Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Tips for considering your career options

Last year I trained as a career coach. I hadn’t explored why I enjoyed this type of coaching so much, until it dawned on me the other day that, having spent 22 years in a career that wasn’t truly right for me, it had felt so wonderful when I did eventually find meaningful work. So I find that I have a real passion for helping people explore and find their ideal work, not just because I love coaching and helping people, but because I know how good it feels to be doing my ideal work; something I find so satisfying and enjoyable.

This in turn made me think about all the things that had stopped me from changing career, one of which was the belief that, having spent so many years on my qualifications and progressing in my field, I should stay in that profession.

Says who?

I’m sure that I’m not the only person who has spent years gaining qualifications, working hard for promotion, and climbed that corporate ladder only to find it’s up against the wrong wall.

So – are you successful in your chosen career, but wondering if you actually chose the right career?

Here are my 5 top tips to help you consider your career options.

Identify your transferable skills. Realise that you do have transferable skills. Your technical skills may be specialised, such as property law or inheritance tax planning, however you will have a whole range of abilities and talents. So explore these skills – think of a task or assignment that you enjoyed and dealt with successfully, and list the skills you used. These could include listening, establishing rapport with your client, analysing, seeing the big picture, finding the best solution, meeting deadlines, managing a team, communicating effectively…and so on.

Consider who you want to be. It’s not just about what you want to do. Who do you want to be, and how can you best express that?

Expose obstacles. What’s stopping you from making changes? It could be fear of the unknown, or money implications - in which case, what could you do to reduce these risks? Or you could feel tied by your qualifications. You may be thinking that because you studied for your degree, then spent another five years gaining a professional qualification, you shouldn’t leave your particular industry. Is that true?

Consider how you want to feel. How are you feeling right now in your current job? Is your work satisfying and fulfilling? How would it feel if you knew what work would be ideal for you, if you were doing meaningful work that combined your talents, skills and aspirations?

Be open to possibilities. What would you love to do? For the next two weeks, look at some job advertisements and websites and make a note of anything at all that appeals to you, then review your notes and see if there is a theme that strongly attracts you. Research it and see where it leads!

And here’s some relevant quotations on work:

· “Set me a task in which I can put something of my very self, and it is a task no longer; it is joy; it is art.” ~ Bliss Carman
· "Find a job you like and you add five days to every week.” ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
· “Blessed is the man who has some congenial work, some occupation in which he can put his heart and which affords a complete outlet to all the forces there are in him.” ~ John Burroughs
· "If you enjoy what you do, you'll never work another day in your life." ~ Confucius
· “Work and play are the same. When you’re following your energy and doing what you want all the time, the distinction between work and play dissolves.” ~ Shakti Gawain
· “The secret of success is making your vocation your vacation” ~ Mark Twain
· "Chase your passion, not your pension." ~ Edward James Olmos

Copyright Jackie Fletcher 2006

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Motivational Movie

I have just watched a lovely motivational movie and am posting the link to it, hoping that you find it as inspirational as I did.

It's called 'Your Gift' and can be seen at http://www.YourGiftMovie.com It's only a few minutes long, but it's a beautiful reminder of what we can do in this world.

Warmest wishes