To support you as a leader in activating your purpose during a career transition, I offer my action oriented three-step process:
If you are in a career or job transition Step 6 and 7 below will relate to your situation. They will point you in a helpful direction for discovering the type of work situation that is right for you as well as a mindset and some activities that may help you. The information below is a brief summary of the kinds of things you may want to do.
Making a career or job transition can be challenging; it might require high levels of self-awareness, focus, strategy, follow up, self management, sustained effort, time and energy.
Knowing what makes you come alive from steps 1-5 of this blog series (strengths, passions and ultimately your sense of purpose) can help you find work in your chosen field that is a good match for you.
[For more detailed information, there are many excellent books and community workshops on the job search and on starting your own business. Coaching with me to support your career transition can magnify your results in a fraction of the time!]
Step 6: Explore.
Research where your strengths and passions fit–possible options of industries, companies or work situations where you can do what falls within the intersection of your strengths and passions that you identified in steps 1-5 of this series. This may be as an employee, or as an independent outside consultant or business owner/entrepreneur.
The more options you are able to open up the better. It’s important to uncover an abundance of options if you are in a career transition.
Example: one of my clients, Joan, wanted to be in a job and company that was a better fit for her interests and strengths. She wanted to leave her current position in finance when she had the right job offer.
She is good at public speaking, loves working in finance and helping people, especially empowering women in the realm of finance. She wanted some degree of flexibility and autonomy in how she served her clients. She wanted to work with positive, energizing colleagues.
Through working with her strengths and passions, she decided she wanted to help women with their finances via public speaking and one on one interaction. She began to do research online and one to one to see who was already doing this. She read about the trends in her field. She learned about the leaders in her field.
She got encouraged by her research findings and decided to contact some of the leaders via email. She was able to speak to a few of them in person by attending lectures and meetings where they were speaking or attending. She asked them questions about their best and worst experiences, how they got into the field or their jobs, etc. She was even more encouraged and delighted by how helpful these leaders were. It boosted her confidence as well as giving her important information.
You might be asking yourself right now “why would someone in a leadership position answer Joan’s questions?” The answer is “people like to talk about themselves!” Joan accomplished much of this work with the support of coaching with me.
A natural next step that flows from research is networking because contacts made during research can develop into networking relationships.
Step 7: Network.
Networking refers to building relationships and exchanging information with a purpose in mind. Relationships help you find work. Extraverts and introverts may use different methods of networking. Extraverts may prefer in person verbal interaction while introverts may prefer developing relationships via online avenues, such as via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, other sites, or blogging related activities.
Both introverted and extraverted approaches work well for networking. Better yet, if you can combine them, this will have a compounded impact on developing networks and relationships.
Keep your 2 circles in the forefront of your mind as you speak with people about the kinds of work you are looking for, or the kind of business you are considering as a start up. I recommend that just before you make a phone call or do any action related to networking, you review your 2 circles and the intersection. Recall your purpose. Imagine yourself standing in the intersection of your strengths and passions. This will boost your confidence, energy and motivation.
Using social media and/or personal contact, find people who are in the industry or companies that you think would be a good fit for you as an employee or as support for starting your own business.
One way to network is to attend trade association meetings for your fields of interest. Another is to join Linked In Groups that relate to your interests, and/or search industry leaders on Twitter and Facebook.
Your intention is to meet people who will help you take steps toward your identified career goals. Why would people help you do that? Because people love to give advice! If you are looking to work in a company, you want to land an interview in the right company(ies) for you.
What makes a company the right one for you? It is in need of a person with your particular strengths and passions, and has a place for you to perform work that you do well and love to do. Coaching can help you with the networking, interviewing and onboarding process.
Joan, the client described above, committed to developing relationships to help her find work. As a result of extensive networking over a few months, including getting referred from one person to another in a large urban region, she found a firm and position that would allow her to do what she loved and did best. Her network led her to the firm. Her new firm appreciates someone with her passion and gives her some freedom to design her own approaches for working with clients.
If you are moving in the direction of your own enterprise, you will eventually want to write up a basic plan or model for the business and get support set up around you. In many communities there are organizations that help people start their own businesses. Coaching can also help you start your own business.
Step 8: Interviews! For those in a career transition/seeking employment:
If you are looking for a position in a company (versus starting your own company, for example) you will be able to draw on all of the work you have done up until now as you prepare for and participate in job interviews.
How do you prepare? Review each of the steps you completed. Then keeping your 2 circles in mind, as well as the needs of the position for which you are applying, answer at least these questions for yourself:
What makes you the ideal candidate?
What is your past experience that relates to this position?
What are your strengths as applied to the position here in our company?
What are your weaknesses?
What is your greatest work accomplishment?
Greatest challenge you overcame? And how did you do it?
When can you start?
Before you walk into the interview, recall your 2 circles and the intersection of your strengths and passions as applied to this job.
Imagine yourself at your best while doing the job. This will bring up positive feelings, which research tells us will be contagious. The interviewer(s) will experience you as a person who has positive energy because they will feel positive during and after the interview. At the end of the interview summarize in 30 seconds why you are the best choice for the position. Then write a thank you note and let the interviewer(s) know you are extremely interested in working there and why you are a good fit. Share your enthusiasm.
There may be 2 or more interviews for any given position. Be sure to summarize information you gave out in the first interview when you are in the 2nd interview. This refreshes interviewers’ memories.
(For more in depth information, there are many good books out there to help you prepare for the job interview.)
Summary: From this 3 step process you will get data that points to your next steps while increasing your confidence and motivation to live up to your potential. Doing this process will support you in identifying and applying your unique contributions to the world.
If you get stuck here, call me for a no cost consultation.
What makes YOU come alive??
(What makes ME come alive: helping leaders maximize their results in a fraction of the time, through coaching and facilitation!)