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How can you choose your next career and guarantee it’s one you’ll love?

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I recently attended a ‘Job Fair’, where I provided short 1-on-1 laser coaching to individuals struggling with their job search. I met so many people who are currently struggling in their search. Most of the people I spoke with wanted to choose a new career; they no longer loved what they were doing and wanted to make a change.

Karen summed it up for everyone when she asked me quite simply: “How do I discover what I can do to earn a living that I can also enjoy? Where do I begin?”

I struggled with Step 1 for many years before figuring out the answer to the question of how to choose my next career, and make sure it was something I’d also enjoy.

The first step to choose your next career is counter-intuitive for some of us. We want to start by looking at other jobs and careers available, and then figure out if we could do one of those. But in my experience, Step 1 is about looking at yourself, unearthing your own unique set of strengths and skills, and more specifically, the strengths and skills you love to use. The key is to be able to articulate them with confidence.

Brad is a former client who came to me ready for change: “I’ve been doing sales, and I don’t want to do it anymore. I want to figure out what else I can do, without going back to school, that uses what I already know.” When I asked Brad what he knew how to do, he replied with a sad look in his eyes and a deep sigh, “Sales.”

After doing my own research on strengths and purpose, I have come to the conclusion that the strengths we love to use reveal themselves to us throughout our life. They may be scaled back a bit, when we’re young, but they still show up. We can’t help ourselves, the things we are best at and enjoy the most, we find a way to simply do. This is a critical component to help you choose your next career.

To help Brad unearth his strengths, he began by making a list from throughout his life of accomplishments and achievements that he was most proud of and really enjoyed doing. His list included: teaching himself to ride a bike then teaching his brother and sister to ride a bike so he wouldn’t be riding alone, preparing and delivering a presentation in high school to make some changes to how the school paper was run, winning his first sales award.

Next Brad began to tell me the story of what he did to achieve each accomplishment: the steps he took, who he worked with, and how he felt at each point. These stories contain the answer to the question I asked Brad, “What do you know how to do?” Together, Brad and I were able to sift through the stories and make a list of the strengths he demonstrated over and over again. Some of the items on Brad’s list included:   teaching,  training,  presenting,  mentoring,  and communicating. People with these skills often end up in sales. But there are also many other jobs and careers that use these skills.

Brad and I continued to dig into the stories of his accomplishments to discover what he does well, and what he enjoys, as well as the environment in which he thrives. That gave us the information we needed to proceed to Step 2 – Imagine, where Brad began to imagine what his ideal job and career would be, and then to Step 3 – Create, where Brad created both a strategy and tactical plan to get the job he wanted.

Today Brad actually trains sales people for a company he loves. He loves his job, and finds it fulfilling as well as financially rewarding. He’s now able to leverage his unique set of strengths and skills, as well as his experience.

For more information on how to unearth your strengths so you can find a job you love, check out the following:
Do you bring your strengths with you?

Want a career that feels like your calling?

What are the strengths you love to use?

If you are ready to discover what you can do to earn a living that you can also enjoy, to choose your next career, I challenge you to take Step 1 today. And please share your progress to help and inspire others on my blog.

 

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Client Stories

Lori took my old, tired, out of date resume and transformed it into a resume which got results.  In transitioning from owning a business back to the corporate world, Lori asked the tough questions to dig out all the relevant skills and accomplishments which would catch the eye of a potential employer.   One of the first employers to receive my new resume and customized cover letter (created by Lori) called me for a phone interview, followed by a face to face meeting, and finally offered me a job twenty-four hours after the interview.  I'm convinced I would not have even been able to get my foot in the door without my new resume created by Lori.  As I told my wife, retrospectively, spending the money to work with Lori was well worth it.

Howard Kier, Evanston, IL