Careers can be tricky. Some people know from an early age what they want to do. It then seems a relatively straightforward task to map the pathway and chart the course to reach that goal. It’s wonderful if it works out smoothly like this. But more often than not careers take unexpected twists and turns.
Some people feel called on to make decisions in a hurry with incomplete information. Some accidentally end up in a place without knowing why they are even there. Some people get far into training before they recognise a mismatch between their dreams and reality. Some may have never been able to find their way in the traditional way of doing things. Some feel burnt out, stuck, bored or uninspired and have no idea where to go next – or what their options even are. Some have lost sight of their broader life and career is taking up too much space.
Whatever your situation, finding a career pathway takes soul searching and a process of self-discovery to figure out who you are as a person and where your calling is. There is no personality quiz or aptitude test that can do this work you. There is no master list of careers or oracle to consult that can select just the right space for you. Sure, seek advice, ask mentors, speak to friends, go to conferences. These can all inspire you. These are all important pieces of information that can help you see the bigger picture. But remember quick and simple answers rarely exist. Let’s face it, if they did you would have already found them.
So how can coaching help?
Coaching helps you see things in a new way so you make the changes you need to grow, develop and meet your goals. As well as helping you take targeted action, coaching is also about learning, developing deeper insights and using them to expand your resourcefulness and widen your scope of possibilities.
As a coach, I can’t tell you what you should do or what choice you should make. Not only is that against my professional ethics, but in truth, it’s not as if I’m a prophet who can know the answers for everyone. Even if for some miraculous reason I did know the answer – telling you would hardly help as it would not be your answer. And your life and your career are far too important for anyone to tell you what to do.
So, my role here is to walk beside you and help you find your own answers. To figure out the meaning and purpose in your whole life – and how your career, work and family fits into that. This is far more empowering than simply being given advice or told what to do. So many of our answers to the way we want to live our lives are deeply within and pinned to our core values.
Self-discovery can take time, determination and effort, but it’s probably one of the best investments you can make in your own life. It’s unrealistic to think a single conversation can shed light on an issue that has been troubling you for a while – although sometimes it can. More often, it’s a series of aha moments and learning new habits and new ways of seeing yourself and the world to figure all this out.
Remember, the things you work the hardest for are the things you value the most.
“If someone says: ‘I have worked hard but I have not been successful,’ don’t believe him. If someone says: ‘I have not worked hard and I have been successful,’ don’t believe him. If someone says: ‘I have worked hard and I have been successful,’ believe him”. The Talmud