I met with a new client who’s trying to figure out her next steps and is unsure of how to take action. She wants to discover the best career fit for her, and hopes that by next Spring she will be happily situated in a fabulous, just-right-for-her job that supports her career strategy and life.
We discussed the steps we could take together to work towards identifying her perfect career fit and launching a targeted job search. But, her days are jam-packed right now, both professionally and personally, and she’s worried about dedicating time to the self-reflective process of finding the right career fit. Instead, she suggested that we start by working on her resume and LinkedIn profile now, and then do the deep dive later.
Easiest Doesn't Mean Best
I cautioned against this approach. It's like building a house without a blueprint. The resume and LinkedIn profile revisions should come at the end of the process. They are tools to help her get to where she wants, and need to be targeted to her dream job. She has to know the desired end point before working on the tools that will help her get there.
We all have this tendency to do what seems “easiest” or most tangible, even though it usually yields the worst results. To get past this, don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking of the everything you have to do. Make it manageable by taking it one step at a time.
Many Steps = Taking Action
Break down the different steps you need to take. For example, one of the first things in finding the right career fit is to identify what you do and don't want. What makes you happy? What does an ideal day look like? What frustrates you the most at work and what do you love the best?
You may be putting pressure on yourself thinking this means that you have to just "know" all these answers immediately. That assumption is overwhelming! Instead, consider doable next steps to help identify what you do and don't want in a job.
Actions you can take may include: taking assessments such as the Myers Briggs or, my favorite, the CliftonStrengths assessment (previously called the StrengthsFinder), monitoring when you feel happiest or the most miserable at your current job, and answering questions about your ideal workday. Each of these steps gives you information that you can use to gain perspective about yourself and formulate a vision for the type of environment and job where you will be satisfied and happy. By checking off one step at a time, you're calmly taking action and working towards your goal.
Break through the inertia and start! You’ll be much less stressed out just knowing that you are doing something instead of worrying and wondering what to do next. It’s time to get excited about your next steps, make a plan, and move yourself forward. Start the New Year off with a bang and take action.
If you’d like someone to hold you accountable through this process, or aren't sure of how to start, just reach out to me or another career coach.