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Powerful Career Advice to Explore Your Life Potential and Find a Meaningful Job, Especially After Getting Fired, or when Making a Career Change


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Assessing Your Current Situation

“Only as you know yourself can your brain serve you as a sharp and efficient
tool. Know your own failings, passions, and prejudices so you can separate

them from what you see.”


This chapter will discuss the importance of contemplating and understanding

your present work environment, circumstances, and experience. It’s important
to have a clear picture in your mind of where you are now, so you know
where you can be in the future. Like everything in life, you cannot begin to
progress towards something else or make a decision to stick it out where you
are unless you have all the facts. Facts will empower you with the necessary
knowledge and information required to make an educated decision. Too
often, individuals operate on a whim and it ends up costing them dearly in the
long run. Just as you wouldn’t move a piece on a chessboard without
considering where all the pieces are and whether it’s going to put you a few steps ahead, or it could potentially place you in ‘checkmate.’ You’re aiming
to be the winner in this instance!
The sub-sections that follow are filled with investigative questions that you
should be asking and answering for yourself. The best way to do this is to get
a journal, diary, or legal pad and something to write with. If you’re anything
like me, you may prefer typing things out and keeping the information handy
where you can review it often. Whatever your personal preference, the most
important thing is to work through each individual question as carefully as
possible. There’s no time limit on how long this takes you. Because you’re
dealing with your life plan and some pretty serious questions, they should not
be taken lightly or jumped into quickly.
Set aside some quiet time every day where you can work through these
without being disturbed. Depending on the environment that you’re in, you
will appreciate the peace and tranquility of being left alone with your
thoughts. If you’re going through these at home, it may be worthwhile to get
up earlier than everyone else so you have a few hours of quiet time. If you’re
fortunate enough to work from home, make it quite clear to your family and
friends that you won’t be available for a specific period of time, even if this
means closing yourself off in your study with a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the
door.
Investigative questions do exactly that—they investigate, research, discover,
prove, disprove, theorize, summarize, and come to conclusions, often needing
proof! This is exactly how you need to be looking at each of these questions.
It’s your life and your future, after all!
Okay, so you have whatever tools you need to jump into these questions; are
you ready to take a deep dive into discovering what is really important to you
right now? Along with each of the questions, I have given you some further
questions that can act as prompts to come to the conclusion that you need to.
Before we get there though, you need to accept full responsibility for being
honest with yourself. The reason for examining yourself so closely is because
you know the person in the mirror better than anyone else. It’s only you that
can take accountability and responsibility for the choices and decisions you
make. As much as we would like to blame the government, the economy, the
weather, our parents, our environment, the job market—and the list goes on ad infinitum—you cannot control any of these things. The only thing you do
have control over is yourself.
Does it then make perfect sense that we do the work necessary to get you
moving in the direction you need to be moving towards? Quite a lengthy
introduction, but I cannot overstate the importance of you doing all of this for
YOU!

Some of the questions I hear most often from clients and those I meet are,

“When do I know that it’s time for me to change what I’m doing?” and
“What career is right for me?”
One of the biggest challenges facing individuals today is whether they should
remain in their careers or not. Before we even begin this exercise, I would
like to suggest an excellent tool to assist in getting an overall ‘bird’s-eye’
view of how things look overall is by drawing up a SWOT Analysis. This is a
really simple tool to be using (and you can apply it to most aspects of your
career and your life). A SWOT Analysis is put together by dividing a sheet of
paper into four sections, or, if you are working from a smaller notebook, you
might want to dedicate a single page to each of the headings that make up the
acronym SWOT. These are:

● Strengths: what are the best talents you possess, characteristics, virtues
● Weaknesses: areas you know you need to work on, personality traits,
short-comings
● Opportunities: things you could be considering, new avenues or doors
to be opened
● Threats: what can stand in your way, become an obstacle, hold you back
As we work through each of the questions below, take the time to analyze
each one as to how they stack up in each of these four areas. You may come
across certain questions that can only be classified under one or two of these
headings; that’s okay. You’re looking for the big picture and a clear map of
where you need to be. To do that, your strengths and opportunities need to be
crystal clear. However, you also need to know what your weaknesses are, and
be wary of threats that could come at you from nowhere. I have given you a
very brief description of each of these, so you can better understand how to
apply them as we work through these exercises.
Analyzing Your Current Position
When answering each of these questions, consider all four areas, and be
brutally honest with yourself. If there’s something that rubs you the wrong
way or irks you about your current position, write it down.
When you think about your current profession, do you love what you do,
like what you do, or merely tolerate what you do?
What are your main reasons for feeling the way you do?
We’ll assume the middle of the road for the next few questions.
What do you like about your current profession?
Do you have your own parking space, or maybe the canteen makes great
food? Another great benefit may be a corner office with a magnificent view!
While these “perks” are nice to have, are they really adding value to your life,
and are they making you feel fulfilled as an individual? Are these unwritten
perks worth sticking around being constantly miserable?

