If You Are Going To Do It, Then Do It

thistleThis weekend my garage and house kicked my butt. A full day cleaning the garage culminating in completely packing an Expedition to the brim of things to get rid of and another trip planned to the donation store.

The back of my property is on an easement – it is the unclaimed land. Not really mine but the town isn’t taking care of it either so it falls on me. Three hours with the invaluable help of my step-dad and the forest of mutant thistle that had grown is now destroyed. Not kidding, some of those suckers with seven feet tall – I know this because they were a foot taller than my privacy fence which is six feet tall. Sad, really.

It was easy for me to forget all about that little strip of land back there since it is behind a privacy fence – out of sight out of mind. And the garage, well if you get out of your car quickly and run into the house it is pretty easy to avoid, too.

I had fallen into the trap of “I am going to try”, “I want to”, “I really need to” clean all that up. It is the same pattern that a lot of transitioners or job seekers fall into.

I want to change jobs, I really need to start looking for a new job, I want to get a better position etc.

But what do you do about it?

Nothing, but have good intentions.

Good intentions do nothing but feed thistle and clutter a garage. They do not get you any closer to your goals without that one key ingredient – action.

Having my step-dad show up Sunday to conquer the back with the kick I needed. I couldn’t really tell him after driving across the city to help me that I wasn’t feeling up to working in the yard. Heck no, first that would be absolutely rude! Second, it was something I needed to do and hadn’t provided the kick myself so I welcomed it.

Thinking about it isn’t enough, trying isn’t enough. You have to dig in and work toward that goal. Picking up something here or there in the garage wasn’t really cutting it. Instead of chiding myself everything I was sprinting into the house I scolded myself that either shut up or do something about it.

Two cars can actually fit in my garage again for the first time in maybe a decade. I know where everything is and I create all sorts of little “stations”: for the dogs, tools, paint, gardening and work out stuff. For the first time in I don’t know how long I left my garage door open without guilt!

It is easy to fall into the trap of sort of trying and avoidance. It can be overwhelming, scary and chalk full of the opportunity for failure; however, it can also be rewarding, rejuvenating and lead to a whole new path that is even better that you hoped.

The deciding factor: action.

What are you going to do? Now do it. In the garage and in the back one little section was conquered at a time until finally it was all done.

Start small if you need but start.

Know what you are selling (you) and how you meet or exceed your potential employer’s need.

Decide what you want or if you cannot do that, decide what you do not want.

Get your material ready: your resume, cover letters, networking speeches, LinkedIn profile – make sure everything supports that first step: what you are selling (you).

Start looking based on your criteria.

Make contact.

Revise for each position because they are all unique and so should your material.

Follow up.

Reach out.


Ask for help.

Help others.

Small steps lead to great accomplishments but nothing will get done with intentions only.

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

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