Category Archives: Career Management

What’ve you put on the menu for 2016?



2016 has got started, a brand new year with 365 full days. In terms of time we all are equal. We all have 12 months a year, 7 days a week and 24 hours each day. So, how is your 2016 going to look like? Have you already set your targets? Have you got a plan? The following couple of paragraphs may motivate you think about what you are going to achieve in 2016. Are you ready?


Set SMART targets for 2016

Give it a really good thought. What do you need to achieve in 2016? Imagine, it is now December 24th, 2016 and you are reviewing what you have done and achieved in 2016. What will make you feel smile and satisfied about 2016? What could make you proud of yourself? Give it a name and call it! Are you going to get promoted? Are you going to get selected in the final national formation team of your professional sport? Are you going to finish your study? Are you going to find your dream job? Are you going to set your own business? Are you going to become the CEO of the company you work for?

What is the greatest dream (the game changer) on your wish list? Put it on paper and read it convincingly. Visualize how it will feel, when you realize that one dream in 2016. Examples:

  • By the end of December 2016 I am the CIO of company X.
  • By the end of June 2016 I am a certified Lean Master.


Have a plan

If you don’t have a plan, you’ll become a part of other man’s plan.

And actually you may still be lucky if you belong to any plan, at all. However, if you turn it around and make your own plans, the game will get changed. Others may become a part of your plan. Do you agree? So, think and make a plan to achieve your targets in 2016, put it on paper and or on your mobile device. The plan is about how you are going to achieve your target (i.e. your dream job) in 2016. Imagine, your target is travelling from Amsterdam to Tokyo. How are you going to get there? By air, see, balloon? When? For how long? What resources do you need? Whom should you talk with? How much budget do you have available? And so on.


Set a SMART action list

A plan without an action list looks like a bird without wings.

So, it doesn’t fly. Make your plan fly. Complete your plan with a SMART set of actions. Define what ingredients you need to make your plan work. For example you want to build a house. So think about things like budget, size, type, location, architecture and starting day. Put it on paper and check the feasibility of the actions. When is your architecture plan ready? Who is going to do it? Who is going to build the house and when is the starting date? Do you need to finance the house by a mortgage? Do you have an appointment with your target bank? What is your pitch to get a loan? And so on.


Remain committed

They are not the smartest ones who achieve their goals but mostly those who consistently pursue their targets believing in their missions. Just look around you and you will see how others successfully make their living. If they seem to have a life better than yours, are they really more intelligent than you? I believe, intelligence is a gift, but if the gift is not used properly, no brilliant change may come to the life of the intelligent ones. Do you agree? If you do, then use all the intelligence you have and remain committed to your target. Have respect for the promise you have made to yourself.


Don’t change the target but the plan

Remember, great targets are not achieved overnight. There will be failures, frustrations and down days during your journey to your destination. But the sun will not remain behind the mountains forever. So, remain committed to your target. If the plan does not work, do not change the target but start with questioning the actions you have taken. In some cases, all you need to change is the action, not even the plan. And remember, if you keep doing the same every time, you will get the same every time. You want to get something different, then you need to do something different.


Define and take baby steps

Big steps require big energy and braveness to take big risks. However, when we break huge things into smaller parts we get braver to take smaller portions of risk. Does it make sense? It seems quit challenging if you are going to participate in the New York City Marathon while you hardly can walk 2 KMs. You can’t say, “I don’t know how I can get there, but I wanna give it a try”. But imagine, next to setting the target (I will participate in the New York City Marathon this year.) you plan to train 3 x a week. You also commit to run 500 meters extra every time you train. In this way you will get ready to run the Marathon.

Start with small baby steps, remain consistent, gear up gradually and you will surprisingly celebrate finishing the New York City Marathon.


Ask for support, when you need to

We all can use a little bit of support from time to time. So, if you feel you don’t know how to start, how to move on and how to overcome the bottlenecks, look around and ask for support. Friends, teachers, colleagues, managers, mentors and coaches may help you out. If no one around can successfully help you out, please feel free to reach out to ImOcean Academy. We will be pleased to help you realize your dream.


