Try these 4 things to work out your next fulfilling career step

Try these 4 things to work out your next fulfilling career step

Try these 4 things to work out your next fulfilling career step

Many clients come to me saying that they’ve lost their passion for their work, or that they want to do something more meaningful, but are really feeling stuck about what career step to take next.

The questions “What do I do now?” and “Where do I go next?” can be start to be answered by practicing a little introspection. And evidence shows, that when we find meaning in our work, we can expect increases in happiness and engagement, improvement to our performance – and an overall positive impact on our wellbeing.

When I (after plenty of introspection and hours as a coaching client) defined my next fulfilling career step away from the world of corporate communications and into the role of a coach, it was like fireworks going off! I felt so excited that I’d found work that suited who I am and gave me purpose.

Even now, almost 5 years after I made my move, I still feel energised and fulfilled by my work – every day!

So, unless you’d like to get started with coaching support right away, here are 4 steps (based on my education, experience, and insightful inputs from my colleague Annabel Musson) you can start with to define your next fulfilling career step:

Step 1 – Find your inspiration

This first step is really important to help you really connect to your future work. Inspiration can come from many different areas of life, both from within and externally. In order for you to find your inspiration, have a think about the following questions:

  • What are your goals?
  • What do you want to stand for or live for?
  • What are your passions?

Use these techniques to help you find inspiration for your next career step:

  1. Reflect – Spend some time alone in a quiet place. Close your eyes and begin to quiet your mind. When you feel like your mind is not so busy, think deeply about your purpose in life, and what brings you meaning.
  2. Look at others whom you admire – Who do you look up to? Think about why you look up to them, and note this down. Do some research into successful people who are in the career field that sparks your interest, look into their journey and how they got to where they are today.
  3. Talk with friends and family – asking the people who know you best about what kind of career would suit you can open your mind up to things you may not have considered before. Also, if they are successful, and you look up to them, ask them for advice on how they got to where they are today. This can help you form your path to having the career you want.

Step 2 – Understand your preferences better 

You can understand your preferences better by learning more about yourself, for example, your strengths, interests and character traits. Below are some ways you could do so:

  1. Doing psychometric assessments, such as: aptitude tests, behavioural tests and assessment centres. I recommend 16 Personalities and VIA Character Strengths.
  2. Evaluate your strengths and identify which activities deplete you of energy.
  3. Examine your priorities –what is most important to you?
  4. Examine what you daydream about most – this can indicate us to what we really want.
  5. Work with a coach – a leadership, career and wellbeing coach, like myself, can help you identify what really matters to you and what kinds of roles would be best suited to you.

Step 3 – Talk to yourself like an interviewer

Think like interviewer – their purpose is to get to know you on a deeper level, and see how well you would be suited to a role. You can do this for yourself in order to help you work out your next step.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

This question allows you to genuinely consider what you want to be doing in 5 years. Perhaps you have worked in a multinational company for a while, and realised that in 5 years, you no longer want to feel like a small fish in a very big pond. Perhaps you want to be an entrepreneur and running your own company instead? Maybe you want to be making enough money to travel the world? Or have more kids? And a question I like to ask often is: in 5 year’s time, what would you regret not doing?

Once you have the answer to this question, you can start to work backwards, and work out the steps you need to take in order to get there.

  • What makes you want to leave your current employer?

This question gives you some insight into the challenges of your current employment and helps you to identify what you don’t want from a future work situation. If the reason you’re seeking other employment is to run away from current work stressors, consider the root cause of these stressors. Is it the environment? Personality clashes? If you’re running away from current turmoil at your job, you may not find greener grass without first considering your needs.

((If you do decide to stay put, there are plenty of evidence-based and effective techniques that we can work on together to help you cope better in challenging circumstances and ensure that you are taking care of your overall wellbeing.))

Step 4 – Start taking action

Before you can take your next career step, you need to plan for how you’re going to do so. Follow the below steps to help you get there and reach your ideal career:

  1. Brainstorm – Come up with a list of ideas about how you can advance your career or move up the ladder. Perhaps, doing a master’s degree is a good first step? Or, maybe taking up some additional training? Starting to take action – one small step at a time – to get you to where you want to be, will make your dream career move feel real – not just a dream anymore.
  2. Volunteer or do side work – Find an organisation that will allow you to volunteer for a few hours a week in your dream sector. By doing this, you’ll gain valuable experience and also be able to generate a list of your likes and dislikes for your next position.
  3. Start applying for jobs– Get your CV professionally reviewed and reconnect back to your accomplishments and transferable skills. Develop your elevator pitch or professional value proposition, so that in 2-3 concise sentences you can share your professional background, your strengths and what you are looking for. Start an authentic network strategy to meet people in the areas of work you are interested in, learn about employers you may like to work for – and ask trusted members of your network for introductions.

