Rarely in this modern generation of 20-something year olds do you find young professionals that have a heightened sense of urgency to get to the next level. In our 20s we think we have all the time in the world to A) figure it out and B) get what we want. Time is the only treasure we start off with in abundance, and can never get back. Let us be clear though…what is meant by a "sense of urgency" is not running around at 400 miles an hour with your hair on fire. Rather, having a sense of urgency means displaying and acting on a driving desire to accomplish the most important items now! It is an unrelenting push for speed that leads directly to desired results.
However, some might say that they don’t know what they want or they aren’t sure how to figure out a way to advance in their careers. Therefore, they convince themselves that it will all fall into place in time. Well, sorry to disappoint those who think this way but there isn’t some magic stork that flies in and drops off a bag full of opportunity, success, and fulfilled desires. If you aren’t sure what you want as a career or in your current career, or you aren’t sure about how to figure out what it takes to get this or that out of your career, then don’t just sit there. GET UP! Get up and start exploring. Start making moves. Start tapping into resources. This is the only way you young professionals will get to the next level. If you need help in creating that sense of urgency for yourself, here are some steps below...
2) Accelerate. Urgency requires more than activation. Yes, you have to start quickly, but you also have to keep things moving. Turning on the green light to start working towards your goals is only the beginning. There are many impersonal and personal forces that will conspire to slow you down—obligations to others, approvals, processes, meetings, budgets, etc. Some of these things are necessary—but not as many as you think and not as large of an obstacle that you think. As a leader, you have to fight these obstacles. You have to identify them and remove them. You must keep the pedal to the metal and keep things moving.
3) Achieve. Cultivating a sense of urgency is all about producing results. All the stuff that it takes to produce results is not an end in itself. Too often people think that the objective is to complete their task list. If they do so, they think they have actually accomplished something. This is not necessarily the case. Tasks are a necessary, and can even be considered little victories or small successes, but hardly a total condition of achievement.
4) Assess. Urgency does not rule out assessment. In fact, it demands it. If we are going to get faster at producing results, we have to assess what is working and what is not. We must then eliminate the waste. Analyze what decisions only procrastinated your achievements. Our job as leaders and young professionals is to remove the obstacles and give the people we work with as well as ourselves the best chance of achieving their goals and ours.
Make the most of the opportunities you have today, big or small, because there will be a time when you have no more opportunities and no more time to find and/or create them. People face similar and different opportunities everyday to take advantage of. Those who take advantage of them quickly and work hard to make the best of them in order to achieve their goals or find out what they want are the people who find themselves successful. Therefore, GET UP! Get up and start exploring. Start taking advantage of your opportunities. Activate. Accelerate. Achieve something. Then Assess. Lastly, have a sense of urgency in doing it all. Time doesn’t pause for you to figure it all out. YOU have to make things happen!