What Job Should I Pursue?
How Do I Progress In My Career?
( This page is lengthy, be prepared … )
This page is about Career Coaching in general and some help on how to specifically progress in your Career. The angle in which I present this from is the mental aspect and psychology side. Including the Emotional side, decision making, consequences, changing beliefs, overcoming fears and action taking.
Let’s start with some questions …
Do you have a career or a job?
Do you know the difference between a job and a career?
Are you beginning your career path and want to know what to choose?
Are you Happy where you are doing what you’re doing?
Are you contemplating a change in your career path?
Is your current job a dead end and you feel demoralised?
For an individual to discover what it is that they would enjoy doing for potentially 5 – 25 years of their Life, is not an easy task. In addition, in times gone by careers were usually confined to a single field and the person often spent at times – their entire Life in 1 spot.
Today is rather different in that it is common to change careers at least twice sometimes 3 or more times during a Lifetime, it is also not uncommon for people to have 2 careers running simultaneously.
Considering we will spend on average around 85,000 hours in our lifetime at work it is imperative that we master the area of choosing correctly.
I personally have had 3 different careers in 3 different fields and have set up and run, 8 different businesses in the last 25 years so I humbly feel I have something of value to share with you here in the topic about career.
One reason to take this with a serious degree of attention over and above the obvious, is that statistics continue to confirm year after year that job satisfaction continues to diminish across the globe. Not just in the UK, but everywhere. Various people in various fields report they are not happy in their job / career.
Why is this the case?
Because people as a generalisation try to fit themselves in to ‘jobs’ that they really don’t want to do.
Out of a necessity to meet financial pressures they work in roles that have little or nothing to do with the heart’s desires. I don’t mean to be insensitive here, I feel for these people, I’m just trying to point out that sometimes real Life does not give us much choice.
Equally no one leaves school or college or university and proclaims, “I want to be a road sweeper” nor do they say, “I want to be a cleaner for the rest of my life”. Or “I want to stack shelves forever”.
The people that do however take on these roles do so out of a limited or, no choice at all option pool. My heart goes out to these individuals as they are doing something, they inherently are already too good for. Ironically these people do a service that is extremely important and should be valued as much as any other respected job, without them we would all have more illnesses, an uglier environment etc…
As mentioned, they take the job because they need the resource of money, but it does not lead to very much emotional satisfaction.
Other individuals who let’s say, are at the opposite end of the spectrum also endure the same dilemma. Maybe they are high up in a company yet, they have grown tiresome of the same old boring routine that is void of any stimulation or hope for any future growth. They are in what they construe to be a ’dead end job’
From I.T consultant to fish & chip shop servers to hairdressers to lifeguards, many people ‘fall’ into their profession out of pressure, not choice.
While other people may truly start out believing the ‘job / career’ they choose was the right one, but as time passes and maybe as the reality of the position becomes unsatisfactory because it was not how they envisioned it, they move piece by piece to demoralised and disheartened in their position.
Whether a job is taken out of financial pressure or, is taken happily but turns out to be a disaster, both group of people are ultimately in the same boat. The statistical data that confirms there is much dissatisfaction in the workplace around the world.
I am sure many can relate to this.
This is all too often the case and is a sad reality but at the same time it represents the truth all too well. This is not me being negative or doom and gloomy, just recognising reality for what it is because then, it can be addressed.
How To Avoid This Pitfall
Seek professional advice about your career / field your about to choose or change to. Help from someone experienced in this area is priceless. A career coach or a career advisor will be able to save you years of potential wasted and painful experience.
Due your own due diligence beforehand and talk to other people who already in the job / filed you are contemplating.
A role model is invaluable – someone present tense who was once in the past tense where you are right now. They have navigated the stream before you and can give you some pretty damme valuable information!
For example if you’re considering going into accounting, go and physically speak to several accountants, buy them a coffee and have an informal chat. They will be complimented that you are seeking their advice. They will be able to tell you things, the career coach and career advisor can’t and you couldn’t answer yourself from where you are, again priceless.
If it’s not about a career, and instead you find yourself hopscotching from 1 job to another job, then you need to address why this is. IF the reason is you left school with little or no qualifications and as such your menu of choice was next to the ‘0’ then you may want to consider further education of some kind.
It is either that or continue to go around the merry go round for the next decade of your Life. Either way is tough. Re-educating will take some time, effort and sacrifice, but the real question you need to ask yourself, and answer, is …
“Which of the 2 options gives me more pain in my Life, right now, and tomorrow and next year?”.
