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Career Change Solutions. The 5 Minute Career Coach October 2009
October 01, 2009
Helping Career Changers Around The World
Welcome to the October edition of The 5 Minute Career Coach!
Fancy trying something just for fun? Yes?
OK then. If you were a shoe, what kind of shoe would you be?
No, I have not gone totally mad – well, maybe only a little! This is an exercise that Debs, one of my former clients, has built into a workshop she is running, and I thought it was both great fun but at the same time, very helpful.
Sometimes, when working with clients, I find that they have real difficulty in talking about the kind of person they are. They may come up with a few words – often things that other people have said about them, rather than their own view – and then they just dry up.
Debs’ exercise is one of those ideas that are just great at getting people to look at something – themselves in particular - in a totally new and different way.
And you can’t deny that thinking of yourself as a shoe is a bit different!
So, go on then...what shoe would you be?
Practical? Brightly coloured? High fashion? Studded soles? Easy to wear? Eye catching? Very expensive? Sensible and weatherproof? Glamorous?
Have a bit of fun with this one. Be playful. Think about what shoe would represent who you are. If you fancy the idea, why not draw or paint it?
You might like to do this exercise with a friend so that once you have come up with your design, you can share your ideas and describe to one another what it is about that shoe that makes it 'you'. If you are working alone, just take some time to consider what your shoe says about you.
This can be a fun and interesting way of beginning to identify what sort of person you are and you can add this understanding to the picture of yourself you are
building up as you work on your career change.
I am quite a practical and comfortable shoe. The kind you could wear all day, where your feet feel immediately at home as soon as you slip them on. But I am a rich blue in colour (not too bold) and there is a little trim with red and white spots and probably a leather tassel with a dog on it. And then when I put my feet up, you will see a big smiley face on each of the soles!
Many thanks go to Debs from Catching Fireworks for letting me borrow the idea. If any of you live near London and are thinking of setting up your own business, do take a look at Debs’ workshop. I can guarantee you will come away feeling more confident about business planning and you will have had a lot of
fun doing it!
And by the way, this is how Debs responded to the shoe exercise. 'If I were a shoe, I would be a red, glittery Doc Martens - red for passion, glittery for fun, and underneath it all, hard working and reliable.' I would say that sums her up very nicely!
With very best wishes
What’s in this Issue
Quote of the Day
is to be continually fearing you will make one.'
Don’t let fear freeze you into inactivity. Better to make mistakes and learn from them than do nothing at all.
Career Change – Finding the Solution
Do you want to change career, but don’t know how? Does your job drive you mad, but the whole career change thing just seems like an insurmountable problem?
Many career changers fail to get off the starting blocks because they get stuck in a problem focused position. This means you spend all your time worrying about the things that will get in the way of your career change, the factors that will prevent you from changing, the reasons why you can’t make it happen.
Now I don’t want to downplay the challenges, but taking a problem focused approach means that you set up a negative mindset before you even begin which hardly gets you off to a good start.
Solution focused coaching encourages a different approach, concentrating on future possibilities rather than past failures.
So how to you switch to a solution
focused approach? Here are a few tips in the form of questions to help you make the shift.
What are your best hopes for the future?
If you woke up tomorrow and your hopes for a career change had been realised, what would be the first thing you might notice different?
If this is where you want to be, where are you now on a scale of 1 – 10 where 10 is the outcome you desire?
If you are very low on the scale, what stops you from moving lower?
The benefits of being solution focused
You don’t always solve problems by endlessly analysing them. Sometimes, if you can break out of the problem mindset, the answer is there in front of you. You will probably find you are doing some of the right things already and that will always be a boost to your motivation and help you to keep your career change plans moving.
Why not give the solution focused approach a try?
The Career Change Question
Challenging questions are a key tool in helping to create change.
Each month I offer you a question to think about. Just let the question wander round your mind for a few days, or even weeks and see what answers unfold for you. They are designed to get you thinking in new ways and hopefully gain insights that may open your mind to new possibilities for you career and for your life.
When thinking about your career change do you find this question going round in your head?
My challenge to you this month is to replace that question with
questions can often prematurely kill off new ideas that are beginning to take shape in your mind, including those relating to career change. They contain a touch of perfectionism which may be holding you back.
Recognise that there will never be a perfect time. You will never get all the variables just right. So just put in as much ground work as you reasonably can and go for it! And, in keeping with the solution focused approach, think about how great you will feel when you have taken control and made the changes you know you need.
My recommended resource this month is:
Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway
A great book that tackles one of the key blocks that stops people from making changes in their careers and in their lives.
First of all, it is a great reassurance to have it acknowledged that we are all running scared – at least some of the time. Many a CEO is secretly worried that one day, he will get found out! So join the club.
Perhaps the best way of explaining the approach Susan Jeffers takes, is to share the five truths she identifies about fear.
Susan’s book is a great bookshelf staple to return to every time you feel the 'yes, but' arguments creeping in. There is no magic wand to make the fear go away, but a warm and encouraging style that will help you to do what the title says
Feel the fear and do it anyway.
If you would like to see more recommendations for books and similar resources, follow the link to the Career Change Books page
of the How To Change Careers website. Do keep popping back to it as I am adding to it all the time.
And if there are books and resources that have inspired you and that you would like to recommend, there is a place for you to do so on that page.
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