my two-week notice 15 days after that, aggressively plan to purchase my own vehicle by that time and be open for business 60 days from now.
Whether it's choosing a new school, a new place to live, a new car, or a retirement center for a parent, you must keep a clear deadline in view - or procrastination will lead to indecision.
This article was originally published on the Crosswalk Careers channel in September 2007.
Dan Miller is President of The Business Source, founder of "48 Days" and author of 48 Days To The Work You Love and 48 Days To Creative Income. He is the growing authority for creating effective life plans that are achieved by integrating natural gifts, unique personality traits and one's own values and passions. His unique clarification of how God gifts us will introduce you to a new sense of freedom and fulfillment of your life's calling. For more information, visit http://www.48days.com/.