Your career does not have to be static. I wish the eighteen years old me struggling to figure out what degree to pursue would have known this, ha! Choosing a career path can and often does feel very binding, and while it is, to an extent, it’s important to know that the career path you start with doesn’t have to be what you do for the rest of your life. Our passions, interests, and strengths evolve, and sometimes, that informs our decision to pursue different careers.
Many of the clients we have coached to transit from one phase of their career to the next, agree that knowing your strengths and unique ways of contribution is a prerequisite of making this life-changing decision.
Today, we outline below 3 ways you can discover your core strengths and why it’s important to have this knowledge before embarking on a career transition journey.
1. Seek honest feedback – When considering transitioning into a new career, asking for honest feedback from people you have a trusting relationship with is key. This could be your supervisor, peers, clients, or anyone else who cares about seeing you grow in your career. You want to make sure you’re talking to people who care about your growth so that they’re honest about your strengths and areas of development. This is why it’s important to cultivate meaningful, trusting relationships with the people we engage within our professional lives. Usually, people around you will have observations that can give you additional data to use in making career transition decisions. Here is a guiding article you can use to get honest feedback, spoiler alert; it takes time, building trust and effort.
2. Follow what keeps you in-flow/energized – As explained here, “flow is the mental state in which a person is engaged in an activity where they are fully immersed with a feeling of energized focus, involvement, and success in the process of the activity”. What are these activities for you? How do they fit into the goals you have set for your career goals and the next career you’d like to have? Simply, what type of tasks do you enjoy doing and how can you tap further into those strengths to create a foundation that will help you begin the career transition process? This also makes it easier/smoother and you pick up things faster, which helps you identify what next steps you need to take, for instance, if you enjoy sharing knowledge and information, you could reach out to a coach in your area of interest who can be your mentor and hopefully connect you to learning opportunities, or you could start a blog or social media page where you share said content and seek engagement.
3. Work with a career coach – Working with a coach enables one to reassess their strengths through the provision of tools and resources customized for this very need and one is able to get an objective perception of their strengths. Further, one can also learn more about the skills needed for them to thrive in the next phase of their career and know which best next steps they should take to fill any gaps before or during the transition period; this usually will include setting clear goals, coming up with an action plan, and the confidence to pursue these goals. We wrote more about the importance of working with a career coach here. This is a good way to ensure you’re making informed decisions that will ultimately benefit you personally, and professionally.
Looking to transition into a new career and are not sure where to start? Reach out to us today; email@example.com. Follow us on our social media for more similar content: LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube
Ok guys, how did you get into the career you are into today?
Although rarely admitted, one of the underlying reasons that people end up in careers that are misaligned to their true selves lies in the fact that our careers are often imposed on us by our guardians, and/or though sometimes rebellious we still manage to succumb to family pressure because that line of work is “marketable” or “it runs in the family”.
Feeling like you belong in the above categories? Don’t worry! Today, there are numerous tools that can help you start gaining clarity to guide your career decisions. We found some to kick you off!
* Sparketype is a self-discovery tool that helps you understand what keeps you in flow. You can then use this information to explore the right jobs/tasks for you. More details here
* In his popular TED talk – Start with Why; Simon Sinek expounds the importance of asking yourself the question; WHY? In his case studies; he shows how important it is for you to feel connected to what you do and how this inspires others. Listen and reflect discover what really matters for you!
* Want to learn more about your personal preferences and tap into these to add value to your team? What gives you energy? Understand how you make decisions? Take the classic Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Assessment here today and start your journey to self-discovery!
And of course, if you want in-depth analysis and support in figuring out your career direction, feel free to talk to us today! Wondering what to do with your career? Halla at firstname.lastname@example.org
For most people who feel stuck in their careers; whether it’s being in a job they don’t like, job applications making little to no progress, or, wanting to switch careers and not knowing where to start, it can seem daunting to want to ask for help. And this can lead one to question their abilities, sense of worth and suffer from imposter syndrome. This is where a Career Coach should come in.
Jobs and careers occupy a big chunk of our lives, so it’s critical that we invest time, and sometimes our resources to figure out what we can’t seem to do on our own, that is impeding us from progressing further, or feeling fulfilled.
So we compiled a list of reasons as to why you need a career coach:
1. Tailor-made solutions – Sure, Google is great, but the articles you’re reading are unlikely offering solutions tailored to your needs, personality, and maybe, current confusion, and they may not define your problem as you’d like. A Career Coach exists exactly for this purpose; to help you define your challenges, provide you with clarity, and help you map out what you want to do. Not only that, but working with a Career Coach provides you with an opportunity to get real-time feedback on the progress of action steps agreed upon.
2. Increased self-awareness – Because Career Coaches use a variety of tools to assess your needs and help you identify your strengths, weaknesses, interests, goals and so much more, the result is an increased awareness of self, which enables one to make informed decisions about their jobs and careers.
