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Posts Tagged: coaching

Feeling Lost in Your Career? I Can Help

Picture this: You’re driving along, singing at the top of your lungs to your favorite tune on the radio, and—all of the sudden—you realize you have absolutely NO IDEA where you are. You’re completely lost.

At some point or another, it’s happened to all of us. Why? There could be a number of reasons:

  • Maybe you failed to print a map or forgot to program the GPS for directions.
  • Maybe you had directions but you just completely ignored them because you were sidetracked by that great song  or because you thought you knew what you’re doing.
  • Or maybe your directions were bad. They could have been based on old maps and roads that no longer exist, or perhaps they were provided by someone who’s not trustworthy (we’ve all encountered the well-meaning local who accidentally points us astray…).

Whatever the reason, being lost is no fun.

But what does this have to do with your career?

Interestingly, the word career has its origins in the Latin word cararia, meaning “road.” At certain points along the way, you may end up lost.

And the reasons are much the same as those listed above:

  • You fail to print a map or program your GPS for directions.

You just blindly follow the career path you’re on expecting that, ultimately, you’ll reach the destination you desire—though, in reality, you might not even truly know what that is.

  • You have directions and you’ve just completely ignored them because you’re sidetracked or because you think you know what you’re doing.

You create a career path but when it gets hard or, when something more interesting comes along, you allow your attention to be diverted. Your well thought-out plans get pushed to the wayside.

  • Your directions are bad—they’re based on old maps and roads that no longer exist or they were provided by someone who’s not trustworthy.

You allow others to create your career path or you create a career path based on things you no longer want.

Does any of this sound familiar?

You’re not alone if so. And, here’s the good news: You’re in the right place.

I’m a Career Coach and this is my specialty.

Career coaching is specifically designed to help you when you’re feeling lost by providing guidance—a map with which to navigate the road of your career. My role as a career coach is to listen and reflect back what I hear. I ask questions and together we find the answers. Ultimately, my goal is to help you do three things:

1.    Make decisions.
2.    Create action plans.
3.    Successfully execute those plans.

That’s it. Looks pretty simple from the outside, but anyone who’s lost can tell you that these three things make all the difference. And, on your own, they can be overwhelming tasks. Here’s what I offer at each step:

1. In making decisions, my job is to take the emotion out of the process. I’m an objective third-party without a horse in the race, as they say. Talking to me isn’t like talking to your significant other or your friends. I’m there to help you see the situation as it truly is and possibly identify other opportunities you’ve overlooked. The decision is still yours; but I’m there to facilitate the process.

2. In creating action plans, my job is to break it down for you. I make sure you’re taking logical, well-orchestrated steps to get you to your chosen destination. We build your map one step at a time. It’s my goal to simplify the process for you. I help identify and organize to-do items, and together we establish reasonable timeframes in which to achieve them. You end up with a tangible checklist to get you from point A to point Z.

3. In executing your plans, my job is to keep you accountable and help you overcome challenges before they knock you off course. This is where coaching truly changes lives. All too often, I see people with great intentions who simply get overwhelmed by fear or lose motivation before any progress is made. I’m there to confront these patterns and bring them to your attention. Everyone needs an outside force to do this. It’s almost impossible to do it for yourself. My role is to push you, to bring out the best in you, and to help you share your greatness with the world.

Along the way, I might also make recommendations, share personal experiences and offer straight-forward advice, but most of the time, you already have the answers. You know what’s best for you; I help you articulate what you already know and turn it into tangible success.

Coaching isn’t therapy. It’s not some touchy feely hand-holding session where we talk about wishes and dreams. It’s down and dirty and sometimes, it’s very uncomfortable. But you’ll never feel more alive and more in sync with your purpose. And that, my friends, is my purpose.

If you’re lost in your career, I can help. Let’s build your map and take a road trip.

Learn more about Career Coaching here.

Photo Credit: Nullalux (Flickr)

15 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making a Major Career Change

If you’re considering a major career change, you may find the process a little overwhelming at first. To help organize your thoughts and feelings on the topic, ask yourself the following 15 questions.

Remember to answer thoughtfully and honestly. This is for your eyes only. Also, be sure to write your answers down. Putting abstract thoughts and feelings into words can help you identify what’s really going on and it adds a tangible element to the reflection process.

