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The Career Change Diamond. The 5 Minute Career Coach November 2011 Update
November 15, 2011

Helping Career Changers Around The World

November 2011


What shape is your career change?

You might not realise this, but the best approach to changing career is diamond shaped.

I don't mean the diamonds-are-forever kind that sits on your finger, I mean the one on a pack of cards. It looks something like this...

Green Diamond

So how does that work?
Well if you are feeling fed up with your job, you might well be thinking that you feel very stuck, even trapped in a place where you can't see any way out.

This is like being trapped at the base of the diamond in a narrow place with the walls of their 'cell' close around you. In this narrow place, it is very hard to see anything other than the walls of your cage.

Start by expanding your ideas
So the first stage of career change is to help you to move up the diamond, pushing the walls away on either side so that you gradually find yourself in a bigger place where new ideas and options become visible.

This process is all about helping you to explore your current situation in more detail. So taking a look back at the experience, knowledge and skills you have already gained and giving yourself credit for what you have achieved. Taking a look inwards at your personality and values, so that you have a clearer idea of where your personal priorities lie. And then taking a look outwards and forwards to what you want your working life to look like and then also to do some blue sky thinking about what new career options you could consider.

This process really opens up your thinking to the point at the middle of the diamond where you find yourself saying 'Wow, I have so much to offer, so many useful skills and there are so many different ways I could apply these in different work settings!'

This gives you a solid, broad foundation on which you can then begin to focus down on the more specific detail of what you want the next stage of your working life to look like and how you are going to focus in on making it happen.

Then focus down
So the top half of the diamond represents that 'zooming in' phase, which is much easier to work on because you are building on a wide and positive foundation. Coaching helps you narrow down what you want to do, identify what you have got going for you that will support you and also be honest about the challenges you may face in making this happen. It is a lot easier to do this from a broad foundation than from that narrow place you were locked in at the beginning.

But the trick is to get the right shaped diamond

If you try and make the change with a diamond like this...

Tall Blue Diamond

Then you are not spending enough time to do the exploring and planning carefully enough. This is the career changer who wants the quick fix, madly looking around for a week or so and then rushing into a decision and getting on with it without enough time for reflection.

Or this...

Narrow Yellow Diamond

This is an approach where you may be taking your time – probably too much time - and you think you are exploring options but in reality, you are staying stuck in your fairly narrow and limited thinking and are failing to explore some of the more 'outside the box' (or should I say diamond?) ideas.

So if you are thinking about a career change, think diamonds – but make sure it is the right kind of diamond!

With very best wishes

Something To Think About


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