If it is any help, when I left school in 1989, I left with nothing, no qualifications worth mentioning. I chose to re-educate in my late teens as I saw the direction I was going in was doomed. So I can relate to you if your reading this right now and you have left school with nada, or you are in your 30’s and again you don’t know where to turn.
Give it some quality thought, think, and think hard. Emotional fulfilment is not a given in this Life, it is something you must fight for, create, find or earn.
Understanding The Difference Between a Job and a Career
It helps to understand the differences between what is construed as a job and what would be construed as a career …
1 difference between a job and a career is that career’s traditionally, were ‘jobs’ that had longevity, meaning, you would be in that position / field for a lengthy time, years to decades.
A job can be viewed as having a lesser time span of say months to years.
Another definition used is to describe something as a job even though you may have been in that role for many, many years and it otherwise would be called a career but, because it is not your ideal choice, you, classify it as just a job.
Thus the Emotional side of a position causes an individual to identify the work as a job or a career, conversely some people ‘love’ what they do and can at times move on after just 2 years but when asked they would call this their career path.
Whether it is a job or a career, is ultimately just semantics.
What is important however, is to understand that the Emotion / enjoyment of the position largely dictates how that position will be identified.
Emotional consequence then, is a very, important factor.
How To Choose a Career That Will Be Fulfilling
It is all semantics of course but the value is that this information gives us important clues about how to choose what we define as a career. We know time is a factor, we know Emotional fulfilment is another factor. Salary is another to consider.
Home compatibility and health implications are others to contemplate. This list of factors I present here in a moment is short, and the real list is extensive, what I write here is just to stimulate you into thinking a little creatively about this so that your decision making is sharpened.
These and other factors combine to allow us to get closer to pinpointing the correct choice for us, which is very important to discover and the whole point, of career Coaching.
Find out what it is you are good at and genuinely Love to do, add this to the other effects ( positive and negative ) that a particular Career path will bring you and you are well on your way to Successfully making the right choices going forwards.
Here is a brief list of important factors to give thought to in quantifying what career path you may want to decide to take…
- Financial implications, does the salary meet your needs
- Quality of life
- Home life ripple effect
- Emotional satisfaction
- Location / proximity to home
- Traveling duration
- Time required to qualify if study is required
- Your current age
- Skillset you naturally have
- Mindset / are you prepared to make sacrifices
- Do you deal with responsibility well
- Will the position be still in existence in 10 years’ time / with the fast-changing pace of the world
Sometimes people are very good at something that unfortunately will not bring in the desired financial return they also want so there is conflict. If they take a different Career path to tick the financial gain box, it is at the consequence of being fulfilled and happy as they now are spending a large portion of their life doing something that is lacking the Emotional tick.
We want to be valued and appreciated and to feel that our contribution is being acknowledged. We want our work to have meaning and purpose. But we also want a fabulous salary, not too much conflict with our home and love life.
We want it all!
Usually, not always but a large portion of the time these 2 general categories between fulfilment and the dark side of the career choice, battle and war ensures.
Making career choices can clearly be a challenge.
Choosing a career is easy and anyone can do that by themselves … However, choosing the ‘correct‘ career path for yourself is not easy and can for some people – at different times in their life – be daunting.
Everyone is in The Same Boat
Sometimes young people simply do not have clarity on what profession they should take up after leaving school, college or university and they therefore seek guidance out of desperation.
Other times it is people in their 20’s or 30’s who did choose a Career path years before but now regret it and feel overwhelmed as to what to turn to – to escape.
Sometimes it is people in their 40’s or 50’s who feel they need a Career change altogether after having worked for the last 15 + years in 1 role and are bored and unfulfilled.
Different people at different times in their Life all requiring exactly – the same, guidance!
Progress can be either a blanket change, meaning change to a brand new job / Career altogether or, progress can be staying where you are but move forward and upward in the corporate ladder so to speak.
I would like to offer some simple advice as to how to begin the process of progress in your chosen career / job.
Due to the limitations of not knowing you personally, not knowing your field and not sitting next to you in real time as you read these words, I can only offer so much guidance and advice, it will be a tad general but I want to steer you in the right direction at the very least.
With momentum on your side and a healthy dose of inspiration I believe you stand a good chance of figuring out the detail.
So together, let’s begin …
Step 1 + Step 10
First consider where you are right now, how would you define this?
To the best of your ability take a moment and write out in as much detail as you can bring to life, where you currently are in this job / in your career. Be honest, be very honest. Don’t see it worse or better than it actually is.
Just define it.
When you’re done, put it aside and forget about it. Go and do something to distract you for an hour. This is important – do NOT skip it.
