The immediate solution was what I would like to call quick logic, what skills did he have that were transferrable, that was his chain of thought. It is not a bad place to start really but there is a danger in doing this. It can make you have very limited thinking. Let’s think about it for a moment. He isn’t enjoying or at least finding his current job satisfying. By looking at his transferrable skills he is pretty much having a narrow view of what his future could be. Now sometimes that is very valid, maybe the job you actually love but the company structure, the internal politics or the organisational dynamics are what you have you pulling your hair out and it isn’t so much a new career you need as much as a new employer.
My concern for my coachee was as he identified what he was planning to do, move into a similar kind of work was that after the honeymoon period that I’m not satisfied itch would return. So we did a little exercise. It was a psychometric test based on Myers Briggs theory, yes you can have the link to do it yourself, I know I’m a real trooper. (http://www.teamtechnology.co.uk/mmdi/questionnaire/) My coachee battered through the list of questions and not long after I had a full report to give him. It was too much to explore at that time so I sent him off with simple homework, read it through and see what you think!
When he returned he was like a dog with two tails. The test he had done looked at 2 main aspects to him. One what was he good at and two what did he enjoy doing and from that it gave him a whole series of different potential vocations ranking those 2 factors. He had gone from a mind-set of this is the kind of thing I could do next, I guess, to seeing he had far more options and also that certainly some of those really resonated with him. There were careers he hadn’t thought about but this had opened his mind to the possibilities of what he could do and you could see the excitement written all over his face as he spoke about certain career paths.
Would it need retraining, off course, for some it meant some academic study would be required. The thing was he wasn’t stuck on the tracks of a life career he had chosen or fallen into he was able to be far more objective and think about what he really wanted to do for his future. From there he had to consider could he and would he be willing to do what it would take to step into that future.
But look at me running ahead, more career planning strategy to follow.