Steering Your Career in the Right Direction
Last week I wrote about the parallels between riding a stationary bike in a spin class and feeling stuck in a career while simply going through the motions of work every day. I offered suggestions on how to try to have a positive experience each day, whether it’s from the income you earn, the people you work with, or a particular project you find challenging and interesting.
Steer Your Career in the Direction You Want to Go
But what if you feel your current situation is irreparable? What if your boss never recognizes your work or the reward for your effort is not compatible with your financial or personal needs? Well, I once took a driver safety course and we were taught that if your car begins to skid and you start to lose control, make sure you’re looking in the direction you want to go and the steering wheel and car will follow. The same can be said of your career.
If you decide your current situation is unpalatable, then you need to do something about it. Once you change your thought process, your actions and the results you get will follow. First, take a personal inventory of yourself. Identify your strengths and the things you love to do. Conversely, what are the things you dread doing? When were the times you were happiest in your job? What kind of atmosphere do you like being in the most? Do you prefer to work alone or as part of a team?
Develop Your Personal Brand
As you begin to think through these questions, make sure you put your thoughts down on paper. You will likely begin to see patterns. This is where your “personal brand” begins to emerge. Your strengths and skills will stand out and you’ll begin to get a sense of the direction you want to move towards. This clearer vision of yourself is who you can be moving forward in your life. It is the persona that you will display every day and it is the “brand” that will be seen in your resume, LinkedIn® profile and other social media platforms. This is the lens from which you will reestablish your presence in your current role. Further, this is the picture of strength you can present to future employers.
The benefits of the new you will be seen in all aspects of your life. You’ll wake up with a greater sense of purpose and energy. Maybe you’ll begin that exercise or meditation program you’ve thought about for a while, but didn’t have the drive to actually do. You’ll see your relationships at work and at home begin to change for the better. Your days will start moving faster and your sense of accomplishment and optimism will grow. Overall, you will live a healthier, more productive, and overall better life. Isn’t that what you really want?
You Don’t Need to Go it Alone
The personal development necessary to improve your current situation is not easy and it clearly comes with challenges. The reality is that it is an even more difficult thing to do alone. It is extremely helpful to have someone who can offer you guidance and support as you celebrate your successes and work through your struggles. Finding a peer or mentor can be helpful if they will hold you accountable for achieving an agreed upon objective, but they might not be able to provide you with the consistent, direct, candid, and objective feedback you need to help push you forward in this journey. Often, it takes a neutral third party, like a professional coach, to give you feedback so you find the answers within yourself to improve your situation. The key is finding the right coach who will support and guide you so you can become the “you” that you really want to be.
Ken Sher is President of Sher Coaching and he is dedicated to improving individual and team performance by focusing on Executive Coaching and Career Management. If you would like to learn how TRUST can improve your team’s performance, reach out to Ken to schedule a complimentary coaching session. please call him at (215) 262-0528 or email him at Ken@shercoaching.com