Some of my coaching clients gripe about developing a career strategy. If they are conducting a full-scale job search, they are even more distraught. A few get completely overwhelmed with the process while others simply procrastinate and hope for the best. My role is for them to see what the end result will be which is to be on a more fulfilling career path where they feel appreciated and are happy.
Life is a journey and part of that journey is your career. If you close your eyes and try to envision what the ideal role for you would be, what would it look like? Are you working in an office or virtual? Do you lead a team or are you a sole contributor? Do you make presentations or instead do you create the content for others to speak on? Are you part of a team where collaboration is the norm?
By defining that next role in detail you can free yourself of all the other things that were blocking your career path. As an example, many of my clients seem to think that they “have to do this” or my spouse/significant other/parent/etc. “told me that I must do that”. When you get rid of all those thoughts, it allows you to focus on what you want to do. Yes you may not make a lot of money in the short-term if you switch industries or functions but you will be much more productive and make a larger salary in the long-term if you are passionate about what you are doing in your position. In other words, STOP focusing on the short-term issues and instead focus on the long-term gains. It works for those that invest in the stock market and it can work for you as well.
The flip to all of this are people who want to do multiple things; I am one of those people. I have lots of interests so want to have time to do all of them. It was brought to my attention recently, however, that if I want to create a brand for myself so others can properly identify/promote/recommend me I need to pick a few that are the most important to me. These can change over time but I need to keep in mind that no one is going to be able to remember much less recommend me for ten things! At first I admit I found it frustrating to narrow it down but once I did it was a great relief. I could also market myself more effectively as well.
Once you clean out a room, cut your very long hair, throw out years’ worth of worthless junk, etc. most people will tell you it feels really good. That shedding of the old creates an environment now that new ideas and opportunities can flourish. My motto is “less is more”. Do the same with your career journey and I can guarantee you will be on right path to success.