If you’re at the point of merely tolerating your current position, or you’ve
even moved on to genuine disdain, what are the real reasons for you feeling
this way? What I’m trying to get at here is whether the things you’re really
unhappy about can be resolved, or whether you should be updating your CV.
Some reasons to be unhappy might be a two- to three-hour commute to and
from the office daily in rush-hour traffic that you cannot quite fathom where
the “rush” in rush hour comes from. Sitting bumper-to-bumper drives you
insane because you can feel the sands of time slipping from your grasp that
could be better spent doing something else!
Maybe you’re working in an open-plan office environment with some
colleagues from hell, or you have a supervisor that’s the epitome of a
micromanager. Other reasons could be that you’re employed by a narcissist
and everything is all about them! (And yes, it’s a real personality disorder that
negatively impacts a work environment). If you are currently unhappy in your
career, chances are your list is a long one and will mainly be negative.
Do you see yourself working in the same environment, and the same
position for the next three to five years?
This question should be a great indicator as to whether you should be settling
in, or planning your exit strategy. Do you physically see yourself in the same
position, in the same office, surrounded by the same people? Or are they
already physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting by the end of each
day? Are you currently living for Friday afternoons when you get to escape
the humdrum routine for some normality because your job is driving you
crazy?
Does your current position provide you with opportunities for growth? Do
these make you feel excited about your future, or does it leave you feeling
impartial instead?
Similar to the question above, do you see yourself going anywhere within the
current organization, or do you feel claustrophobic at the prospects of
possibly being stuck in a dead-end-rut? You may be in a position that has a
glass ceiling; is it one you’ve already reached?
Are you bored with your current role? Would opportunities working
alongside other portfolios or clients pique your interest more?

Have you pitched this to your manager in an attempt to grow into a new and
more challenging position? To answer this question, you need to be asking
yourself whether you stand up for yourself, asking for what you want out of
your position, or if you shrink into the background, too nervous, shy, or
scared to come up with strategies that could redefine your role in the
business?
Do you have the kind of relationship with your direct superior that would
allow you to be open, honest, and direct enough with them to share your
ideas? You may be the individual within your organization that has the
perfect temperament to be spearheading a particular project or client that
others find challenging. At times we are too afraid to ask for what we want
and, as a result, we miss out on potentially golden opportunities.
Do I fear change and that’s why I’m holding onto my current position?
It’s easy to become complacent and comfortable when you’ve been in the
same position for a while. You get stuck in your comfort zone for a number of
reasons:
● You know exactly what you’re doing
● You know what’s expected of you and you deliver
● You are comfortable in your own little space
● You know what deadlines are in place and you’re in a routine
● You’re afraid of what’s out there and whether you’ll be successful.
● As mentioned in the introduction, an exceptionally high number of
graduate professionals are not working in the field they graduated in!
This is one of the reasons for this. When you consider the age and
experience of young seniors making career decisions, how much do
they really know?
● Do they fully understand the industry they are planning on spending the
next 40+ years in?
● Have they considered the impact their decision will have on them for
the rest of their lives? Have they chosen to qualify in one particular
field for all the wrong reasons?

● Has your course of studies been influenced by somebody else, other
than yourself. What was discovered is that there was probably limited
understanding. Did you have any notion as to what the work entailed?
● Peer pressure is another reason for choosing to follow a specific career
path. You may have wanted to study with your friends.
● Incorrect information provided by guidance counselors, or thanks to
family traditions. Whatever the reasons for choosing this career, it was
all wrong.
● Even coming from a long line of doctors or lawyers, can you see how
assuming your name should be with John Hopkins, or Harvard doesn’t
make your reasoning correct.
● Maybe you are passionate about one of these professions because
you’ve been exposed to the industry through family bonds. That’s an
entirely different story, in which event you should be looking forward
to a thriving career that may see you performing breakthrough surgery
in a specialized field, or being appointed as a judge in your state
someday! Note that I used the magic word “passion.”
● You’ve possibly chosen your career because you heard they make a ton
of money! There are so many incorrect reasons for making the wrong
decision when it comes to your future. Of all of these, money as a
motivator is probably the greatest enemy to your success.
So here’s my BIGGEST problem with every single one of the above
scenarios, and it’s probably not what you’d imagine! For each of these
individuals who spent anywhere up to seven years qualifying, someone else
didn’t!
Whether it was in medicine or law or advanced Science, Technology,
Engineering, and Math (STEM) qualifications (many of these qualifications
are in short supply globally), a spot was taken in an institution that could
have trained and upskilled the RIGHT individual. This is not to say that those
who have qualified don’t make any valuable contributions to their vocations
before making the shift (because many of them do). What is sad is that there
are usually only limited spaces available at universities, colleges, and other
training institutions. It’s way more than just taking a slot in their attendance register. It’s ALL the other resources that are allocated to the qualification

