Workzone: Goals can merit measured pace

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New year, new you -- new career?

Workplace issues and career inspiration top many New Year's resolutions lists, and with just days to go before the calendar turns over to 2013, life purpose and career coach Lou Daddea has some ideas on making sure workplace goals don't go the way of the unused gym membership.

Start with evaluating your current position and how happy you are in it, said Mr. Daddea, who runs his practice in Houston, Pa.

Instead of focusing on what's wrong with the job, focus on what you do right, and then ask yourself how much the position accommodates those strengths.

And if you want to leave your job, don't start drafting your own pink slip right away.

For those interested in a possible career change, that means forgoing an "I QUIT!" speech Tuesday and instead focusing on preliminary investigations into other options, Mr. Daddea said.

"What's really important is to set a goal that is not so far out of reach for you and your current habits," he said.

Picture a staircase, Mr. Daddea said. No one gets to the top with one giant leap -- instead, set incremental goals throughout the year that take resolutions step-by-step.

Those who don't want to leave their jobs can still benefit from some reflection at the beginning of the year, he said.

"If you feel like you're in the right career, look at the things you like -- the strengths, the values and talents, and how you're able to express those in your current job," he said.

And while it can be touchy to tell co-workers that you plan to leave or are unhappy in your position, Mr. Daddea said it's imperative you share resolutions and goals with those you trust.

"It's putting a message out there to anybody that could support you and hold you accountable," he said. "But be conscious who you're sharing it with."

When Mr. Daddea decided to leave the information technology field and pursue a career in life coaching, he was upfront with his boss about the new pursuit.

Of course, many resolutions are focused on goals that affect how you spend your time off the clock -- focusing on home life and relationships.

Mr. Daddea advises clients seeking a better work/life balance to focus on the quality of time, not the quantity of it. Don't juggle your smartphone in one hand and a baby in the other, he said.

"Make sure that in the time spent, you're present and your mind is focused on whatever is at hand," he said.


Erich Schwartzel: or 412-263-1455. First Published December 30, 2012 5:00 AM


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