Gone are the days of having one career for life. Times have changed.
Today’s global market-place makes our working lives more impermanent and unpredictable plus with a potentially longer working life we’re less likely to settle with something that merely pays the bills. We want something more – so phrases like ‘self-improvement’ and ‘personal journey’ become part of our criteria when considering our work. Many participants who come to train with Wise Goose feel that they’re at a crossroads and are looking to step forward into something new. Recent Wise Goose graduate and Career Coach Lucy Weldon wrote in a previous Wise Goose blog “If you don’t like your job, be clear on the reasons. And if you’re not sure what they are, go and talk them through with someone, as well as start to explore what you could do. There’s lots of aspects that could improve your lot before you change job. But if it is a change that you are looking for, there is plenty of advice available… Be positive. It helps achieve the right outcome.”
What factors contribute to arriving at this career crossroads? Sometimes a change in our personal lives makes us feel lost, becoming a parent may shift priorities from work to home, children growing up and leaving the nest can make us feel empty, or maybe we’re no longer with people we enjoy and respect. Writing for Forbes, Kathy Caprino writes “We can feel lost when our work has pulled us away from our core values and our sense of integrity and honesty. We can feel lost when we’re being mistreated and discriminated against…” identifying feelings that contribute to what she calls ‘power gaps’ which ultimately stop us from being effective authors of our own lives.
If we’ve identified that we need a career change – then the next step is working out what we want so we can move forward and take control. The School of Life says its because our brains aren’t well equipped to interpret and understand themselves. “We cannot sit down and simply inquire of ourselves directly what we might want to do with our working lives – we must learn to tease out insights concealed in apparently tiny movements of satisfaction and distress scattered across our lives.” Recognising how vague our minds are helps gain a new perspective… “We start to appreciate that our career analysis is going to take time, that it has many stages, that the reach for an immediate answer can backfire – and that it is a strangely magnificent, delicate and noble task to work out what one should most justly do with the rest of one’s brief life on earth. We should have the confidence to believe that large portions of a sound answer are already in us.”
Career Coach Maggie Mistal sees the process as being more akin to doing a jigsaw puzzle, finding the pieces and putting them together. She suggests examining a variety of factors including ideal salary, skills you most enjoy using, finding what motivates you, your unique mission or purpose, and details like size of a company and location of an employer.
Of course it takes courage – and timing is key. Lucy Weldon believes you should look before you leap in order to reduce uncertainty about the feature. “What I am certain about is that ‘managing uncertainty’ is a skill that helps inordinately in life. It’s the knowing when to push, when to wait and allow luck, the Universe, or whatever to intervene, provided the groundwork is done.” One way to do that groundwork could be to enlist for training as a coach. Not only will adding coaching to your portfolio open options which can make you more employable in a new career, but it will help you in your own self-growth. To that end Wise Goose runs free taster days where you can test the water and see if coaching really is for you – with no financial outlay it just might get you out of neutral and set you on your way. What do you think? Are you ready to change gear and move forward from your career crossroads?