(Note: If you need help answering any of these questions, please download my free mini-workbook to help get the ball rolling.)

1.    What is it about my current career that isn’t working?

2.    What does this new career offer that my current career doesn’t?

3.    What does this new career ignite in my soul?

4.    How does this new career align with my core values?

5.    What are the long-term opportunities associated with this new career?

6.    What skills or resources will I need to take advantage of these long-term opportunities?

7.    Who do I know who is already in this career and can give me an honest “insider’s” perspective?

8.    Will my friends and family support this new career endeavor?

9.    How long will it take to make a comfortable living in this new career?

10.    Do I have the financial resources to make this new career work? If not, how can I get what I need to feel secure?

11.    What struggles can I predict in my transition to this new career?

12.    What can I do now to minimize these potential struggles?

13.    What specific experience do I hope to gain in this career move?

14.    How will my previous experience help me in this new role?

15.    Is this career move one step in a larger plan? If so, what does this new career need to provide in order to help me move forward?

Photo Credit: PhotoDu.de (Flickr)

Quitting and Job Hopping and Coaching, Oh My!

A few weeks ago, I did an interview with one of my favorite bloggers, Alexandra Franzen of Unicorns for Socialism. Alex was hosting a seminar titled, “Suck It Recession: How to Quit Your Job (Without Losing Your Mind)” and she graciously invited me to do a quick virtual interview during her session.

Though the quality of the recording is somewhat sketchy (Skype can be fickle at times) I think it’s still worth sharing. We cover quite a few topics in less than ten minutes so, if you can handle the random spots of dropped audio, dig right in and enjoy. I’m particularly entertained by the fact that I have no clue when Skype is cutting out so I just keep talking and talking and talking…Classic.

Career Management: Defining the Process and Purpose

The term “career management” is a bit abstract for some people. It sounds like this fluffy, indefinable concept that doesn’t really mean a whole lot. In reality, career management is a very significant and specific process that, when done properly, helps to ensure long-term career success.

According to CareerVision.org, it’s sort of like contributing to your own career piggy bank:

Career management uses concepts similar to good financial management. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that a disciplined investment, made on a regular basis, yields a greater return.

In order to get the most out of your career, you have to put some effort into caring for it. Left to its own devices, your career may end up wildly off course. Without a structured career management plan, you’ll quickly find yourself doing what’s easy or convenient or what others want you to do. You may discover that your future goals don’t align with your present-day actions. And, before you know it, your career will be managing you.

1. Career Management is a Lifelong Process

The first point to understand is that career management is not a single event; it’s a part of your career journey. Don’t put it off until you suddenly realize there’s a problem. Just like a car, regular maintenance will help ensure a smooth ride.

2. Career Management is an Active Process

You can’t simply sit back and let others do the work for you. Otherwise, you’ll end up in someone else’s career! You have to be an active, engaged participant.

3. Career Management is a Structured Process

I believe that career management is most beneficial when it is carefully structured. Without structure, most of us would neglect it until an emergency came along. Structure helps keep the process moving at a steady, stable pace regardless of what’s happening.

4. Career Management is about Establishing, Tracking and Correcting:

  • Establish Goals: The real nitty-gritty of career management is in understanding what you’re trying to achieve. This, for many people, can also be the hardest part. Each goal should be broken down into tasks that, once completed, will achieve the goal. A timeline can then be created to map each step along the way.
  • Track Goals: Monitoring progress is a satisfying and useful strategy. Career management involves regularly checking in on established goals and the movement being made. This helps prevent stagnation and ensures career goals are being methodically incorporated into the rest of your life.
  • Course Correct: Career goals will change and grow just as you do. Part of the career management process involves monitoring and adjusting them as needed. Each step along the way will heighten your understanding of what you want and how to get there. The map isn’t set in stone. As you move forward, the career management process will help you identify new paths and new destinations.

Participating in a structured career management process demonstrates the important role that career plays in your life as a whole. For most people, your career can provide you with the means to achieve a great number of other personal goals, like buying a house or starting a family or traveling the world. Work also occupies a huge portion of our time spent on this planet, so managing your career is clearly a worthwhile investment of energy.

Photo Credit: docbaty (Flickr)

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