Clarity, focus and momentum are keys to a successful career transition. So what happens when you don’t know where to start because you don’t know what you want to do?
For most people this is the most difficult part of their job search yet fundamental to ultimate success (landing a position). “Those Without a Job Title” (as I call it) require basic information to get started. This is especially true if you are exploring work in alternative fields. This can be a real stopping point, a place of feeling stuck, out of focus and unclear.
So how do you get started?
Understanding who you are and tapping into your natural gifts and talents is the first step to getting unstuck and finding an entry point into the job market. The following exercise supports this process and builds a rich foundation.
Find a quiet place to write where you will be undisturbed for at least 45 minutes.
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- Name the 3 most satisfying or peak experiences you remember. (These can be personal or professional) What was at the core of this experience? Example; Was it Connection, Exhilaration, Educating, Parenting, Guiding or Mentoring? What human connection underlies those experiences?
- What are you doing when you feel most powerful? What is at the core of this experience? Do you feel Strong, Compassionate, Generous?
- Why do people want to spend time with you? What value do you bring to the relationship? What is at the core of that experience?
- What do you receive from having others in your life? What value do they bring? What is at the core of that experience?
- Upon what foundation or life philosophy do you rely? What value does that belief hold in your life and to those whose lives you touch? What is at the core of that experience?
After you have spent time answering those questions select, 5-6 key words or phrases that stand out and best represent the “essence” or “core” of each response.
Examples could be “Courage During Adversity”, “Connection”, “Deep Passion”, “Integrity”, “Kindness to All”
The next step is to further define each statement or phrase and explore how that personal value is currently represented in your life. Without editing your response let your mind wander and imagine future roles or dip into real life past experiences where you expressed these values in the most satisfying or fulfilling way. Invite yourself to imagine how these values and philosophies could be expressed going forward. Ask what kind of work or value requires Courage During Adversity? What type of business or work requires Connection or Deep Passion? One client did a Google search of his core values and discovered careers that met his requirements. It was a defining moment for him.
Take one step further, and incorporate your Core Values into each decision you make going forward. For example, ask yourself how a particular position or engagement allows you to experience Connection or Courage During Adversity to determine if this is where you wish to invest your time and energy. As you ground yourself in your core values continue to look for ways you can consciously apply these principles to your life choices and be fascinated by the results!
Photo courtesy of Nils Ramstedt