If you follow LinkedIn or read self-help books and magazines you'll have come across the sage advice of 'experts' to just follow your career dream. Whether you want to earn your living as a teacher, a songwriter or a professional footballer, you should just follow your dream (and the jury's still out on whether following your dream as a way to make a living is good or bad advice!). Either way, these articles relate to those people who have something they're passionate about and want to make a living from. But what if you're one of the many people who don't have a career dream?
For most people who are unhappily stuck in jobs, not knowing what they should do instead is the main obstacle to making a change. For most us, even those fairly new into the job market, the answer is already within us. So how can you tap into that knowledge?
A valuable exercise is one I call 'When I am at my best' and it may be familiar to some of you who have worked with me before on career programmes. To complete it all you need is some peace and quiet, paper and a pen, and the space to think about and reflect on those times in your life when you felt you were absolutely at your best. To tap into that further, for you that might mean:
So, for each example you have noted down, reflect on the experience and try to identify what the contributory features were:
Once you have explored these - and it often bears fruit to return to this exercise a few times to add (or even refine) your ideas, you can then turn to look for themes and patterns.
Looking over all of your examples, do they have anything in common? Does anything surprise you in terms of what emerges? How well do these examples map onto your current job? What are the implications for you and your career? What will you do next?
If you would like to download the exercise or book a session or a programme with me to explore your career direction and choices further, get in touch. e: email@example.com