It seems that this time of year I typically have a number of clients who are seeking new career directions. They do this for a number of reasons. The most common reason that I hear is that they dislike their boss, followed closely by the fact that they are not appreciated/rewarded and not far from the top is that they are bored with their career or have no room for advancement.
Regardless of how my clients come to me, we always step back and look at where they are and how they got there. Looking back and assessing/analyzing their current situation and the career path they have followed is essential to making good career decisions in the future.
Without going into the nitty gritty of just how to do that, I typically start with a client by asking three questions:
1. How did you choose your career field? (Looking for motivators/decision making style)
2. What do you like about it? (Looking for values)
3. What would you change if you could change something about your current career? (Looking at problem solving style and values and possibly skills)
Conducting a thorough career assessment is important to making good career decisions. However, over the last twenty years, I have found that many successful people have told me that they ‘just fell into’ their careers. When we discussed their career paths at great length, what I found was that they had actually positioned themselves to be in the right place at the right time. What that means is that they typically had a good idea of their values and the types of things that motivated them. So when an opportunity came around they pursued it. Some people call it, ‘following their passion’. Others call it ‘dumb luck’. Either way, it is very important to know what is important to you and what price you will pay to get what you want. For example, is more schooling going to position you? Will relocation give you a better change of getting what you want? Will changing your lifestyle help to have a better quality of life if that is what you are seeking? The bottomline is that you need to know what is important to you. That’s where a good career coach or career counselor can help you. You can find listings of Certified Career Management Coaches at Career Coach Academy.