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Want a career change? Take stock of yourself

Posted on from Executive Connexions Ltd

Career coach Steve Nicholls tells you how to take the steps toward your ideal career..

1. Time for a new career

The advent of a new year is traditionally a time for reflection, and some long put off naval gazing. Many people at this time of the year come to the conclusion that it’s time for a new career. It feels like a fresh start; the right time. From my experience in my coaching practice, it is equally important to reflect on exactly why you want a change, and to consider that you’re not jumping from the frying pan to the fire (that feeling of ‘pastures new’ won’t last long if you fail to take stock.

It’s new year after all, isn’t it? A perfect time to consider why you’re wanting to move and to ensure that any previous negative behaviours are locked down, ready for the new job!). You may even be totally at a loss as to what career to go for. I suggest you start with a good dollop of exploring you.

2. Reflect on your values

This process of reflection should begin with a full and thorough stock take. It’s sometimes difficult with a client who’s champing at the bit to get on to exploring career ideas, but I would urge you to take a step back and take a good long look at who you are in detail. Research shows that those who are most satisfied and motivated by their work are in careers which reflect who they really are, careers which reflect their true nature and their real passions, careers which draw on their innate strengths and employ their favourite skills and careers which allow them to honour their deeply-held values.

Any soul searching, brainstorming, or plain vanilla job hunting that you’re doing should include a sizeable chunk of looking at the issues in the preceding paragraph. I use a variety of tools to bring out all of these factors, and clients are always happy that they took the time out to look fully at themselves, when initially they may be champing at the bit to get onto the job hunting and action planning stages.

3. Identify your passion and dream

So, what next? You’ve taken a full inventory of yourself, and are ready to take steps toward your ideal career. Now is the time for you to dream a little. We want to get as many ideas on paper as we can; write ideas down, create a collage, whatever floats your boat, but at this stage don’t edit yourself. This should be a stage of getting any and all ideas recorded (calling all pragmatists: we’ll start to narrow things down later!).

The idea here is to be expansive, to think outside the box, not to be constrained at this stage by traditional notions of what’s possible. In truth, almost anything is possible if it’s right for you. And we will deal with making it possible next.

4. Looking forward to the year ahead

Through various processes we narrow your ideas down from three to one agreed goal. One idea. One new career. This is the point where we investigate the top possibility that was generated in the previous stage. We will use a creative process which lets you turn your vision for an exciting career that’s right for you into a soundly based action plan to make it happen. Then it’s over to you to make it happen.

I hope that you take the time to fully consider everything that I’ve mentioned. Doing so will put you in an excellent position, and will help you to be happy and fulfilled in your career. After all, we all want that, don’t we? I wish you a happy and successful year.

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