To Achieve Your Career Goals Use the
Power You Have

by Mariette Edwards

When I asked participants at a recent women's conference focusing on fulfilling potential why they had come out so very early on a Saturday morning, one woman shouted out, "To be empowered." I thought, "Oh, if you only knew the power you have."

Power is the ability to do or act.

Power is simply the ability to do or act. In reality, you may be arguing yourself out of doing or acting in the false belief that you don't have enough power to turn your desire into results. The truth is you are standing on vast reserves of untapped power. That was Kathy's experience. She was a paralegal harboring a dream for a graduate degree in performing arts. The task of selecting a program, completing the applications and preparing for the interviews was daunting. On top of that was the added burden of the money. How in the world would she pay for the program if she got in?

Have you ever felt a task was so big and your resources so small that you didn't have a chance? The secret to unlocking the power you have is in the little things. As Kathy told me later, "It's amazing what small actions can lead to."

There is power in what you believe. What Kathy believed about her chances for success was holding her back. If she were willing to suspend that disbelief just long enough to do something, her results could energize her.

There is power in asking for what you want. When Kathy took the first simple step of asking for what she wanted by defining an ideal graduate program to suit her objectives, she was able to quickly identify three schools that met her criteria. Now she was moving!

There is power in focus. As Kathy narrowed her search down to three schools a wave of ideas and excitement was released as she considered each program. She was on fire!

There is power in what you know. Before her job as a paralegal, Kathy was an actor. She had auditioned hundreds of times. She could leverage that experience to prepare for the interview process for each of her target schools.

There is power in who you know. When she started asking herself who she knew that could help her achieve her goal, Kathy realized that she worked for a company that did business with at least one person who had attended one of her three target schools. She could leverage that connection to request an appointment to discuss that person's experience and ask for suggestions on the application process.

There is power in systems. Systems make turning desire into results almost automatic. Kathy built an inquiry system for conversations with each of her target schools by preparing and sending in advance a list of ten key questions that would help her decide which program would lead her to the paid work she wanted the program to prepare her for.

There is power in persistence. Persistence is the water that wears away rock over time. Have you ever regretted giving up too soon? If Kathy had let her disbelief stop her, she would never have gone on to enroll in the program that emerged as her first choice.

There is power in motion. The secret to unlocking the power you have is in the small actions you take. The momentum you build will propel you forward. Just keep moving!

Knowledge is power! Learn how to use the power you have to create the life you really want.

Mariette Edwards is a business and career strategist, consultant, speaker and writer. Visit her web site at for more information. E-mail: .

Many more articles in Personal Development in The CEO Refresher Archives


Copyright 2005 by Mariette Edwards. All rights reserved.

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