“One of the greatest tragedies of life is that so many men and women go to their graves with the music still in them” Oliver Wendell Holmes (Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court 1902-1932)
Organisational development, changes brought about by the recent pandemic or mergers and acquisitions as well as the need to provide key employees with support through a change of role or career are often catalysts that inspire companies or individuals to seek career coaching.
The last time most of us had any career advice was either at school or university. Then at some point, often triggered by a change in personal circumstances, a major birthday, or significant external event such as redundancy or restructure, we reach a career crossroads and ask ourselves:
Am I going to continue what I have been doing for the rest of my working life?
Is a change of direction even feasible?
What do I really want to do?
How will I make the transition?
How do I get back into the job market, and quickly?
So we must take stock of where we are, think about where we would like to be, and figure out what it will take to get there. We need to examine our skills, marketability, and personal preferences. Then decide what to do next and develop a strategy to make it happen.
Here are 7 questions to consider:
What am I trying to leave behind? Do I want a new career or am I wanting a new employer? People leave managers, not companies. 57 percent of employees have left a job because of their manager.
What am I good at? What do I like doing? What roles, jobs could I do more of this?
What don't I like doing? Why? Distinguish between a skill or task you genuinely don't like versus a task where if you developed the skill you might actually find you enjoy it.
What are the financial implications? Can I afford to invest in my new career? Can I prepare in stages rather than one big step?
What would the impact be on my partner, family, children, friends?
Location. Do I need to move? Do I want to move? How far am I willing to commute?
Can I find out more about a sector or role I am considering changing to? For example who's in your personal and also professional network who you can ask? Can you spend a day or more shadowing someone to find out more?
Get pen and paper and write your answers down - this will help give clarity and perspective and quieten that little gremlin voice you may have in your head.
Feeling unfulfilled in your work needn't mean handing in your notice and walking off into the sunset. You may have a job that you're happy with in many ways - but that doesn't fully satisfy you. If a lack of job satisfaction is affecting your emotional wellbeing, then you need to take positive action.
Research shows that those who are most satisfied and motivated by their work are in careers that reflect who they really are; careers that reflect their true nature and their real passions; careers that draw on their natural strengths and employ their favourite skills; careers that allow them to complement their deeply-held values. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. Be inspired and make 2022 your year.