I see clients all the time who are unhappy at work and wish to pursue other avenues. However, they don’t know how to get from where they currently are to where they want to go. They can clarify for me bits and pieces of what they would love to do, but then they get stuck. Are you in a similar position right now in your life? Would you love to change careers, but feel a bit hesitant to the process of where to begin? So many people hear others talk about ‘life purpose’, but they have no idea what their purpose is or how to reveal it. They think their purpose needs to be something extraordinary and unique. I try to simplify things so that they begin with small steps and move forward at a pace that is not overwhelming or daunting. After discussing one’s past and highlighting what brings them joy and fulfillment now in their life, a purpose will organically reveal itself over time. Individuals sometimes focus so much energy on possible future scenarios that they can’t take the first steps needed to create their dream. If you constantly worry about something that needs to be accomplished in the distance, you will slow yourself down from even beginning the journey. Let’s say, for example, you want to start your own business. If all you think about is how you are going to get enough help to manage the holiday orders, you are passing up many other tasks that need to be addressed first. Start at the beginning and work your way up. This week I want to help clarify some career options that might be fun for you to explore.
1. Review life story
This is your chance to review your life and pick out the highlights. Go as far back as you can and write down what stands out as far as positive memories. Is there a similar theme? Do several memories include standing up in front of people? Do many highlights include when you traveled to other parts of the world? Maybe every time you were around children you felt alive and full of energy. These highlights in your life stand out for a reason. Take a good look at what you wrote down.
2. What do you hate?
A tactic many career coaches use to help clients determine a possible new profession is to have them describe in detail what they hate about their current profession. You need to be extremely specific here, if you can. Do you dislike the never-ending hours and weekend hours you have to work? Do you hate sitting in a cubicle typing numbers when you are a creative person? Do you dread office politics? List everything you dislike about your current position and then, list the exact opposite for every dislike. If you hate sitting in a cubicle, the exact opposite job would allow you freedom and travel.
3. What do you value?
If you are going to explore new possibilities, it is important you go about it the right way. Don’t pursue a profession that is not in alignment with what you value. I guarantee you will be miserable years down the road, if you do. For example, let’s say you value family time. Then, you interview for a position that requires a lot of travel and evening hours. It may seem like the perfect job, and at the beginning, it may feel that way. However, spending a lot of time away from your family, something you value more than anything else, will wear on you over time. This job will not seem so fantastic down the road. Know what you value and then pursue professions that honor these values.
If you open yourself up to the belief that each and every one of you has an inner strength that can be utilized when you need it most, you can begin to move forward.
The first step in moving forward is clarifying what, specifically, you would like in your life. This means clarifying what is lacking and then clarifying what you would like more of. What would your ideal life look like? Take a minute to write down what you would love to see in your career, in your relationships, in your personal growth and for your health.
Once you have clarified what you would like to see in your life, it is time to create the blueprint. Your dreams will not be realized on their own. You need to create a specific plan. What steps can you take? What markers can you use at points of achievement? What do you need to do on a monthly, weekly and daily schedule? Create your list.
Once you have created a plan, you need to commit to the process. Nothing worth achieving is going to happen overnight. You need to acknowledge that what you are striving for is worth the time and commitment. Commit to doing whatever you can to increase your chances of succeeding. Bring on the support of friends, work with a life coach, talk to a therapist, or work with a physical trainer.