3. Improved accountability – Because life can get really busy, or, procrastination can get in the way of progress, a Career Coach helps you to become more accountable to yourself. With agreed-upon action plans, whether it’s revising your CV, creating an elevator pitch, looking for volunteering opportunities to transition careers, and so forth, it’s hard to avoid accountability when you’re investing to improve your current situation.
4. Honest feedback – Most of us ask for career advice from family, and friends because it’s easier and cheaper to do so. A career coach tells you what you NEED to hear. A friend may look at your CV and tell you it’s great, a career coach will look at it, and point out 10 mistakes. Why? Because that’s their expertise, and their opinions are not biased; their role is to point out your inconsistency, dismantle some of the myths you may have about jobs and careers, and pretty much give you a reality check of what needs to be done. Who wouldn’t want that?
5. Build confidence – Unless you were not intentionally invested in your career coaching sessions, it’s hard to not build up your confidence as a result. One of the key roles career coaching plays is to identify some of the fears you have around pursuing your goals and providing you with the information and tools to conquer them and help you get out of that comfort zone. Career coaching helps you introspect, ask yourself difficult questions, and face some of your fears that bar you from achieving your potential.
Have you worked with a Career Coach before? What was your experience?
If not, at edge, we have a number of Career Coaching Programs that aim to answer some of your most pressing career queries and provide you with the tools to navigate these challenges. If you’re interested, please email us at email@example.com.
Get a sneak peek our career coaching by watching this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvRnyw8_D7Q
Ho ho ho! Tis’ the season to reflect on your career!
The festive season is upon us, and as you take the time to plan for the end of year vacations, we’d like to urge you to consider doing the same for your career. How do you feel about the progress you have made towards your long term career aspirations this year? What shifts should you be making in 2020?
Undergoing a career self-evaluation allows you to track the progress you’ve made, and identify opportunities to tap into, for your growth.
To kick you off, grab some warm chocolate and muffins and indulge in these reflective questions. Alternatively, you could consider taking our newly launched Career Happiness Assessment Tool.
- What is the proudest career goal I achieved this year?
Look back at the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year. Did you want to get a new job? To get promoted? To switch careers? To start your own business? Learn a new skill? Expand your network? Whatever it was; evaluate what steps you took to achieve them, and progress made. If you did not take any steps to achieve any of the goals, ask yourself why this is the case and come up with a strategy to implement your goal in the next year.
- What new things did I learn, that expanded my skills and knowledge?
Who are you becoming? When you look back at who you were at the beginning of the year; what new skills and knowledge have you gained? How did they add value to your work? Learning is a never-ending process that should always be a part of your career journey. If you did not learn any new skills, this likely means that you did not find new ways to improve the way you do things; whether in your work, in how you communicate, how you search for jobs or network, and so forth. This is regressive, and should not be the case in the New Year.
- What mistakes did I make this year, and what did I learn from them?
One of the many ways we are able to become better is by acknowledging our mistakes and taking the initiative to learn from them. Thomas Edison tested 10,000 bulbs to find the one that would light up our world. Here is an article we did that talks about being personally accountable at work. We hope you can also apply this article to other areas of your life.
- What are the areas I need to improve in?
In order to identify your areas of weaknesses, you need to honestly self-assess yourself. If you’re finding this difficult, you can utilize the relationships you have at work, or in your personal life to ask for feedback. Additionally, you can take up self- assessment tests on the internet to help you get a clearer picture of your strengths and weaknesses. An example is the 16 personality test that you can take for free.
- How did I step outside my comfort zone this year?
One of the key components of growth is how uncomfortable it can be. Often at times, getting to the next level in your career requires you to put yourself out there in diverse scenarios that may not be as conventional as you would like. This may include things like attending networking events to pitch a partnership as an introvert, or taking on more responsibilities outside of your JD, volunteering on the weekends in order to transition into a new career, and so forth.
- What does success mean to me?
Everyone’s definition of success is relative. For one person; it may be a healthy work-life balance, for the next; it could be a fat bank balance, for the next person; it could be the ability to work remotely as they please, and for another; it could be to become a CEO of an international company. So how do you define success for you? If your career life does not represent this definition, in what ways are you working towards it getting there?
- What changes do I need to make, to have a more fulfilled career life?
In all honesty, how satisfied are you with your career life? Do you not enjoy the work that you do? Are you unhappy with where you are now? Are you not adding value to your current workplace? Are you unaware of what career path you want to take? Now would be a good time to draw up a plan that can change this narrative. It may involve updating your CV and LinkedIn profile to kick off a new job search, taking up online courses to increase your skills, attending a career coaching program, and so on. No clue where to start? Talk to us, our Career Happiness Satisfaction Tool might kick you off in the right direction.
- What are my goals for the next year?