that are skewed and mismanaged. Whether it’s training materials to salaries
of professors, lecturers, class assistants, tutors—each of these valuable
resources are being mismanaged. The most precious commodity of all is one
that we can never get back again, no matter what we do—TIME!
Of the thousands of graduate professionals I interviewed and reviewed life
and career choices with, many had completed second and third qualifications
before they discovered where they “needed to be.” All those years were spent
learning rather than earning. Were any of them frustrated with themselves?
Absolutely! Almost every single one of them wished that they had done
things differently.
Are my current skills and talents being utilized sufficiently?
If you are qualified in a specific area and you’ve been hired to perform duties
that are easy, this could lead to frustration. Especially if you feel that your
current skills are being wasted. If this is the situation you find yourself in at
the moment, you need to either take some initiative and speak with a
decision-maker regarding your frustrations, or find out why you are being
underutilized. Having this conversation with your superior may not be as
comfortable as you would like, but keeping two-way lines of communication
between you and management is definitely something you want to foster.
Management can only become aware of your feelings if you vocalize them in
a civil and productive manner. If you still don’t see any improvement within
the established time frame, it may be time to reconsider your options.
Namely:
● Do you allow them additional time to get the wheels in motion?
● Is it time to start thinking about moving on?
● Are your employers committed to life-long learning and growth for
their employees?
Is it part of your employer’s company culture to hold regular inhouse and
specialized training interventions? Or are you more likely to have access to
learning and development opportunities elsewhere? Can you ensure your
skills are market-related because you receive the best learning opportunities
often? If you are in a more senior position at present, are you providing these opportunities for your own direct reports? Learning doesn’t always need to be
staid and boring; it can breathe life into an organization to have a lighthearted
training session followed by a few team-building exercises. The key
objective is that learning should never stop or be shelved. You should always
have something on the agenda on at least monthly intervals. Companies that
are genuinely interested in ensuring their staff are performing at optimum
levels are constantly focused on training such as personal development,
emotional intelligence, and industry-aligned specialist training. If you’re an
accountant, this may mean attending a trade related workshop to be trained in
the latest tax directives. Or maybe you’re in health and safety, and an update
has been passed by the local government. Each of these are necessary for you
to perform your duties at your peak, and if your organization cannot see the
value in keeping your skills current and on trend, maybe it’s time to find a
company who will.
Is what you’re currently doing in line with your personal value system?
I can totally identify with this line of questioning. Earlier in my career I was
doing something completely different. That isn’t to say that it was a career
that had no value, because it did. The deciding factor for me was losing a
close family member. You can probably relate how you go through all the
questions about the meaning of life, once again identifying that life is indeed
extremely precious and we have no concept of when our time is up. Aside
from all of these thoughts, however, another thought crossed my mind and
stuck! The question that kept rolling around in my head was, “Will what I’m
doing now make a difference in the life of anyone before I die?” It was pretty
profound at the time, which is probably why it kept playing over and over in
my head for what seemed like an eternity.
One of the reasons it seemed to last forever was that I knew the answer, but
was having a hard time coming to terms with it. It was one of those scenarios
where you think about what they will say about you at your funeral and how
you’re likely to be remembered. Stephen Covey in his bestselling book, The 7
Habits of Highly Effective People covers an exercise where he gets you to sit
down and write your own eulogy (Covey, 1990/2013). I wasn’t quite at this
point just yet, but it had me questioning the value of my career. I knew
immediately that I needed to change, and I needed to get involved with
something that was going to make me excited about life and, more importantly, make a difference in the lives of others. It was time for me to
make a change!


13. November 2023 21:57 0 Bericht Einbetten Follow einer Story
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