This past month, I was lucky enough to be chosen as a guest participant for the Career Calling Summit, organized by Jess Smith (special thanks to Janet Scarborough Civitelli at Vocation Village for the referral!) Jess recruited 20 career professionals from around the US to do 20 minute interviews on a career topic of our choosing, and then she would be releasing the videos, one a day, for 20 straight days, each highlighting each experts unique take on career development. I knew that with so many people presenting, there would be enough people presenting on resumes, LinkedIn, networking, and such, so I wanted to do something different. Therefore, I chose creativity as my subject.
As a part of the presentation, Jess asked each of the presenters to present an offer that participants could access to get to move themselves forward in their career development. I came up with a handout that included three components of the career search I feel is necessary to move forward with anyone’s progression:
- Career Investigation Exercises that I do with individuals to get at what is really at the core of what they need for person fulfillment in a working environment
- A Job Component Value Worksheet to identify a hierarchy of what aspect of a job is most (and least) important to you, and
- An Initial Company Investigation Research Worksheet to take people step-by-step to use the information from the Job Component Value Worksheet to identify the places and opportunities that are right for you.
When people signed up to get the handout, I did a little survey to find out what their biggest career concerns were. Granted, this was a self-selected group of people who had not only signed up for the Summit, but watched my interview and were motivated enough to request more information, but I found the results very interesting. The questions were:
- I don’t know what to do with my life.
- I don’t feel I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing with my life.
- I know what I want to do, but not how to get there.
- I’m successful, but not fulfilled. There must be more to life.
- Life is pretty good, but I want more.
People could choose as many of the answers as they felt appropriate, so the results come in at over 100%.
You’ll notice that the biggest responses (at over 50%!) were that people were feeling that they were doing something, but it wasn’t what they were supposed to do. There is a disconnect between the actions they are taking in their lives and what they feel they are supposed to be doing.
I have found that this is the main reason why people search out to work with a career professional like me. The old adage that “I could do anything if only I knew what it was” is so clear here. I would say that people usually have a very fuzzy understanding of what they want and my main work if to just get them to some clarity on that. Once we get over that hump, it’s just a matter of slogging through the work of getting to that goal.
While many people may be hesitant to invest in themselves to work with a career professional directly, what I find is that people instead waste a lot of time, sweat, and frustration on wandering through life to try to find what they want, instead of taking concrete actions that will actually get them someplace they want to be.
If you don’t set goals for yourself, you are doomed to work to achieve the goals of someone else.
– Brian Tracy