Are you feeling a bit lost with your career, or perhaps over time it has become less aligned with your overall values or aims? You might even be coming back from a break and need to re-assess your needs and wants from your career. Any of these can leave you wondering which way next?
Below are a set of simple steps you can take to help you re-evaluate what you want, what you bring and what action you can take.
Think about a time you’ve been at your absolute best
Zero in on the elements that made it so brilliant. Was it the role, the team, your manager, the company values/ ethos, or a combination of a few of these? Now think about how you can incorporate some of these elements back into your career – can you do that now, or is it something you need to work towards in the future? If so, when will that be and what steps do you need to take to get there? What small step can you take to start this progression in the right direction?
Have a go at identifying your strengths
What are the things you are naturally good at? Make a list of these. Then think about how others you know and work with would describe you. Add this to your list. If you can actually ask people, all the better. Finally, take a moment to think about your behaviours – what sort of tasks do you gravitate towards doing, and which ones do you avoid. This can tell you a lot about where your natural strengths lie.
Take a deeper look
If you want some deeper insight, you can carry out an exercise called The Career Lifeline. It guides you through a review of your career to date, to help you identify themes and patterns in the times when you had your highest (and also lowest) career satisfaction. This can help de-code what you strive to find more of in your career in the future.
Find others to talk to
How you do this will be completely down to the individual. Firstly, do you know anyone - a friend or a trusted colleague - who is in the same position as you? Sharing thoughts and ideas between you can help inspire action.
Perhaps you have people in your network who are doing something you would LOVE to do. Can you connect with them and have a conversation to find out more about what they do and the route they took to get there?
Maybe you need something more structured. This is where coaching can have a real impact. The reason I created Brilliant Me Coaching was to find a way to support people as they identify and navigate the changes they want to make in their careers.
Coaching can come in many forms. 1-to-1 coaching lets you work at your own pace and to your own agenda. Alternatively, group coaching will follow a more structured programme with the opportunity to connect with, support, encourage and challenge others in the group and spur each other on to achieve your goals.
Whichever of these approaches feel right to you, creating a route to finding support from others will help you gain a clearer focus on what you hope to achieve and how you can get there.
Jane McKenna is a partner coach at Careering into Motherhood. As well as offering 1-to-1 coaching, she has a group coaching programme starting at the end of September aimed at anyone wanting to make a change in their career, however big or small.