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A client recently shared a thought with me that will resonate with a lot of people I work with. He said: "I've built my career based on the person I used to be. But I'm not that person any more."
It's a simple truth but one that really resonates with me. And it's the point at which many clients come to find me.
Most of us tend to start our careers around the age of 18 - 22. The career we choose may be based on what we studied at school or university; it may be a career that our parents advocated or even did themselves; or it may be that we chose that career because it was the opposite of what our parents did (rebel, rebel); perhaps we chose a career that we thought we bring in lots of money or status.
Whatever the reason, we made a choice and we started down a path.
I chose my first career (consulting) because, quite frankly, I was offered a job in a consulting firm in London and it ticked a number of my boxes: based in the City, good starting salary, fun and young colleagues, opportunities to travel, etc. I also thought I would be speaking French (my degree) although this didn't ever transpire.
Most clients tell me that they've been thinking about a career change for a little while, in the back of their minds. It's the kind of thought that pops up from time to time and then gets forgotten as more immediate "life stuff" chases it away. It's the sort of thing we think about on holiday (remember those?) and do some vague day-dreaming about the charitable and fulfilling work we'll do once we've won the lottery.
The reason that we can't think about this properly is because it's too big and complex and we don't know where to start. And we convince ourselves that things aren't that bad... the grass isn't always greener ... I can't afford to change career ... I can't be bothered to retrain ...
And we stay in the same place.
So, how do you go about finding out what makes the "new you" tick? Well, you have to get to know yourself again. Outisde of the context of being a ........... [lawyer/accountant/HR Manager/Marketing Director/etc].
What do you love to do? What's important to you? And you then need to apply this stuff to work so that you are contributing from a place of talent, energy, joy and values. Sounds complex doesn't it? That's why the holiday day-dreaming never really gets you anywere.
But, today I'm going to get you started with identifying your "golden threads" and seeing if that sparks some thoughts and ideas. Here are four questions that will help you get back in touch with who you are at your core. Allow me to introduce you to... you:
What activities do you always volunteer for (outside or inside work)?
What activities get you into a FLOW state (when you lose all sense of time and place)?
What things have you learned to do much more quickly than other people (like you've done it before in a past life)?
Where / to what do you always pay most attention?
I would love to hear how you get on with these questions and what thoughts and ideas they have sparked for you. Drop me a line and let me know!
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