Last Friday, I had the incredible honor of being interviewed by J.T. O’Donnell on her T.V. show called Career Reality. It was a ton of fun, which is no surprise because, if you’re familiar with J.T. (and her website, Careerealism) you know that everything she touches turns to awesome. The interview focuses on my career coaching work and the various assessments I do with clients to help them determine if (and when) a career change is a smart move. If you have questions, feel free to leave a comment below or shoot me an email. Enjoy!
Posts Tagged: coaching
The idea of career reinvention is nothing new. It’s an annual tradition for some people. I used to make a New Year’s resolution every year to “figure out what I want to be when I grow up.” Luckily, I got to cross that one off the list a few years ago!
But, truth be told, career reinvention is a continuous process for most people. We’re all constantly growing and changing, so our professional goals have to be regularly re-evaluated and tweaked to keep up. Otherwise, what used to make us happy will soon make us miserable.
Of course, career reinvention doesn’t always have to be dramatic. Sometimes, minor adjustments can have a major impact. The process itself doesn’t change though, whether you’re in need of a serious career overhaul or a minor makeover.
The figure below describes the process I use to help people in the process of career reinvention. It’s adapted from the book Finding Your Perfect Work: A New Career Guide to Making a Living & Creating a Life by Paul and Sarah Edwards.
This is the stage in which you imagine what you want and begin to create different scenarios and predict possible outcomes. Most of us do this naturally. When we talk to our friends about work, we imagine what it would be like in their shoes. We think, “Would that make me more happy or less happy professionally?” We constantly envision the future and where we’ll be.
This is the stage in which you begin testing different ideas and make wild leaps of thought to see what sticks. It involves research and testing the waters. This is a critical phase of the process that is often overlooked.
The last two stages are where many people get stuck.
This is the stage in which you consider the reality of making specific decisions (like quitting your current job or accepting a new job), and you thoughtfully weigh the pros and cons. It can be easy to wallow around here, hemming and hawing and waiting for the “right” answer to simply appear…but it seldom does. You have to be willing to take calculated risks while also trusting your instincts.
This is the stage in which you set goals and begin making progress towards achieving those goals. This is the one-foot-in-front-of-the-other DO IT phase of career reinvention. It can be scary, uncomfortable and exhausting. But without this final phase, nothing is truly accomplished. This can also be a long phase in which many people lose motivation.
As the figure above suggests, this is an ongoing process. There’s never really a point where you’ll sit back, relax and enjoy the awesome career you’ve invented. A career isn’t a stagnant thing. It has to keep up with you and the world as a whole, and that takes a serious investment of time and energy on your part.
We’re always going through career reinvention, in big ways and small, making adjustments to find and maintain fulfillment. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy or natural. Sometimes, you need a helping hand to guide you, keep you on track and help you maintain forward movement.
If you’d like a little support during your next phase of career reinvention, please take a few minutes to learn about my group coaching program called Reinvent Your Career.
This time of year, as we approach the New Year, most of us spend an inordinate amount of time reflecting on where we’ve been and where we’re going. It can be depressing for some people; especially those who feel like their goals are never getting any closer to reality.
I know because I used to be one of those people. Every December 31st, I’d look back on the year that was and think, “Next year, things will be different.” But, inevitably, January 1st would come and I’d still be me, I’d still be facing the same challenges at home and at work, and I’d still be clueless about how to overcome them.
It’s like the U2 song goes: Nothing changes on New Year’s Day….
Somewhere along the line, I got sick of that little routine. I made the decision to change what wasn’t working in my life and at the top of my list was my career. That was about 7 years ago now and I haven’t looked back for a second. Sure, it was a difficult process. It was scary and I made some mistakes along the way. But I learned a lot about myself and ultimately, I landed here. Today, I do what I love day in and day out, and I make great money doing it. I’m still moving forward, still making adjustments and figuring out what really works for me, but I’m happy. This year, I’m not afraid of reflecting on the past or making goals for my future. I’m in the zone, you might say.
This post isn’t about making you jealous of my career or inspiring New Year’s Day angst. I simply want to point out that finding professional success and career fulfillment can be a long, arduous road to walk, especially if you’re doing it alone. But the journey is well worth it on the other side. Nothing has given me a greater sense of achievement. I have faith that, if that’s what you’re looking for in 2011, you are more than capable of reaching your goal.
So, if you’re approaching the New Year knowing that you want to change something in your career but you’re just not sure what that is or how to go about doing it, you’re not alone. I’d like to invite you to join me for a new group coaching program I’ll be hosting in February 2011. It’s called “Reinvent Your Career” and it’s all about finding career fulfillment and taking real steps towards achieving it. You’ll get the support you need to make 2011 the year you stop thinking about what you want to do and start doing it. Learn more about it here.
