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Your career can stagnate. It happens to everyone at some point. You might feel like you’re not going anywhere—same thing, different day. If you get stuck in a rut, take a step back, get centered, and step on the gas. You can apply the same four Aikido principles I wrote about for becoming a more effective leader—centering, extending, entering and blending—to accelerating your career

Career Goals and Centering

Don’t lose sight of your goals. What, specifically, do you want out of life? That’s a long-term goal. If you can’t answer that in a concrete way, it’s time to center yourself and do some thinking. Start with your passion. If you pursue what you love, the money will follow. Ask yourself what tools you need, whether it’s education or experience, and go for it. If easier, rather than ask “what you want out of life” ask “what do I want to do next.” That’s a short-term goal. Sometimes it is easier to take that next step rather than trying to conquer the world all at once. Keep centering yourself and reassessing your short and long term goals along the way.

To find a place to start you can take the MAPP Assessment test or, if you’re beyond this, analyze your strengths and weaknesses with a DISC Profile.

Networking and Extending

Nobody is an island and we can’t do it alone, thus the need for networking. Modern networking isn’t about what those people can do for you—it’s about accountability from our peers, and giving back. When you network you extend yourself into another person’s life. If your purpose has anything to do with making a difference in the world, you can always help someone else. Even if you simply connect two people who have something in common, or encourage a co-worker, you can help.

Having a mentor is also a crucial networking component to career acceleration. A mentor is someone more established who guides you through your career life, like a coach does an athlete. That’s my calling, so give me a call for some pointers—I’d be happy to help you!

Meet-ups are great for connecting with like-minded peers on the same path.

One Million Cups is a great place to help other entrepreneurs with their pitch.

Doing the Work and Entering

Now it’s time to put your head down and work hard. Don’t just do your job, but go above and beyond. If you’ve decided you’ll pursue a different path, work hard at getting the tools you need. Pitch in and be a team player at work.

Look to your local college for extension classes in everything from writing a business plan to learning to be a graphic artist or chef. Many of these classes are free. In San Diego, try San Diego Continuing Education.

Thinking Like a Boss and Blending

Start thinking like a leader, not a follower. Centered leaders have an energy that reads as humble but powerful. Be confident in your abilities and gracious to yourself when you make mistakes. But, don’t make them twice. Learn from them and move on. Eventually the time will come where your wins are greater than losses.

Print out my infographic above and put it where you can see it to remind yourself of what you need to do on a daily basis to accelerate your career.