Exploring career opportunities and the possible pathways available to you can be both an exciting and unsettling experience. Have you been looking at how to transition out of what you are doing and into a new career or looking at how you can grow professionally to be challenged, gain leadership skills, or increase your income? Many of us have been reflecting on where we work, what we want to do, and how we want our life to look and our job or career is intricately connected to all of these elements. Here I am going to share some ideas on how to ease the path of career exploration and the important ingredients to reflect upon so you lead your career into alignment and happiness for your whole being and life.
Assessing Your Career Options and a Possible Career Change
Well, who hasn’t contemplated their career over these last few years and some of us were forced into a change due to the upheaval of closures, but no matter your circumstances exploring our career options is something everyone should do yearly or bi yearly. I know this journey all too well as I completely uprooted myself in 2009 from a career and position I held for 15 years which began a whole new reinvention of myself. First, off, I want to acknowledge the stress or uncertainty changing and assessing new career pathways can produce in us. On the brighter side, there is something exciting and inviting almost as if you are looking at travelling somewhere new or going on an adventure.
Where does one begin on assessing career options or if they want to make a change? Here are a few ideas to get you started in beginning your career search:
First Steps to Begin Your Career Search
- Do a Self Inventory of Your Skills, Strengths, Experience, and What You Enjoy
(In other words, know yourself very well and what you like, don’t like, what you are good at and not good at, and where you can add value or share your strengths and skills)
- Identify What is not Working for You. When people look at a career change, it can be for many reasons and they can vary greatly including: boredom, pay, lifestyle, ethics, leadership, no growth opportunities, industry changes, family life or responsibilities, health, and stress
- Itemize what you require a job or career to give you or what you need from it. This may require you to look back at what has not worked and then know what you need going forward. I just did this for myself and it sure helps you say no quickly to options or offers when you know exactly what you want and need.
- Do a Future Pacing on Your Selected Industry or Profession and Know Where it is Going. This is important now more than ever because technology, automation, and the world is changing so fast, we need to know what the future holds for our industry and profession. Is AI, robots or technology going to replace some careers? The answer is yes, probably, at least to some degree. What skills might you need to upgrade or prepare for to be ready for the future?
- Research the Current Job Market and Learn What Jobs and Careers are in Demand and Growth. This can be a tricky one to assess because take the industry of coaching for example, every marketer will tell you it is booming, but all that is booming are services to train coaches and serve coaches in growing their business, but there are very few job positions for this career. The best way to know what there is a demand for in your industry or careers you are exploring is to go to job search engines and do the keyword searches and see what comes up. There are also reports and trends you can look up as I saw one that reported project management, construction, and of course the technology sector as great careers for future growth and stability.
The Holistic Career and Job Search Factors that Matter
Now that we have looked at some of the logical facts you have to consider when making a career or job change, no search would be complete without assessing what would align with you, your lifestyle, health, family, financial goals, and yes even your happiness. In fact, it is often one of these factors which I am going to dare to call a need of yours, that is almost an itch or source of unhappiness in your current career causing you to reassess. As an ICF Whole Person Certified Coach, I take my clients through assessments and a discovery process so they can discover what is most important to them, what their needs are, and understand how these holistic elements are possibly the greatest contributors to happiness in choosing the right career match.
Everyone should take a look at the holistic approach when assessing new career opportunities because we spend 50% or more of our weekday time in our jobs and if it does not fit with who we are, our life, and what we need a career to give us, we will not be happy. There is a ‘Core Being’ wheel I step people through that goes through all the elements that are at the core of who you are, what you want, your vision, dreams, desires, what you value, what motivates you, and your why. This whole process helps someone become more clear on their career path, it provides awareness and direction, and helps you decide on what will be right for you.
The Power of LinkedIn and Networking in Career Search
LinkedIn and networking are essential in exploring new career pathways and for job searching. If you do not already have an online profile with LinkedIn, it is time to create one whether you are a career professional looking for a job or an entrepreneur. There are powerful functions that LinkedIn offers whereby recruiters can find you when they do searches and a lot of employers will review your LinkedIn profile before they invite you for an interview. In addition, if you upgrade to their premium service, it provides a multitude of features including education, training , certificates to put on your profile, messaging recruiters, and additional job insights such as salary and how you compare to other applicants.
Yes, we can use LinkedIn for networking and it is fantastic to connect with a diversity of people there, but networking overall and personally by email, phone or in messaging can also expand opportunities for you. The depth of your relationships, the value you offer, how you present yourself online, and what you both give and ask for will create an energy of momentum in your career search.
How Career Coaching Can Help You with Landing a new Job or Career
One of the ways you can ease making a career change or exploring new opportunities is with a coach. Leadership and career coaches support job searchers in both the initial steps of discovering what direction they want to proceed in and also in presenting, applying, interviewing, and negotiating salary. Working with a coach on your career goals will definitely give you clarity, it will help you assess what you want, and guide you toward progress with accountability.
Sometimes working with a coach is about resourcing you with what you need to make a decision for your future and bringing all the important elements into your awareness to make the best choice clear.
Well there you have a few steps to get you started on your career journey and if you need any additional support or a coach to help guide you through, reach out and we will begin!
The careers we choose are a big part of our life, our days, and our weeks; they also impact our health, happiness, finances, and relationships so they become a very important decision that require our attention.
Here’s to finding the right career that aligns for you and your life.