You’ve just had the most amazing idea. It hits you like a tidal wave and nearly knocks you off your seat. THIS is the best idea you’ve ever had and you’re so excited to get started.
And then…the voice shows up.
“Who are you kidding? You’ll never accomplish that!”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. You’ve had ‘great’ ideas before and none of them have ever worked out. What makes you think this will be any different?”
“That’s a horrible idea. No one will get it.”
“Maybe it’s a great idea…but you can’t do it. Someone else will come up with it and do it better anyway.”
Does any of this sound familiar?
That voice is what’s known as “The Saboteur.”
The Saboteur is a nagging, negative mental manifestation that tries to sabotage your efforts to grow and disrupt your desire to achieve new things. This guy is a real pain in the butt. He appears in a number of different ways and can use thousands of different disguises.
We all have saboteurs but many people don’t recognize them. The Saboteur doesn’t speak the truth but he still sounds pretty convincing. Don’t let yourself be swayed by his charms.
Here are a few things you need to know when dealing with The Saboteur:
The Saboteur Is Not Your Friend
Let’s be clear: That voice is a jerk. Seriously. His sole purpose is to discourage you and keep you from taking any risk at all. While he might sound like a caring, thoughtful voice of reason, he’s actually just a nervous nelly. He’s not looking out for your best interests, no matter what he says. Don’t hang out with him; don’t humor him. He’s no friend of yours.
The Saboteur Is Stuck in the Past
That voice only knows what happened in the past. He doesn’t know what’s possible or what could be. His job is to take the lessons you’ve learned and hold them over your head forever and ever. Sure, it’s a necessary part of growth to learn from history. But remember that the past isn’t always an accurate indicator of the future.
The Saboteur Loves the Comfort Zone
That voice comes up when the possibility of discomfort arises. He doesn’t want you to rock the boat. In his opinion, comfort is the most important thing in life. Of course, as you know, any kind of growth requires a little unease. So, if it were up to The Saboteur, you’d stay right where you are forever. You’d never move forward, you’d never improve. You’d live in the comfort zone and slowly waste away.
The Saboteur Doesn’t Have Faith In You
That voice isn’t aware of your capabilities. He’s not worried about pushing you towards your personal destiny or helping you become your best self. He doesn’t think you’re worth much anyway.
See what I mean? That voice is a JERK!! Keep your eye out for The Saboteur and don’t let him run the show. When you see him, say “hello” and simply ask him to take a hike. There’s no sense trying to reason with him or change his mind. Just put him in a box, place that box on a shelf, and carry on. Like I said, we all have saboteurs. The goal is to recognize them and manage them, so they don’t manage you!!
Need help? That’s what I’m here for.
Photo Credit: Kaptain Kobold (Flickr)
This post was inspired by Charlie Gilkey’s recent (genius) post 20 Inconvenient Business Truths. I read it and realized that, in career coaching, I share inconvenient truths with my clients on a regular basis. I know it’s sometimes hard to hear these things but, in the end, they make you stronger.
- Almost everyone starts at the bottom. Regardless of what you think you deserve, you probably will to.
- There are no “right” answers for finding career fulfillment. Every path is different; every destination unique.
- It’s not enough to be good at what you do. Talent and skill will only take you so far.
- Work is not separate from the rest of your life. Compartmentalization is a myth.
- Professional growth requires discomfort.
- If you’re unhappy with your career, it’s up to you to change it. No one else controls your situation.
- Almost every job has a tradeoff. You’ll probably never get everything you want in one place.
- Achieving long-term career goals requires sustained effort and deliberate action. It’s no accident or coincidence.
- Your career is about YOU.
- A successful job search should take anywhere from three to six months. It’s not something that happens overnight.
- If you hate your job, it probably won’t get better with time. Sticking around because you’re afraid will only dig you deeper into the rut.
- Just as any successful business owner has a business plan, every successful professional should have a career plan.
- Money may be the reason you have to work but it’s not the true motivation. People who wake up with joy each day are working for entirely different reasons. Money is simply a byproduct.
- Bad career advice is everywhere. If it sounds too simple to be true, it probably is.
- If you find yourself job-hopping and nothing ever satisfies you for any period of time, it’s time to look at yourself. Most likely, you’re part of the problem.
- Every company has that person who gets away with slacking off, takes all the credit, earns more than she deserves, etc. The good news is that she’s not your problem. Let it go.
- If you’re not willing to invest in your career, why would any company be willing to invest in you?
- Most people change careers 3 to 7 times in their lives. That doesn’t mean you will.
- Layoffs happen. You may get fired. You may be “forced out” for reasons beyond your control. You’ll survive. And you’ll be stronger for it.
- No one achieves career success alone. The most successful professionals nurture their networks, show support and give more than they expect to get.
Do you have any to add? Please share in the comments!
Photo Credit: julesreyes (Flickr)