Updated: Jun 16, 2021
New career ideas don’t just appear, we need to go looking for them. Career clarity – knowing what you want and working out the next step forward is not always easy.
New career ideas for ‘grown ups’
What did you want to be when you grew up?
This is the opening question that I often ask at the start of one of my programmes on career clarity and exploring new career ideas.
I always love the answers. Architect, Prime Minister, Rock Star, Spaceman, Princess of the World.
It’s a question we ask lots of times in our lives. For fun, of our 5 year old in the superwoman outfit, with curiosity of the 11 year old who has hailed the latest vlogger as the road to riches, and in exasperation, as we tease out the answer from a disengaged teenager filling out the college application form.
Now, if you are one of those lucky ones, who knew from day one what your vocation was – well done you. I hope your path has been fruitful and fulfilling.
But more likely than not, you are one of many of us, who are still not quite sure, still working on the answer.
That’s because it is a difficult question to answer – things change, we change.
We change our mind. Others change our mind. The world changes.
Life moves very fast. The dreams, ambitions and plans that we had when playing ‘grown ups’ don’t always work out. And one day you find yourself somewhere in your career wondering how you got there.
Good news. There is a lot that you can do to find career clarity.
SIGN UP to learn more about the 6 signposts to new career ideas, over the coming weeks.
Why is finding career clarity difficult?
Because we are never really fully ‘grown up’.
Check out this TED talk on The Psychology of Future Self by the psychologist Dan Gilbert.
He talks about ‘the end of history ‘ illusion. What he means by this is that at any given time in our life, we think we are done ‘forming’ who we are.
That we think ‘that’s it, this is who I am, and I know myself’
But of course, we do change. And what’s more, he argues,
we are not always very good at predicting what we want for ourselves in our future life.
What has this got to do with careers?
It means that it’s really hard to make decisions about what we want for our careers in 10 years time, or what we want to be ‘when we grow up’.
But the good news is that we can make good decisions for now. If we have a true understanding of who we are and what we want now, we can make better choices and create rich possibilities for the next step forward in our career.
Life is full of changes but in knowing our own career anchors, we can recognise the signposts and we can navigate the future. Career discovery can be fun as well as insightful.
It’s never too late to be great
There has never been a better time for career reflection, a change in direction or a possible pivot. Many careers over a lifetime, is the new norm.
The story of our life is one where we don’t get to rewrite the beginning, but there is always the opportunity to write a new ending. And stories play a huge part in helping us find clarity in our career assets – who we are and what we can offer. They also provide insight into what we desire from our career and generate possibilities for great and inspired next steps forward.
What do we need to make this happen?
“Be a first class you, not second class someone else”
Being authentic and true to ourselves is nothing new in the world of professional competence and personal development. But putting words and evidence behind what constitutes our ‘best self', takes a bit of skill and effort.
We are the authors of our own lives, and no one can tell our story as well as we can. Stories of our past life provide us with rich material of where our future might take us in our careers.
We can learn so much from those stories:
What games did we play?
What friends did we make?
What strengths did we build?
What projects made us fly?
Putting order and usefulness to this career discovery is where the magic happens.
Take charge of your own career discovery.
Put yourself back in the driving seat, get a map of the territory and enjoy the journey.
In The Career Conversations Experience, we use a lot of ‘driving’ analogies. I make no apologies for this, as this has been my story, my journey (warned you!). For all the wrong turns that I took, it was being in the driving seat that finally put me on the right path.
The two pillars of the Career Conversations Experience are clarity and exploration. Clarity for my career – who I am, what I offer, and what I want. Exploration as the identification of real, do now, possibilities for my next step forward in my career.
As simple as that.
There are 6 signposts to career success, which provide direction in how we move forward with our career.
Strengths – what are you good at?
Interests – what are you naturally interested in?
Personal Qualities – what’s great about you?
Desires – what do you really want?
Assets – what can you offer?
Influence – who has influenced you and why?
Do you want to generate new career ideas for yourself?
Sign up here.
Over the next couple of months, I will be covering each of these signposts in a separate blog. Highlighting the importance of each, helping you to identify them for yourself and creating ways to use them to develop your career.
All working towards bringing you clarity in who you are and what you want and exploring inspired action for your next step forward.
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