About the author

Hamid Safaei is the founder of ImOcean Academy. He is a qualified executive coach helping executives and high potentials unleash their potential. Hamid has led successful business transformations for a number of Fortune Global 500.

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Ever heard of Wheel of life?


Where it starts

Wheel of life is a tool I thankfully use to make many of my clients aware of what they ideally like to do vs. what they really do. Better said, what kind of life would you like to live? I have had great discussions with executives and others who are fully confident about how they have lived. However, when we did a deep dive they surprisingly came to new insights, sometimes as confrontation, sometimes as a trusted confirmation for what and how they did. It is amazing to see the happy faces when the Wheel of Life exercise confirms the chosen route. It is also interesting to notice some start thinking deeply when they realize the road-map is not set as it is meant to. A few say, great to realize I am on the right path. Others say, Oh God! How is it possible that I have been doing these things all those years without even noticing what I’ve done? See figure 1 for different dimensions of wheel of life.


Figure 1- different dimension of wheel of life


What does shape your wheel of life?

Imagine you dream to become a CIO but what you do currently, is the road-map of becoming a production manager. Doing the wheel of life exercise will make you aware of what you really like to do or become. That willingness is sometimes hidden under deeper layers of your dreams, values and things to achieve in your life. What does really matter to you? Is it becoming an excellent production manager or a successful CIO? You might even realize none of the two choices would really make you happy. Instead,  you may really dream of running your own B&B business.

The following paragraph may get you closer to the value of wheel of life. I haven’t met many people saying they do not care about their friends and family. When I ask people what is important in their life. They usually (even with a sincere body language) answer: family, friends, career, financial stability, fun, etc. When we go through the wheel of life exercise, the reality turns to be different, sometimes slightly sometimes terribly. I have met many people who have listed family as very important for them in their life. But when we go deeper into details we realize some haven’t talked to their most important family members for years. One hasn’t talked with his only brother for 3 years. The other is ashamed that his daughter is not pleased to see him. Another was saying he wish he could be part of his kids’ lives. I really love them, I think I’ve done whatever they want, how come they hate me? I am such a successful GM, but a terrible dad, one said once. Wheel of life makes you aware of where you stand in your life and why? The exercise is completed when you also know how to get there, if you feel you need to change the setting of your wheel of life.

What would you do if you won lottery?

Painfully, there are many people around us who do something they don’t like to get something else they do like. In some cases there is even no relation between the two. Let me make it more tangible. What would you do if you did not have to work for your costs? How would your day then look like if you won a lottery of €10.000.000? What would be your next immediate step? Would you be going to the same work with the same attitude, energy, standards, norms and values? The majority of people I  asked what they would do if they  won the lottery…, yes you are guessing right. They would stop working for their bosses immediately! In many cases this happens because the wheel of life is not set properly.

Limiting beliefs

Many people do not do what they really want deep in their heart. Many people work for money, chasing the money, to do what they really enjoy. There is nothing wrong with working for money. We all have to live on something. The point is what kind of work do we do? We may get much better results when we chase our dreams and not the money. Make your dream create money for you. As we coaches say, limiting beliefs make us sticking to what and how we do instead of what we really want to. Typical examples: “I do not really enjoy working for this company, but I don’t have any other choice”. “I can’t pursue my dream, because I don’t know how to deal with failure”. “I can’t ask for promotion, what if my boss disagrees?” The more we think we can’t, the more we get stopped by our limiting beliefs, unhappy and far away from our dreams.

Dare to dream

Doing the wheel of life exercise will not cost you more than an hour, but it may change your life and help you live as you dream.

The first- and in some cases the most important barrier- you need to break down to realize your dream, is your limiting belief system.

Wheel of life can be a good start. Dare to dream and design your wheel of life as you wish.



About the author

Hamid Safaei is the founder of ImOcean Academy. He is a qualified executive coach helping executives and high potentials unleash their potential. Hamid has led successful business transformations for a number of Fortune Global 500.


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