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The Cost of Doing Nothing

For most of us, decisions involving money are based on affordability and short-term value. If we're hungry, for example, we think about whether we're better served by paying a small amount of money for fast food, a larger amount for a fancier restaurant, or buying the ingredients at a grocery store with the potential for getting more than one meal from them.

What happens when we decide not to spend money on food? We starve.

Looking at your career, what is the cost of doing nothing? While the outcome may not be as stark as starvation, you are missing out on a lot of potential opportunities. In a sense, you are starving your future.

As someone who has been very self-directed for most of my life, I thought for a long time that I didn't need any help finding my path or making changes in my career. I thought that I just had to work hard enough and network with the right people and opportunities would naturally arise.

Then, I hit a wall. After a layoff, I was suddenly faced with the fact that all of my previous notions of how to keep my career going, let alone advancing, were no longer valid (if they ever were). Knowing the "right" people and having solid experience and a reputation as a top contributor weren't enough.

So, I sought help. It was a game-changer for me. I engaged an agency where I was paired with a coach who helped me with my job search. The assistance from the agency and my coach were invaluable and my job search went from going nowhere to signed on to a new company in just a few months.

I loved working with a coach so much that I continued. Coaching provided me with a partner who was vested not in a particular path for me but in my success in reaching my own goals. I credit having a coach with keeping me sane, productive, and valuable in an unstable work environment and for ensuring that I was a key person retained after an acquisition.

What would have been the cost of doing nothing after that layoff? I'm thankful that I don't know the answer to that question, but I guarantee that it would have cost me dearly. When I examine what I spent on coaching in terms of my monthly earnings in my previous career, there's no doubt that going with a coach was a no-brainer and only a tiny fraction spent vs what I gained.

Engaging a coach can help you ensure that you not only stay open to opportunities, but that you are able to take a more proactive role in your future success. Do you want to be promoted, create your own role, transition into a new industry or function? All of those changes can mean a brighter career future for you and a coach can help you find your path there. What does your future mean to you?

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