Careers – July 2013


3 steps to career (and life!) success

“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” – Mario Andretti

Over the past 25+ years, I have learned one very important thing: Change is a sequential process and you cannot leapfrog one step, or you fail and enjoy a miserable journey into failure.

Most in the midst of career change try to cut corners; launching into a change in their career or life without a plan. They jump over the basics  and find themselves caught in a fog; a feeling of not knowing where to go or what to do next.

Change in career and life is just one of those life situations that require time, dedication and patience. I have coached my clients over the years to look at the process in 3-steps:

  1. Accept
  2. Commit
  3. Permit: Give yourself permission.

Failure to accept that something, someone or a situation is broken will stop one dead in their tracks. I can tell you without hesitation: Acceptance is key to success. Failure to accept is a fate of failure.

So today: Formally accept that you are ready to change, willing to accept new and able to handle the ups and downs of doing so. Say it over and over. Own it.

The key to success in life and career is going out on a limb. A definition of commitment: Commitment is putting your words and actions into play, putting your butt on the line and taking a critical step forward toward the success you desire.

Commitment is absolutely essential to move forward. No if’s or but’s. And, it is the step in the process that, unfortunately, most fail because it may involve making sacrifices for the long-term. 

It is also much easier to do nothing rather than commit to do something. Laziness is also the failure of a person to manage the time and resources they have been provided. Because no action is required in the sin of laziness, it is one of the easiest of sins to commit.

Many come to me with a “pain” – disconnect from their employer, suffering the effects of a defining moment, a job loss, bored with their career, etc. Some are ready to do what is necessary to initiate change; others are waiting for the magic pill to be prescribed.

Maybe you have been there (being lazy), but have experienced a defining moment to cause you to start this path of change; an awakening of sorts. You just need to keep it moving forward with steadfast dedication (aka – commitment).

Permit: Give yourself permission

I want you to visualize with me for a moment. Picture a person walking up a steep hill with a 50 lb. boulder on their back that won’t come off.
Think they are ascending easily? Heck no.

When one does not give permission to achieve and change, they have the commitment but cannot move. Until the boulder is removed, they stall in allowing success to occur.

Most are brought up in life with a golden rule: Do good for others. We are not taught – or allowed – to do good for ourselves without guilt. So we go through life doing things for others, but not for ourselves.

Not until a defining moment happens does one begin to say to themselves: “This is okay. I have done for others throughout my life and it is right and good to do for myself now.”

Accepting that statement is powerful and a game changer.

So stop asking yourself “Should I?” and just do it now! Accept your situation, commit to change, plan carefully and give yourself permission to be all you want to be!

Dan Moran is president & founder of Next-Act, a career management & transition firm located in Colonie.  You can reach him at 641.8968 or or visit


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