Then come back and read fresh what you have written. If it strikes you as kind of correct but not quite accurate enough then you need to modify / tweak this description a little, until, it feels, sounds and looks just right. If instead when you read it fresh, it stands out as pretty darn accurate then great, you have your first step locked in.
Don’t skip this step, don’t take this step for granted or give it less respect than it deserves. There is tremendous power in getting clear on things.
If you don’t know where you are to start with – how do you possible ever hope to get where you want to be!
Next, do the opposite.
Decide in writing where it is you do want to be. Be in your job / career.
Don’t think about the next 10 years for now, just contemplate the next 12 months or so. Decide where it is you want to be this time next year. At what level in the business do you want to be at, compared to now? How far away is it from where you are? How would you define that position / place compared to now? What changes would you need to make in order to bring this shift into fruition?
You can’t answer any of these questions – if you have skipped step 1!
Okay, you now have a clear starting point, and a fairly specific idea of where you want to be next year.
The middle ground. Step 1 and step 10 are now handled. Step 2 – 9 need to be decided – in advance, and then actioned, implemented in the real world.
Step 2 – 9 External or Internal?
What do you believe is holding you back?
Is it an external factor such as your boss is hindering you or, maybe your co-workers are sabotaging your attempts because there jealous or, is it an internal factor such as a fear of being in a higher position and the extra stress or extra responsibility it would bring?
Is it an emotional blockage of some kind from the inside like fear of being in charge? Or fear of being rejected? Or is it as mentioned something in the physical world like competition from another individual for the same higher position and he or she is inherently better qualified because of experience or age is on their side?
You need to clarify which world is holding you back from progressing forward. Only then will your plan and action taking be effective. Again, clarity is real power here. Use it. Take advantage of it. It is
often your best friend. This is a big chunk of the whole. This is where the majority of your time and effort will be spent, dealing with the exact problem itself, that you feel is holding you back from progressing.
If the blockage is external, then your going to have to deal with it. Face it head on and address it. I know it is very easy to write this and very hard to do it in the real world but I’m afraid that’s what you need to do.
Here in print there is only so much you’re going to get out of this. There comes a time when you need to take action in the real world. If I were Coaching you I person then I could help you in a very big way but I am not, I am limited to words alone.
I hope to instigate some inspiration in you if nothing more than pointing out as I have done here the obvious but maybe having it laid out a little makes it that much easier.
If the challenge is something in the external world, usually it is a communications problem with a person or people. Not always but quite often. If so, see how you can get through to that person that in the past you have had poor relations with, if you can find a way to get some increased rapport with the individuals concerned, then you will be a smidge close to breaking through than before.
Re-evaluate your place, your position and then evaluate the situation from a point of a view as say a judge and jury so to speak. After weighing up all the evidence and empirical data, what is the final observation?
Who is it you need to deal with to progress? What is it you need to master that until now has deluded you? How are you going to communicate in such a way to break through to that person that up until now has made you mad?
Until you face this wall, you may be stuck where you are. Spend some quality time thinking about this obstacle. You have the resources to handle it effectively, I ASSURE YOU. You just maybe don’t have access to all your resources because of the way you’re looking at it.
You just need to figure it out and thinking, is a great place to start.
Take heart, know that if the so called obstacle is in the external world then that is an advantage to you.
Because cutting your hair, washing your face, eating an apple, clapping your hands, having a conversation with someone, are all easier to change then to change what you believe in your heart, would you agree? For some, changing an external / in the world something / is easier than changing, their internal construct of reality!
You can’t control their response to any great degree, but you can control / improve your communications to yourself first and thus from there, your communications to that problem person.
Begin, I repeat, begin, try to figure this out. Make the attempt. Don’t feel as if you have to know all the answers straight away, just start, that would be a great start if that makes sense!
What if your perceived problem is internal, as in, you have a fear of something? Or you have a limiting belief about yourself? Or you have limited access to the true ( powerful and resourceful ) you?
In a way this is for some people better than having the external challenge because external factors are not something you have absolute control over, you can only influence them. Internal conflicts however are absolute because you have the choice to be 100% in control over them – if you choose to.
This is an article on career and not on psychology, so I won’t go in to too much depth about how to handle these. Not here, I have written extensively about emotions, beliefs etc… on my website so feel free to take a look.
What I can say to you is for most people most of the time where the issue is an internal one the block is either a limiting belief or a fear of an Emotion like failure or rejection etc…
Fear is False Evidence that Appears Real. I know, very positive thinking oriented but you know what? It’s true.
