When faced the opportunity to advance in your career or the challenge in change careers there are a few exercises you must complete in order to gain clarity around exactly what it is you want to do now. You should spend some time doing this before you start your search. You will be more efficient and effective. You will be able to identify almost immediately if the job is something you want to peruse or not. You need to begin with a job assessment and then a self assessment. You can have this done in great detail and guided by a professional coach or you can give it a go yourself. Either way it must be done. The worst thing to do is not do it at all.
First, ask yourself: What is the good, bad and the ugly about my current or most recent job? Some good examples of questions to ask yourself are: Is your current job making you work after hours or do you have to worry about work at home on a regular basis? Is it causing stress at home? Are you missing your kid’s games or recitals? Are you missing yoga class, golf lessons, time at the gym or just time with loved ones because of it? When doing too many things that you dislike at work it tends to carry over in to personal and family relationships. Exactly where it does not belong. It can put an unnecessary stress or strain on valuable personal relationships with loved ones. This is something that can be avoided.
Make sure you write it all down. A lot of people find they have been doing a bunch of things they don’t even like to do and had no idea how much until now. They can see how much it is actually affecting their world.
Get it out of your head and on paper. I bet some of you are saying “I know what I don’t like to do I don’t need to write it down”. Yes you do. It wall make you feel so much better. This reveals the amount of things you were doing that you disliked in comparison to what you liked to do. It is a powerful visual tool for yourself. It helps you answer the questions: How can I start doing more of the things you like and less of what I dislike? I am sure most people would agree if they could do more of what they liked they would be happier and more successful.
A good example of this is one of my executive coaching clients figured out he loved his job but disliked doing market research. He disliked it so much he let a few big projects pass him by. Crazy huh? But once he had the data and knew it was accurate he would put a presentation together, get himself in front of the target audience, no problem, and knock it out of the park 99% of the time.
We figured out what he liked was putting the sales presentation together, getting in front of his target audience and do the live pitch. What he disliked the most was digging for stats, trends, verifying sources etc…. so what we did was found someone in his office who liked to do what he disliked the most. His business portfolio tripled. My client didn’t even think to approach his boss and say this is my challenge and if we can work this out I will be on fire. He was afraid to say he didn’t like to do it. He thought he had to. Obviously there is an appropriate way to present this as a win win.
One of the things I find myself telling my clients on a regular basis is “just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should do it”. The reason I am giving this example is because my client transitioned to a new employer. He knew from working with me what he liked and disliked and how to work around it. You may be saying to yourself well that’s easy but it is not as easy as you think. It may sound easy to fix but thousands of people continue to do things they dislike because they can and if impacts them in a negative way. It doesn’t even occur to them they can fix it or they are afraid to say anything and as a result they are not nearly as effective or successful as they could be.
After revealing everything you dislike about your current or most recent job you need to figure out all of the good stuff. This part is fun. You will find yourself smiling writing these things down. Write down what it is you like to do. Simply writing down “I love to make money” is not good enough. Unless you work at the mint and you enjoy actually making money that is not the best answer for this exercise. For example: One of the things I enjoy is helping equip people with tools they need to be successful in today’s market place. I can even dig deeper because that is still too general and say specifically I how I equip and with exactly what tools. I’m sure you get the point by now.
Then ask yourself some important questions. What would your life be like if you could have the idea job with the idea hours? Be descriptive and detailed as possible when you are writing down what you would like to do. What would change? How would you feel? What would your life be like? It’s very important. There are many reasons this is so crucial. It helps you be more effective in all aspects of your life. It also helps you navigate through the market with less confusion.
Finally, do you know anyone who has the job you would like to do? If so call them ask them how they got there. This can be huge for you in mapping out your next career move. Pick their brain. Take notes every time you talk to them. Compare the notes you take from conversations with them compare them to your needs and wants. See if it all lines up the way you would like it to. Don’t worry if you don’t personally know anyone who is doing what you want to do. Normally you can find someone online to follow or check out. Just Google what it is your looking for and dig a little. That may be how you found this article. It is well worth the time.