Thursday, 25 August 2016

Tips to Manage your Career better

If you are feeling somewhat frustrated with your career path then this blog is for you.

Since most of us spend a large percentage of our waking hours at work it makes sense to think extensively about what you want from your career. And, since life is short, to do it now.

Here are my five top tips of tasks that you can get stuck into today.

1. Tell people you are close to what you are thinking and feeling. As you speak you will start to process your thoughts and come up with some ideas and actions to move forwards with. People that you trust can also support you and ask you about how it is going along the way.

2. Reflect on your work to date. For example, when were you happiest? Where were you then? Who were you working with? What were you doing? What did you enjoy the most? How did it work for you? What patterns are emerging that give you insight into what you could do moving forwards?

3. Think about what energises and motivates you in your life. Synchronising this with your career choices is a must as employers and clients will be looking for enthusiasm from you.

4. Research the job market. For example talk to local recruitment agencies about what employers are looking for and go through sample job descriptions. Ask to speak to people who already do those roles about what they find good and less so!

5. Start your career action plan. For example set a time line for achieving your career goal, your broad statement of intent as well as specific objectives. To do your dream career you have to make it happen. What are your qualifications and skills gaps and what are the options for closing these gaps?

For help and support in improving your existing career path or transitioning to a new career, please get in touch via enquiries@westofenglandcoachingandcounselling.co.uk where we specialise in this area of your life.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

7 Career Habits of Highly Effective People

If you are interested in seeking further guidance in achieving the career of your dreams then please read this blog.

I am a fan of Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Here I attempt to apply these habits somewhat to your career success.

Habit number 1 is to be proactive and this includes with regards to your career. Excuse the crude analogy - have you ever been shopping for an outfit that you really needed only to return home empty handed? Have you ever been shopping and found lots of outfits that you like and suit you that you do  not actually need right now?

When you are not desperate to change you career but you are open to options and opportunities you are much calmer which assists greatly with judgment and decision making. At interview you will likely appear less desperate too.

Today there is no such thing as a job for life so it makes sense to keep your antennae up, your CV up to date and even to undergo some professional career coaching.

Career coaching provided by West of England Coaching and Counselling begins with a diagnostic to arrive at specific options for you based on your work personality, values and skills preferences. This initial stage can help you to decide whether you may want to transition to a new career where you would be happier.

Stephen Covey's habit number 2 is to begin with the end in mind. Here I suggest that you write a letter to yourself (sorry for being maudlin!) on your death bed which tells you what you did in your work life, what you are most proud of or happy about. This will help to guide you through the years in between now and when you pass.

His third habit is to put first things first, to prioritise. The key question that comes to my mind for you to ask yourself what are my priorities when it comes to my career? For example, my top priorities for my own career are - it gives meaning to my time, my own health and wellbeing and self and others learning and development.

The fourth habit that Stephen Covey found in his highly effective people research is to think win win. This makes me think of you plus others. What in your career plan would best serve your clients or customers for example?

The fifth habit is to first seek to understand and then be understood. You could use this habit to have a conversation with people who are important to you who could be impacted by an career decision made by you. You might want to ask them their views before you share yours and before you make any decision. This may be particularly important if your decision involves moving house, a difference in pay or an ethical issue.

The sixth habit is to synergise. Perhaps you could work with others to come up with a career solution that is greater than the sum of the parts involved in helping you to make your decision.

Finally the seventh habit that Covey suggests is to sharpen your sword, to keep at it, to keep improving, day by day by day.

If you would like help and support with your career transition or upskilling in your existing career, please get in touch via enquiries@westofenglandcoachingandcounselling.co.uk or by calling 01761 237400.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Vacation Career Review

If you think that you may want to change your career direction and have a period of work leave approaching please read on.

Most of us find that work takes up some of our thoughts whilst on leave and resolve to change something about it upon return.

Being at distance from your work often allows your mind to think through work issues and resolve to improve your current work situation or to transition to something new.

Being on leave with time and space away from colleagues and bosses to think often helps to come up with a clear plan.

I suggest that you ask yourself some questions in five areas to help you with this exercise.

1. What is my current work reality? For example what are my likes and dislikes? How do I feel on Sunday night? What would I miss if I left? What can I/not change?
Research suggests that the key reasons people decide to change their careers is due to factors outside their control or influence including dissatisfaction with their line manager or the culture of the organisation. Getting real about why you want to change jobs helps you to avoid repeating the same mistakes or moving to a similar environment.

2.What do I want and value about work? For example what is important to me about my work? what do I need to have from my work to feel happy and fulfilled?

3. What do I have to offer that is transferable to a new job? For example, what tasks do I enjoy doing or skills I enjoy using? What am I passionate about? What am I good at? What experiences and learning have made me who I am? What are my top three skills? What is unique about me? Ask people you respect and trust to help you with this and start thinking about career or role options that attract you.

4. My other resources. Who is in my network that could help me? Who is in the fields that I am interested in? Note down the names of your contacts to get in touch with when you return.

5. My outline plan. This can be something that you have some fun with and will review on return. Taking the pressure off helps you to think more clearly. For example, what is my career goal now? When do I want this? Who can help me? What additional skills or qualifications do I need and what are my options to get them? What will happen when I achieve this goal? What difference will that make? Why am I doing this? For example, to give my work life meaning and purpose.

Happy holidays! If you would like support in your career or with your career transition journey please get in touch via enquiries@westofenglandcoachingandcounselling.co.uk and to see all of our professional services please visit us at www.westofenglandcoachingandcounselling.co.uk

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Lacking Career Direction?

If you are lacking career direction then please read on.

According to research only about twenty percent of us have career direction clarity. That is we are unclear about where we want to go in our careers! Considering that those of us who work spend a large percentage of our waking hours at work, this figure is rather alarming I think.

This blog offers suggestions on what to do to gain career direction clarity.

I suggest that you start by gathering information including what is important to you about work, what skills you enjoy using and are good at as well as aspects of your character relevant to work.

You may find it helpful to complete a personality questionnaire that will often provide pointers to the types of career for you to consider, that may or may not include your current career.

From here you can start to think about the qualifications, knowledge, skills and capabilities required for each type of career that interests you. This may help to narrow down your options, for example if returning to study is not an option for whatever reason.

Working environment is very important when it comes to work satisfaction. Where do you want to work? Not just the geographical location but right down to what you see when you look out of the window and what the space is around you.

What would you like your work identity to be? What really matters to you? Answers to these questions may narrow your work choice down to one particular sector, for example.

I hope that you find this exercise to be useful and would like to hear about what you discover.

Of course if you would like help and support with your career review or transition please get in touch via enquiries@westofenglandcoachingandcounselling.co.uk, by completing a contact us form at www.westofenglandcoachingandcounselling.co.uk or by calling 01761 237400.