In fact it’s very, very true. How often have you fretted about something – in advance – only for the actual thing you feared, not to happen?! I know not every time but a good deal of the time, right?
Your fear of talking to a particular person, taking some kind of proactive action, or changing a belief that you know is holding you back, is only there because of your current negative / limiting conditioning. You feel that changing the belief or overcoming that fear would be impossible. Break out of this strong hold and choose to use your mind differently.
Don’t let it run you – you run ‘it’ instead!
A fear is an internal association / linkage to or of a pain of some kind. Not real but imagined. Fear is not something you can hold in your hand as you can a pen or a cup or a phone. These are all physical, real 3 dimensional objects that really exist. You cannot hold Fear in your hand.
Because it only exists as a word and as a representation in your imagination.
To live in a prison – without you even being aware that you’re inside a prison, is akin to being delusional. If I tried to insult you by saying you’re no different than the people who are in mental asylum’s, would you think me rude / harsh?
Of course, I am only communicating from Love and Respect, so you know I am only playing with you ( half! ) just trying to lovingly hint that if you have a fear of something and it is holding you back – then you either allow it to control you ( and massively limit you ) or, you face it eye to eye and take the action is spite of it.
Dance with the fear if you want to be creative.
If you attempt to fight fear, you will likely falter. Instead, imagine dancing with the fear – literally! Imagine the fear is a dancer and imagine the fear is trying to go left, so you go left, then it tries to go right so you go right, if you keep matching it and keep up with it eventually you attune yourself with it and lo and behold it starts to lose its grip over you.
Imagine 2 people dancing together – they move in unison, there is harmony. If you take this approach with the fear it is the same. Fight and you lose. Align with it and it will lose sight of you / you will become invisible to it. Any power over you it had will disappear or at the very least, diminish considerably.
What if instead you have a belief about yourself that is negative?
If this is what is holding you back, then write the belief down to start with. Next ridicule it.
For example, you may belief that you’re not smart enough. If you believe you’re not smart enough than what you’re actually saying is that you are smart. Just not enough.
Moving from smart and adding a bit more, is a totally different experience to believing you’re not at all smart!
Also, ask questions that create doubt about that belief. Often, we continue to hold on to outdated belief’s simply because – we don’t question them. The moment we do, we create some doubt. Doubt is the opposite of a belief.
A belief is a feeling of certainty about what something means. If you question it enough ( ask doubt oriented questions ) you shake the certainty because the doubt has infected it. That belief is now starting to die like a flower beginning the process of withering after it has bloomed.
When you ask questions of doubt, you are not – not believing the belief, you are just asking questions, no one is asking you not to stop believing it outright. It’s just from here, you can re-evaluate whether this belief is something you can justify of being of service to you still.
Goes like this … you have a belief about something. Ask questions that doubt it. Belief weakens and become maybe just an idea – ask more questions, eventually this idea is something you don’t even entertain anymore.
In the future you look back and say to yourself ‘did I really believe that’?
Did you ever believe in Santa Claus? The tooth fairy? The bogey man? Do you still? Why not? then you have your validation.
I hope this brief snippet on external and internal challenges has helped. My intent is just to get you started, maybe inspired. From there you stand that fighting chance I alluded to earlier.
If you have woke up today being bamboozled by this situation and now, you are making tiny bits of progress, then you are a long way ahead already.
When you wake up tomorrow you will be in a better position that yesterday when you woke up. Albeit only a little but imagine if you will, where you will be if you use this strategy for 15 days straight. In just 2 weeks you will have knowledge, momentum and reinforcing belief.
Not bad for minimal input.
Begin today. Don’t delay or dilly dally. Take action and be the real you! Reap the rewards that are waiting for you…( don’t let someone else steal them away from you, if you believe they are rightfully yours, go to war and fight for them! ).
Value of a Career Coach
A competent Coach can definitely help an individual to attain clarity and still keep congruence with other parameters in their Life.
The skillset of a competent career coach is to ascertain all the requirements of their client and create a bespoke action plan and direction that leads to the best possible choice. Nothing is infallible, but with the help of a coach, you stand the best, possible, chance of Success.
Over the years my Career Coaching has involved working with youngsters at ages 15 or 16 about to leave school – all the way up to working with people in their 60’s believe it or not who are young at heart, have already had 3 Careers and decide they want something ‘different’ to do for the ‘next’ 20 years!!
If you believe professional Coaching is something you need In this area and would like to discuss your personal situation with me, then please go to the contact page. Know that all communication with me is in the Absolute Strictest of Confidence and Privacy.
To a Better Quality of Life …