The Best Career Advice you will never hear

The Best Career Advice you will never hear

1 April 2016


Beware of Idea Debt when thinking about a change in your career.

No one relishes dissatisfaction, it is not an emotion we seek out and hold onto in our personal or professional lives; in fact as soon as we feel the creeping sense of discontent at work we try to do something about it. That something might be direct action; marching into your boss’s office and demanding a promotion or applying to that job advert that popped up in your inbox earlier in the day.

However many of us retain our mental equilibrium by taking a form of indirect inaction. We imagine applying for a new job and the satisfying interview with a manager who realises you are full of creativity and good ideas. Then we envision the lovely afterglow of success; the envious glances from former colleagues as we head off to a company who value their staff, not to mention the upgraded phone or new shoes we are going to buy ourselves as a reward.

Of course the other great thing about merely thinking about doing something is there are no risks involved; you don't need to fear being ridiculed for having the audacity to apply for that promotion nor of being rejected as simply not good enough.

The feeling of discontent goes, leaving you with an 'Idea Debt'; the loss of time spent visualising something without actually acting on it. Graphic artist Jessica Abel when trying to describe her own inability to get projects started formulated the concept but the notion can be equally applied in the jobs' market.

And the moment goes; thinking about applying for that new job fills all of your working hours and removes the impetus to implement change, leaving you with no time to fill in the application form and letting the chance past. And so your Idea Debt becomes larger.

'First thought, best thought' was a phrase coined by American beat poet Allen Ginsberg used to describe spontaneous and fearless writing. His advice for would be poets equally applies for anyone looking for a change, as long as it is a fully realised thought rather than a half conceived idea. In this you will be on your way to making an Idea Investment.

An Idea Investment uses the time spent luxuriating in imagined success by formulating a step-by-step plan that will lead to a forward career move and then actually take those steps, in real life. While the reality of a new job might not pan out the way it did in your mind's eye; where the whole office attempts to high five you out of the door as you carry a packing case, a pot plant precariously balanced on top, the concrete benefits of a new challenge, not forgetting a more competitive salary will be more satisfactory than your work dreams.

This will free up your imaginative mind to revel in a more exciting other life, involving Oscar ceremonies, World Cup winning goals or pulling little old ladies out of burning buildings.

Written By Billy McDiarmid


@Steve - thank you for your kind words. Congratulations in securing your degree and good luck in finding your new role!
Posted on Tuesday, December 06, 2016 15:38 by Billy McDiarmid
I love it & thank you for sharing! I'm in a position which does not hold much advancement within my current role. I have dissatisfaction and decided to do something about it. I made the decision to continue working full-time and my daughter was recently born (2012) I decided I would take my self to university to secure a degree in Business. I graduated last month in Business with a BA with Distinction. Hard work pays off indeed. Now I look to secure a new role and use my new found skills. Here's to my next chapter. This keeps me motivated to keep going. Brilliant!
Posted on Tuesday, December 06, 2016 10:35 by Steve
Thank you! .. but too be fair, deep down when we sit and daydream of that better job, promotion etc, we know we are doing just that ! have just given it a name. The majority of people will happily sit in a job that gives them dissatisfaction and justify reasons in their head to stay in that job, wither it be stability or just that familiarity, they will talk themselves out of a "change" through fear of the unknown. I have did this since graduating, however took drastic action of completely giving up my current employment which I received great pay rates, to focus on that idea investment. I am glad I did, yesterday I attended an interview for the most amazing job, with that company who completely value their staff. Switching job/career will not happen successfully without idea investment! The sooner people realise this, the better. The only way we can evoke change is to get off our backside's and make it happen! (and thank you for another interesting read )
Posted on Thursday, April 14, 2016 10:03 by Emma Naylor
Thank you - for this 'Aha' realization! All it took was a minute or two to read your blog and I was inspired to move my proverbial b.....!
Posted on Monday, April 11, 2016 09:17 by Theresa

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