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Focus on the Present to Help Ensure Career Success in the Future

Have you ever noticed how an unrewarding job can quickly translate into an unrewarding career? At least, that’s the way it can feel when you’re at work, thinking about how unfulfilled you are and wondering if you ever will be.

While it might seem counter-intuitive, focusing solely on the present can not only improve the satisfaction you feel in your current position, but it can also help ensure that the next step you take on your career path is a successful one.

In a recent article published by USA Today, career consultant Andrea Kay discussed the study of two Harvard researchers. The study revealed that mind wandering occurs—to some degree—in all activities of daily life and that a person’s mind wanders 50 percent of the time when they’re working.

Check out what one of the researchers told HarvardScience magazine (quotes contained in the aforementioned article):

  • Things like worrying “seem to be incredibly destructive to happiness.”
  • “Our mental lives are pervaded, to a remarkable degree, by the non-present.”

Do these statements describe you at work? Do you find your present situation unrewarding? Does your mind wander and do you worry about the future of your career?

If so, it’s time to focus on the work that you’re doing NOW and here are three reasons why:

  1. You’ll feel more fulfilled by that work, since distracting thoughts are less likely to undermine your satisfaction.
  2. You’ll set (and accomplish) more goals for yourself and for the company in your present position.
  3. Consequently, you’ll do more to enhance your status at your current job by becoming more successful, and that success will help to further advance your career.

So focus more on the present while you’re at work, keeping your mind on the tasks at hand, and you’ll reap the benefits both now and in the future.

USA Today link:


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