This was me! I can remember clearly thinking that as I didn’t have any idea I would stay where I was until I had clarity, as this was the sensible thing to do. I was there for 10 years! In this blog, I share my own personal career journey with the hope that it helps you fast track yours.
Looking back now I can see so many signs that this wasn’t right for me but I would put off doing anything about it as I didn’t know what else I could do. Instead, I would make slight adjustments to my role and hope that it would be enough. I had fallen into the world of HR following my degree and had never really had any strong sense of career direction and any ideas to fall back on.
I had been attracted to my last organization because it was a well-known brand a leading player in the financial world and I wanted to have that experience of working for a large corporate. I could see lots of opportunities to grow and to build my experience in the different areas of HR.
However, even within my first few months, I was starting to question my decision, I was getting great feedback, I was working with some talented people but there was a disconnect. As I couldn’t put my finger on what was exactly wrong I just silenced those inner niggles and put it down to being a new girl. I would tell myself that I needed to stick it out and get 12 months under my belt.
I can remember a friend of mine daring me to see a Tarot card reader, called Madonna when I was a few months into the job. I had never done anything like this and as it wasn’t something my family encouraged I didn’t tell many people. I was intrigued but also a bit scared and after giving Madonna strict instructions not to tell me about any of my loved ones dying or anything too frightening, we settled into the reading. Within the first few minutes and with me being very tight-lipped so as not to give anything anyway, she told me that my job was not right for me and would not make me happy. If only I had asked her what I should do instead!
But here’s the thing, it is highly unlikely that you will have an epiphany; that you can look into a crystal ball and it will tell you, that you can wake up one day and you will know for absolute certainty what your next career move will be and that it will all work out. If only it was that simple.
But here is what you can do; you can start to explore and to try out areas of interest and passions, you can start to open your eyes!
I love this perspective from Richard Bolles. A lot of people will take a triangular approach to career hunting and when trying to answer the question – ‘what am I going to do’ start with what they know, what jobs they are aware of and then try and filter it down to find the one. But in fact, if we really truly want to change our careers we need to open our mind to new ideas. We need to broaden our horizons’ and our awareness to find out about opportunities that we didn’t even know existed before we start to filter down to identify that job which will make you happy. We need to take the diamond approach. After all, diamonds are forever!
In my own diamond approach, I started to look at what I did like about my job, what were the aspects of my role when I was at my happiest, when I felt I was at my best, my most inspired. I began to realise this was around helping people feel engaged and developing them. Some of my happiest times where when I mentored others and helped them figure out their next career move. When I would spend time with an individual coaching them through a challenge. When they would report back excited and proud as they had made a step closer to their goal, maybe removed an obstacle, faced a fear and achieved something that was important to them.
Looking at my personal life I realised I got a real buzz when people would confide in me about a problem and would ask me to help them. I would feel honoured that they felt comfortable to share personal and emotional challenges with me. That they valued my opinion and pragmatic approach to help them move forward.
I also consider other parts of my life, my interests. From the age of 3 to 18 I had danced and had even been accepted to study Dance at University. I enjoyed my twice a week Pilates classes and loved the impact it was having on my body. There had always been a little inkling in the back of mind about become an instructor.
I began to explore both these areas and their potential as future careers. The size and scope to earn a living, what it would take to set up a business, what training I would need and what were the timescales I would be looking at. I began to talk to people in these jobs to find out what it was really like the highs and the lows. I then put my own escape plan in place, saving money, looking at how I would bridge the transition period.
Before I knew it I had enrolled in a certified life coaching course and was completing my diploma to teach Pilates and here I am now several years on running my own career coaching business specialising in helping others figure out the ‘WHAT’ (what do I want to do) and the ‘HOW’ (how do I make it happen) and I also have a healthy Pilates side business!
Looking back on my own journey I have these three key learnings which will lead you to capture your next career.
- Open your mind to new ideas - take a diamond approach!
- By taking action you will get clarity - clarity comes from doing.
- Be brave and try new things, speak to new people - step outside your comfort zone.
If you would like to kick-start your exploration take a look at my FREE eBook, which includes 5 revealing exercise to help you start to answer the ‘WHAT’ – what do I want to do.
I would love to share more tools to help you in your quest to find your next career, if this resonates with you why not join my Facebook group.