Quite often clients come to me for career coaching because they have realised something is missing in their career. They might be achieving success but not feel fulfilled, or their performance may have plateaued and they don’t know why. They know something needs to change but don’t know what or how. They come to me hoping that I will give them the answer, but I tell them “I’m not a computer program that’s going to spit out an answer. This is an inside job.”
So where do you start?
As you’ve probably realised this process starts with getting to know yourself more. It’s a layering process, getting to understand different levels of what lights you up, what excites you, where you add value and what gives you a feeling of fulfillment. We even go a bit deeper to discover what someone’s purpose is, but once again, it’s all self reflection.
Without overwhelming you, let’s start with one area that often gives people the ‘aha’ moment in their career when it comes to making career decisions. Knowing your values (personal and professional).
Firstly, the diagram below shows the research conducted by Dr John Demartini and the impact on an individual of living their highest values, and also if they are living their lowest values. When I run clients through this, they often identify with the patterns associated with living their lower values.
We don’t need to look too far to discover our top values. Look around your home, your office, your life and see what is consistently present. Also pay attention to what you always talk to your friends or family about, what hobbies you have, how you prioritise what you spend your money on, where do you spend your time? Then reflect back on the jobs that you’ve loved. What was present in those jobs that made you enjoy them so much? Typically people will say things like autonomy, creativity, diversity. Then prioritise what are the ‘must haves’ for you in your job.
Once you’ve identified your values you need to look at the career decision you are trying to make and ask yourself “which career path allows me to live my values, or is on the way to living my values, and not in the way of me living my values?” When you see which opportunity is more strongly aligned with your top values, it will make the decision making process a lot clearer.
This is the first layer to understanding what’s important to you when you make your next career decision and it can have a huge impact on your success, fulfillment and wellbeing.