As for the future, your task is not to foresee it but to enable it.
Antoine de Saint Exupéry
My clients, new acquaintances as well as many of you, my dear readers of my blog, often ask how did I uncover my career path. Here is a snippet of my career journey along with some tips that I hope will help you find your career path.
I work as a private practitioner. When I decided to embark on a journey as a solo career management professional, I knew that before I put in the extra hours to ensure that my practice takes off, I needed to refine my reasons for starting a business as a solopreneur.
An excerpt of my reasons to help you write your own includes the following:
- My clients are my bosses.
- I am on a mission to prove to myself that I CAN launch my own practice.
- I am empowered by my passion to help others.
- I want my clients to find purpose like I did.
- I can envision my future (me helping many clients design their career journey) and all I need to do is to enable it.
- My sense of accomplishment is unmeasurable every time I see the happiness on my clients’ face.
- I can facilitate the launch of my practice guided by my clients’ needs.
How do you commence your career journey? Simply put, you need a detailed action plan that starts with reasons similar to the ones stated above. Wait! Do NOT rush into creating the plan yet. This is the final step in the launch of your career journey. You have to do some exploratory work to discover your reasons. This can be an engaging experience if you come with the right mindset. Think of it as a bout of intense reflection.
I was not sure what my likes, interests and values were. It can be hard to define them if you have never thought about it. Like me, you can start your intense reflection contrary to what many specialists suggest; the activities you dislike and the skills you are certain you do not want to be using in your future career rather than with your likes and interests. This is very helpful and I suggest you use this unconventional method if you are uncertain about what you need to do to move forward; dissect what you hate to find out what you like.
Once you get to know YOU, you are ready to move forward to uncover your skills, abilities and strengths. What is it that you do best? What is an ability that your parents or friends tell you, “you are so good at this” or “you are so talented!”? What are some of your strengths? Would you describe yourself as creative, determined or resilient? Note your answers somewhere, on a piece of paper, your computer or your phone.
Next step is to combine everything you have learned about yourself to start exploring possible careers. You are well acquainted with YOU, now it is time to figure what kind of work makes YOU happy. One of my joys was seeing others succeed whether in school or later on in life. Call me silly, but I cry at graduations and other similar work celebrations. I think of all the focus, failures and hard work that led to these special moments that I am overwhelmed with mixed emotions. Anyway, I realized that my work has to include seeing my clients succeed. What invokes similar emotions for you? It could be a sales pitch, a competition or even crying at weddings. No emotional experience is too silly to explore! This is what it takes to enable your future career vision.
Once you have collected all this data, you are ready to design your career action plan. Creating the action plan is for another blog post. For now, how about you get to know what does YOU really like to do?