But where to start right? I want to build on the suggestion from yesterday of opening your mind up to think beyond the narrow possibilities you might give yourself. Maybe you already did the test mentioned on yesterday’s blog and you have been blown away. The problem for most people is that they don’t think, well at least not fully enough. I would like to help here in giving you more pointers as to how to assess what career might fit you like a glove. For this you are going to need a pen and some paper, often writing things down brings clarity.
For a start we are going to think through your career path, all the jobs you have had, even if voluntary thinking about your strengths, gifts, talents. Often this is where people stop but there is far more to you than that you have some natural abilities, your own level of integrity, you have preferences, preferred ways of “being”, you have aspirations and dreams oh and we best not forget that you have financial needs. These are just a few of the considerations I want to throw into the pot. Career Planning should be done holistically, that is really important.
Let me try and illustrate. Let’s say you are in a job right now that you hate but it pays really well. So you decide to look at your career and you find something that you feel makes your heart sing. The only problem is not only would you have the expense of retraining or further education the wages are dire. Jump at the job of your dreams and find you sacrifice your home, holidays – your current lifestyle might be too much to bear. I know that’s an extreme example but I am sure you follow me.
If you are thinking about a Career change you deserve to take more than a few minutes to day dream about it. I want to start today by giving you the first exercise that you can do that can give you clarity. I like doing things chronologically so let’s go on a wee journey. Go back to your early years, I know the older we get the harder that is but I give you permission to have some personal nostalgia. Just take time to think back and have your paper and pen handy to jot down what comes to mind and use these questions as a guide to prompt you;
- What did you love to do back then? What were your hobbies, what were you interested in, what did you spend a lot of time doing?
- Thinking back, what came easily and naturally to you? Maybe it was languages or numbers or sport it could have been something totally unrelated to academic study. Maybe you learned to cook or you had a flare for engineering, maybe watching a relative do something you just picked it up.
- What things were you noted for or praised for, ok maybe you have report cards that don’t make pleasant reading but there are some things others knew you for, even if it was always up to mischief.
- When you think back what things made you different from your peers, were you the extrovert of the group or introverted? What defined you as you?
Now you are maybe thinking this is a pointless exercise, even if some of those memories have brought a smile to your face. It is actually a very significant step to take. You are who you are today because of who you were back then. You might have rectified some annoying habits you had as a child but the individual you are today grew out of that child. A child with possibilities and potential, full of hopes and dreams. A word to the wise, don’t rush this exercise, I think you will learn a lot about yourself as well as having a laugh and ok some cringes as you recall your past.