Your career is at a plateau, some may call it a rut. You are frustrated, feel unchallenged and stuck – stuck in a situation that you can’t find a job, stuck that you are not working in the ‘right’ role, or stuck, waiting for the job promotion to eventuate. It’s all you can think about, and your overall happiness is suffering.
This is because your perception of where you are professionally and where you would like to be do not match up. Also, it seems like your situation has been going on for too long, reducing your tolerance.
If this describes you, you are ready for a career makeover, to take action to make your mark and make a positive difference in the workplace or industry.
How do you turn your situation around? Crown Coaching and Training will support you to make your career makeover. Here are some tips to move your career into ‘drive.’
Know who you are
Knowing what you want begins with knowing yourself to devise your ultimate goals. You can work on identifying your strengths and weaknesses, your skills, interests and values.
Identify your career goal
Set a career goal that matches who you are and your skill set. Effective career goals follow the S.M.A.R.T. model. That is, they are: specific, measurable, achievable and attractive, realistic and time framed. A clear career goal will motivate you to achieve success.
If it suits your personality type and your skill set, consider a portfolio career, or as some call it ‘slashers.’ A portfolio career enables you to have multiple employment or careers, involving multiple identities.
Examples: you may undertake the same job for two different companies. Example, a role in administration can be taken for 2 different organisations. Or you may work in administration or sales, but enjoy photography where you work as a photographer/videographer during the evenings or weekends. Or, your real passion is social media so in your own time, you freelance to develop a client base. If you enjoy baking you may do this on the side.
When you work in a portfolio career, your income comes from a number of sources: part-time employment (one or two employers), freelance, or personal business where you can earn some money by doing what you enjoy.
In a portfolio career, you need to juggle your time very carefully to meet your work requirements successfully. Otherwise, you are at risk of not fulfilling your work commitments. As you earn your income from a number of sources, you are protected if you lose one source of income, you will still have other sources.
A portfolio career gives you the control of your career and how you spend your time. It may not suit all people. It is also not a path you take to discover yourself. Rather, it is authentic to your style – your true path that you choose.
You may choose to relocate to another city to work in your dream career. If you believe that you need to change your environment to move forward in your career, and your lifestyle enables you to relocate, it will motivate you and energise your career. However, it may also be a stressful time in your life as you leave behind your family, friends, home and lifestyle.
You may want to work remotely through use of technology. Through the use of computers, mobile phones, particular programs and applications, this is an acceptable form of work that may support you to reinvent your career.
Your physical self – your appearance
Appearance counts all the time – from the interview, meetings and appointments, right through to every day on the job. Your first impression may influence how people will react to you. The way you look and act at work is critical to your success on the job or for new opportunities that may be referred to you.
Your appearance consists of:
your physical self – your ‘look’ and first impression
what your clothes say about you
your grooming and the care your take of yourself
your body language and demeanour
your physical fitness to reduce body fat, reduce stress and disease, improve your mental attitude, be calm or relaxed
Your body wellness is displayed through the body/mind connection. Over a time of stress, symptoms occur in your body. You may have too much or too little sleep, eat or drink too much or too little. Your body will let you know that something is out of balance and needs to be changed. You may need to seek medical advice or see a counsellor.
Your inner self
Your inner self holds the secrets of what you have discovered about yourself over your life journey. To know your inner self is to know your purpose, your values, visions, motivations, goals and beliefs. It is your place of truth. Knowing your inner self requires a high level of introspection and self-awareness. It is a life-long journey
To attain professional synergy (and the ideal situation) is to be your authentic self, where your personal identify and career align. Your work matches your values, skills, interests, and at a capacity that suits you. The real you and your work are at one. This match will enable you to be congruent as a person.
We communicate with others via the spoken word and our body language. They send a powerful message to the receiver, either positive or negative about us which may leave an impression and impact on an individual’s career.
You also project an image of yourself through writing. This includes: email, business writing such as reports, blogs, and social forms of communication such as texting, Facebook, and Linkedin messages and posts.
Keep your communication formal and professional to enable your written communication to be your ambassador.
Social networking for your personal branding
Edit your Linkedin and Facebook profiles to brand yourself to inform your audience about you, what you are good at, and you are open to new opportunities. Allow social media to reflect your professional brand and your career makeover.
Join relevant groups in LinkedIn that will compliment your new career goal. Show your professionalism, contribute to professional discussions. It will encourage employers to review your profile.
Over a lifetime, individuals will make 4-5 career changes. With each, there will be a professional rebranding. This is an important life skill to develop.
Join business and industry network groups to get first hand information about industry and business knowledge, and to connect with like-minded individuals. This is critical to your personal growth and development.
To build a successful network takes time, and is a ‘give and take’ relationship. You are likely to get noticed during such events, gain confidence, and move forward in your career when you are inspired by your network group and contacts. Your career opportunity may come from these sources.
Learning is a lifelong activity and continues beyond school or university. Work on yourself to develop your knowledge and skills. This is an ongoing lifelong process. You will constantly be developing and growing, and be open to new ideas and possibilities. It refines your thinking process, and enables ‘higher’ level thinking and analysis.
Seek a mentor, counsellor/coach
Work with a mentor, counsellor/coach to guide you through your professional journey. Your mentor will be your trusted guide to support your professional makeover.
It is natural to aspire to a successful career. Self knowledge and strategies are important to develop a vision of your career. What is more important is being proactive to make it happen, together with your mental attitude.
My life motto – ‘Enjoy the process.’
Leah Shmerling is the Director and Principal Consultant of Crown Coaching and Training, and has over 30 years experience in career development, life coaching, education and training. Leah holds a Master in Professional Education and Training, Graduate Diploma in Career Development, a number of Diploma qualifications in Vocational Educational Training, and Certificates in Life Coaching, Mediation Skills, and Psychodrama.
Leah is a professional member of the Career Development Association Australia (CDAA).
Leah is a professional member of Australian Career Professionals International (ACPi-Aus). She has international accreditation and is Board Certified as a Career Management Fellow with the Institute of Career Certification.
Leah can be contacted on: +61 (0)412 940902