Updated: Jan 22, 2020
Here we go. It’s January and we are in that time of the year when career specialists overload you with the same advices about what to do with your career. You can compare, years over years, the same advices are posted, reposted, refreshed and re-reposted. And I am sure that we will agree that they are often not enough to get the winning ticket. First because it's not one size fits all and then because one major information is missing: you as a unique individual. So I have 2 breaking news for you:
* You already know what to do
* You are your own best career Coach.
And here are the 10 advices that you should give to yourself whenever you want to bring some change in your career
1) Whenever you feel lost, refer to your inner compass
Your inner Compass is unique to you. It’s a combination of who you are and what you want to achieve in your career. When you are aligned with your inner compass, your very own pathway becomes clear in situations where you are under an avalanche of information and choices. And you gain more power as you act with clarity and certainty, and you know which opportunities to consider and which ones you should discard. Your criteria for your ideal job should not be the salary, the job title or any other superficial considerations, but what makes you feel happy and looking positively into the future. When you know who you are, your purpose and your career goals, you know what matters and what doesn’t. You know what will make you grow as a person or bring you closer to your goals and your purpose, and what may end up wasting your time.
2) You already know… Just listen to your intuition
Following your intuition is not the rejection of common sense and rationality. It's the balance of both source of information, the one that you see and the one that you can feel. Your intuition can manifest in different ways. What matters is that you trust it because the more you trust your intuition, the more you will master that powerful human tool and be able to access precious source of information that no one and nothing else will be ever able to give you. To be able to listen to your intuition, you need to trust yourself because the inner voice of intuition is not the inner voice of self-doubt and insecurities. When you put yourself in a place of confidence where you are not trying to copy or impress other people, where you don't get influenced by other people opinion, and where you know that you are worthy and able to succeed, your inner wisdom will become even louder.
3) You already know… Just be aware of your emotions
Being in touch with your emotions is another way to get some guidance. Remember a time where you saw an opportunity in a well-known company with an attractive salary but a lacklustre job. Now compare with a time when you saw an amazing opportunity, aligned with you and the things that you want to do but the salary was average and the company unknown. Try to visualize both scenario and compare your feelings towards the idea of being well paid to do a job that you don’t find very exciting, and with the idea of receiving an average salary but for a job which inspires you much more. In which case can you really project yourself and experience a feeling of enthusiasm and excitement?
In reality, Job offers are less black and white but it’s a good exercise to reconnect with your emotions and the way your body and Inner Self communicate with you.
4) You already know… Just check your energy level
What makes you feel down and tired and what keeps you energised and uplifted? Whatever your position, it’s very likely that some tasks will be more appealing to you than others. It’s not really the nature of the tasks, it’s more about how you respond to them, based on your interest. Even when you are in a positive mindset of collaboration, making effort and doing your best, what are the core things that you are averse to? In an ideal world, 100% of your job is made of tasks that you love. If not, make sure to have an interest for a minimum of 50% of your functions. It takes a lot of energy and inner resources to achieve something that you are not very keen to do so balance is very important. Could you imagine yourself dedicating hours, days, weeks, months to do tasks that makes you feel bored, tired and down? Could you imagine the impact to your mental health? Your personal life? Your relationship with yourself?
5) You know you can do it so embrace the unknown
Trust yourself and believe in your skills and your potential. Confidence is not about trusting that you can deliver by doing same the thing in a familiar environment and with people you are used to. It's about trusting that whatever the external circumstances, you have the same beliefs in your capacity to do your best and succeed. The unknown is a place to conquer your insecurities and your self-doubt which deter you from taking new opportunities.
And what could be the worst-case scenario: to venture into unfamiliar territory but with solid information (about yourself, your goals and your purpose) or to stay in your comfort zone or even try to follow the roads most travelled but with no clue at all about how you can grow there as a person?
6) You are unique so follow your own pathway
And not the expectations of others or of the Society. Taking a different route, less travelled, doesn't mean that you are heading for failure. It means that you have a confidence in yourself and in your skills to succeed differently. Everyone is different and we all have our own inner compass to guide us towards the best road to thrive in our respective career goals. You are a unique combination of values, personality, aspirations and talent so what is the point of comparing your professional journey with others? If you want to copy the career path of others, you will have to copy their inner compass too to succeed. And lose yourself trying to become someone else. Do not fall into the trap of comparing yourself with other people. You can just compete fairly with the person you want to become tomorrow.
7) Do not look for the linear path
According to some Ancient philosophies, life is not a straight line. Life is like a zigzag made of ups and downs but the lower point is always a solid ground to bounce back. Our experience is built from successes and other lessons learnt. Our pathway is a combination of wins and losses and sometimes, we even realise that we need to let go of one thing, to be able to receive something new. But in all those cases, it’s never about stepping back and we are always heading up. Similarly, Life can also look like a spiral motion, repeating again and again the same pattern, throwing us the same challenges until we learn the lessons and overcome them. So if your personal life is naturally not a linear path, why it should be the case for your career? The fastest road does not have to be a straight line so release yourself from this pressure.
8) Prioritise quality over quantity
Because making lot of different things in the same time is not going to allow you to reach your target faster. In fact, it’s the best way to do "everything and nothing" at the same time. In one sense, life is fair because one of the best signs of equality amongst human beings is that we all have 24 hours in a day. Now the difference between the people who make the most of it and the people who waste is the time management. Rather than spreading your energy everywhere starting a lot of different things and finishing none, take fewer, smarter and more significant steps to keep your energy level up and concretely achieve something at the end of the day.
9) Take responsibility
You have to take responsibility for your professional life. Recruiters can help you but they can't decide for you. No one knows you better than yourself. Recruitment is a business where your contact is going to receive a commission if you are successfully placed in a new position. It’s not about them finding your dream job to be nice with you. It’s about them finding the ideal candidate for the specific needs of their client, the people who actually pay them. Lot of them will approach you with job descriptions just based on keywords or skills that you already have (your past) but maybe not relevant for the changes that you wanna bring in your career (your future). So make sure that you just stay in touch with the ones who respect your professional aspirations and your time. You are the one who should be in control and the one who should decide.
10) Set up your own definition of success.
How do you define success: Working for a big name? Making a lot of money? Having a fancy job title? Are you aware that those things are temporary and that you have no control over them? Are you also aware that because those things are temporary and that you have no control over them, they should not impact your sense of self-worth? If you measure your self-esteem proportionally to your salary or job title, what happens if you don’t get your promotion or lose your job / Job title? How are you going to feel and look at yourself? You are worthy and that has nothing to with other people judgment or any other external factors. Whatever happens in your career, no one will be able to take away from you your own personal and professional achievement and successes. That’s why you should define your own criteria of success as a way to challenge yourself. What could make you feel fulfilled in your career and would be entirely up to you?