I hope that you find these four steps valuable in your journey towards your next fulfilling career move. If you’d like my support, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch! 

My Interview with Firework Coaching

My Interview with Firework Coaching

My Interview with Firework Coaching

Firework interview

Here’s an interview that I did with the lovely Kat from Firework. Click here to read about my journey into coaching, some of my clients’ results, and how I use the tools that I gained from my career coach training with Firework.

 

 

Leaning on our character strengths for support in tough times

Leaning on our character strengths for support in tough times

Leaning on our character strengths for support in tough times

As we are all, in some way or another, affected by the Coronavirus situation, I wanted to share with you some ideas of how you can utilise your character strengths to keep on top of your emotional, mental and physical wellbeing. 

Our character strengths

Character strengths are “positive traits – capacities humans have for thinking, feeling, and behaving in ways that benefit oneself and others. Specifically, they are the psychological ingredients for displaying virtues or human goodness.” (VIA website)

The VIA Classification consists of 24 different character strengths, which we all have within us and can draw on to support us in all aspects of life.  

By implementing a character strengths approach, our main focus is on what’s right and what we do well, as studies have shown that this where we can experience the greatest positive impact. For example…

  • higher levels of happiness 
  • lower levels of depression
  • lower levels of stress
  • higher levels of life satisfaction
  • higher energy levels
  • etc…

How you can lean on them to support you now 

I’ve selected 5 character strengths that can be tapped into at anytime of the day, with a few ideas that you may consider trying:

Kindness

  • ask how you can support your family, friends and neighbours at the moment
  • show compassion for others – ask how they are doing, and really listen to their answer 

Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence

  • literally smell the roses – intentionally take notice of how the new season is developing and acknowledge the simply beauty that nature offers us
  • look for examples of excellence in your world – amazing work by a colleague, a beautiful example of architecture in your street, or even one of your recent accomplishments

Gratitude

  • appreciate even the smallest things in your life. The chair you sit on, the phone you have to keep in contact with loved ones, the food in your cupboard…
  • set up a daily routine where you reflect on these before bed, or even discuss together at dinner with your family

Hope

  • if you haven’t already, start a bucket list of places you want to see and what you want to do when you get there!
  • Be in contact with people or online groups who are optimistic and lift you up and choose to read positive news or books that bring you joy

Zest

  • dance to your favourite music, nap when you can, cook and eat delicious food, and find peace in meditation and nature

Useful resources

The VIA website has many ideas to support you in using any of your 24 character strengths

And I’m here to help you too. Please get in touch if you’d like my support in this difficult time.

Over to you….

  • Do you have any other tips for these character strengths?
  • Do you apply other character strengths in difficult times?
  • And which have helped you the most?

 

 

 

My interview on work-life balance with Balance the Grind

My interview on work-life balance with Balance the Grind

My interview on work-life balance with Balance the Grind

Balance the grind text

I’m delighted to have been interviewed by Balance the Grind about how I manage my work-life balance.

You can read my interview here.

Take some time to browse through the other interviews and resources that are featured – maybe you get some new ideas on how to optimise your own work-life balance!

5 easy ways to reduce overwhelm – in any situation

5 easy ways to reduce overwhelm – in any situation

5 easy ways to reduce overwhelm – in any situation

Do you experience moments at work, when deadlines are fast approaching, to-dos are piling up, you’re feeling overwhelmed with competing priorities; where you feel it’s difficult to concentrate or focus on one thing at a time, emotions are running high and perhaps you even feel a physical reaction?

I’ve put together a couple of strategies (a couple that may be surprising!), that are useful to reduce stress during your work day so that you can quickly get back ton track.

You can try these in different situations – whether in a meeting, on a crowded train, or when you are alone:

  1. Connect to your senses, slowly and one by one. What can you see? What can you hear? What can you smell? What can you taste? What can you feel (touch)?
  2. Put both feet on the ground and imagine strong, healthy tree roots growing from your soles, right down to the middle of the earth. Feel anchored, strong and supported.
  3. Connect to your breath. Notice your inhales and exhales and slow your breathing down. Count in for 4, hold for 4, out for 4. Try this for about a minute
  4. Literally slow down. Walk more slowly, speak slower, type slower. If it helps, pretend you are underwater and it’s simply not possible to do things quickly.
  5. Think of 3 things you’re grateful for.

Which of these tips do you think would be most useful for you?
And do you have any others to share that have worked well?

Useful Resources

Please get in touch if you’d like my support to manage your stress better!