Every day, I work with extremely talented individuals with incredible potential who are finding it difficult to get “unstuck”. I empower them to discover who they are, what they want, and how to make that happen. Overtime, I have accumulated a large pool of ideas, tips and resources to help people go from being confused and anxious to clear and confident. I feel it is a shame if these tips are limited to the people that I work with, and today, I just want to share a few of them with everyone in the hope that they might help one or two people become a little less stuck! If you want any additional support or ideas, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Your career sweet spot is the unique overlap between your passions, gifts and values.
A lot of people come to me feeling unhappy in their work, but with no idea of what to do. The career sweet-spot is always a really effective place to start! Take it one step at a time and define your top five passions, then your top five gifts then your top five values. Make sure you think really hard about these things and do a lot of brainstorming before arriving at your top five. I have some great online tools to help you do this. You can check them out here:
Find your passions
Find your gifts
Find your values
Once you have your top five for each of these, look for overlaps. It is in these overlaps that you will find your “career sweet-spot”; the direction that will bring you great meaning and fulfilment. Don’t worry if its not a “career title” as such. Finding your career sweet-spot is more intended to provide direction; a theme or area by which you can then build your career direction around.
“The Element” and “Finding Your Element” by Ken Robinson are also really great books for helping you understanding, explore and identify that special area where your passions, gifts and values come together in a powerful way.
2. Design a Path
One of the biggest reasons we feel fearful and overwhelmed when making career decisions is because the water looks soooooo murky. There are so many options, and directions and possibilities. Where do we even start?
Once we have defined a path to at least take our first step, we begin to feel a lot clearer and, in turn, a lot more confident! It doesn’t matter if you end up veering a little bit from the path. In fact, often the greatest value of having a path is not to arrive at your destination, but to give you the confidence to get started!
Once you have found your career sweet-spot, start exploring possible opportunities in that area. Make a list of all of the opportunities and then choose just one favorite to work towards. In order to chose a favorite, try speaking to people that work in that area, reading articles, listening to talks and exploring “a day in the life of” accounts.
Now, with your preference in mind, begin writing out the steps to make it a reality. Make sure to break it down into at least five big steps (with each big step containing two or three smaller steps). When we break down big goals into bite-size pieces, we feel much more capable of achieving them!
Also, remember that you don’t need to quit everything in-front of you and make a huge, elaborate leap into something else. Instead, start small and begin building a gradual side-walk towards your dream.
If you are feeling stuck between which option is your top preference, here is a decision making tool to help you. Here is also a great resource to help you explore some of the requirements for different directions.
Not your body, but your mind. We spend so much time looking at diets, counting calories, reading the back of packages to make sure we aren’t putting any toxic ingredients into our body. And all these things are great! But how about our mind? Do we consider how the things we read affect the way we see the world, or how the things we watch shape our perceptions? Should we pay more attention to the impact of social media, and how seeing other people’s “highlight real” and comparing them to our “backstage” is distorted and unhealthy?
What we feed our mind not only affects our world views and perceptions, it also affects our confidence and courage. Most of the people I work with come to me and tell me that they don’t know what to do, they don’t know what they love or which direction they want to take. A lot of the time, when we get beneath the surface, they actually know exactly what they love and exactly which direction they want to take”¦ it’s just that they have built up so much fear and have been fed so many doubts that they have begun to believe their own lies; they have begun to believe that they don’t have what it takes, when in fact they do!
So, next time you catch yourself doubting or criticizing, redirect your focus to one of your best qualities. Next time you find yourself comparing your ugliest parts to facebook’s highlight page, stop, and remind yourself of how distorted and unfair that is. And finally, don’t just prevent the toxic thoughts from coming in, but actively seek-out the inspirational leadership you need to propel yourself forward. If you need some help with this, here is some really awesome inspirational fuel.
Linchpin by Seth Godin is also a really great book for anyone lacking courage or doubting his or her ability to take a leap or make a difference. As Godin said himself “the only thing worse than starting something and failing”¦ is not starting something”
Today’s the day. Go!