Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Best Career Advice You'll Ever Get

I hope the title got your attention and for the writing of this post, I am putting on my Career Coaching
hat.  I've been one since 1998 -- wow that sounds like long time! Needless to say, I've coached many people and so the purpose of this post is to share a critical insight that can radically change your career management.

Ok, so what is the best career advice you'll ever get?  It simply goes like this: Pay attention! Don't rely on your memory for something as important as making decisions for your career. This is an essential piece to being your own effective talent manager.

Whenever I begin to work with someone, the first thing we do is go through their work history.  The purpose of that is to identify what they did really well, and equally as important, spotlight what activities gave them high levels of satisfaction.  In many cases we are discussing a career transition, or wanting to make a change of some kind.

As we're going through the history, there are certainly elements of their work experience that quickly stand out as something the've enjoyed.  Yet, as we continue to work together (with various exercises), there are additional elements revealed that they have enjoyed, it's just taken a while to get to.

What that tells me is there is not an active awareness around "work satisfiers" (e.i. the activities that are enjoyed). That awareness is essential to making the best decisions through-out ones career in areas of projects, jobs, companies to work for, departments to stay with or leave, etc.  Those satisfiers serve as a career compass to building a fulfilling and successful work-life.  This will help avoid what happens to some.  They've got many years into a certain career path only to wake up one day saying, "I hate this. I never liked it, so why am I still doing it? Ugh!

That's why the advice pay attention is so crucial. Coaching Point:
Pay attention to what aspects of your work provide satisfaction and note to what degree (you could even use a scale of 1 to 5).  I recommend having a work journal of some kind. Not only is the journal good for tracking your activity, highlights and accomplishments all necessary for writing an effective resume, negotiating raises and nurturing your work confidence, but it serves to help you build a cohesive and comprehensive story. Sharing your story is much different than reiterating items from a resume.  

In my coaching practice I seen time and again clients shorting themselves in fully representing the best of who they are and what they have to offer due to poor recollection. Start now -- pay attention!

"The human side of business enterprise: Everyone has a story. What's yours? = your work biography."
If you've ever been curious about career coaching or coaching in general. Here's some information: What is Coaching?  Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

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