Last but not least, the next step should be to come up with next year’s goals. Take this opportunity to compare how they have changed from the goals you had at the beginning of the year and point out which areas you will need additional support in. As always, your goals should be SMART. If you’re afraid you may not hold yourself accountable to a high degree, now is a good time to seek out a trustworthy accountability partner. Read this article on, 8 ways to help you set and achieve your career goals in the New Year for more context
We hope you found the above questions useful. In addition, we’d like to share with you our recently launched Career Happiness Center where we have a myriad number of tools (articles, videos, checklists) as pertains to job hunting, succeeding in interviews, managing your boss career transition, etc. to help inform your 2020 goals and help you smash them!
As you begin to indulge in the festive season, we leave you with this profound quote by the late Anthony Bourdain; “If I am an advocate for anything, it is to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river”.
Happy Festive Season!
Feeling stuck in our careers is something that most of us have felt at one point in our careers. It’s one thing to be aware of it and take steps to get out of it, but it’s another thing when you’re not aware of why things just feel “different”. So what should you be looking out for to increase this awareness? Read on!
1. You dread Mondays – You used to enjoy going to work on Monday. Thank God it’s Monday, you’d think. And now, the thought on Sunday evening feels dreadful. What could have shifted? Are the responsibilities you hold no longer interesting to you? Has something shifted in your relationships with your colleagues? Did your role recently change and you’re not enjoying the new tasks? When was the last time you went on leave? Has your workload increased?
2. You’re apathetic in work conversations – which is also interpreted by colleagues as you being “different” – People/your supervisor notice that you’ve lost the spark at work. You’re detached from lunch conversations, are not laughing at work jokes as much as you used to and the aura is just “different”.
You’re less engaged in work conversations and are no longer expressing your thoughts and your enthusiasm has dipped. Take note of how you participate in work conversations; are people pointing out that you suddenly seem withdrawn? Do you feel drained partaking in these discussions? This could be a sign that you’re craving a new environment, and are itching for a change.
3. You’re doing the bare minimum – Finding yourself focusing on minimal tasks that are not adding utmost value and procrastinating on completing high priority tasks? Does work that used to energize you now feel draining? Could it be that your work has become monotonous and routine and you are resisting accomplishing these tasks as a way of letting out your frustrations?
4. You’re getting distructed a lot – Suddenly, you’re scrolling through your social media apps more than usual. You get excited when you get a notification because it destructs you from your work, and you almost look forward to these destructions happening because they take you away from something you now no longer enjoy. Does this sound familiar?
Feeling stuck and looking for a way to ignite your passion? This short video shows you where to start.
If you feel stuck, check out this article on 3 ways to get unstuck in a career rut.
Our Career Acceleration Program has supported dozens of professionals to gain the clarity, confidence, and skills to take bold steps. If you are looking for a rapid transformational (and hard-core learning) program, talk to us today! firstname.lastname@example.org
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We’ve all been there. Growing up, most of us imagined that working in big corporate organizations was the ONLY way you could be deemed to be successful in life. With the big fat salaries and perks? Who would not want to work there?
Today, 80% of job opportunities in Kenya are in the small and growing business space. And while most of them don’t guarantee a fat cheque at the end of every month, you’re most certainly guaranteed of rapid growth, hands-on learning opportunities, diverse exposure and your successes are recognized thus making you more innovative and resilient. Don’t get me wrong, the same can be the case in a corporate setting, but the truth is, your contribution in a smaller organization is felt more directly and faster and your ideas don’t need several staircases to be approved. Moreover, the opportunities to grow horizontally are endless thus the options to mold your career can be limitless.
Growing a career in small growing businesses is however not for everyone! If you love order, structure and stability, you may find this working environment quite difficult to adapt and thrive.
Many of us occasionally complain about the workload in the workplace. And while the above advice can seem like it’s well-intentioned and probably realistic, this is not always the case.
Recognizing the need to push yourself out of your comfort zone is critical to you evolving in your career. It’s one thing for your supervisor to ask you to clean the dishes when your role is that of an Assistant Project Officer; then by all means; say NO to that. But it’s another thing when your supervisor asks you to draft a proposal to a donor, a role currently not in your JD. Before rejecting the offer, take a step back and reflect; what skills could you learn?
Obviously, be intentional about how much workload you accept in addition to your day to day, else you risk burn out. There are high chances that your supervisor sees the potential in you but is not communicating this clearly. Take the role and seek feedback, what about this role made you feel I was best fit to take it up?
Money pays the bills, and as some would argue, that money is everything towards having a happy career. But is it? Really? Living a happy and meaningful career calls for us to be intentional and conscious in making career decisions that align with our values. When faced with this type of dilemma, it is thus crucial to take a step back and reflect;
- What values in this organization align with mine?
- Am I really excited about the type of work they do?
- Will I love and fit into the culture?
- Will I grow? Is this a stepping stone to my long-term career aspirations?
At edge we are a great example of the life of a small fast-growing organization. If you are curious to learn more check out our blog with learnings from our team: What does career growth at edge look like