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What Does Your New Career Identity Look Like? The 5 Minute Career Coach May 2010
May 01, 2010

Helping Career Changers Around The World

May 2010


Welcome to the May 2010 edition of The 5 Minute Career Coach!

What's in this Issue

With best wishes

Quote of the Day

"All problems have at their root the fear of taking the next step in life and the fear of acknowledging our gifts and talents."
Chuck Spezzano

What gifts and talents are you afraid to own? How can you bring them into the light and use them for your own and others' benefit?

Your 5 Minute Coaching Session

Challenging questions are one of the key tools coaches use in helping clients to create change.

Each month I offer you a mini coaching session by asking you a challenging question to think about. The questions I ask 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.

Try this one for size.

Are you writing your ought-to-biography?

Is your life and work centered around what you think you 'ought to' be doing? Are you doing things out of a sense of obligation or because they inspire you? Will the story of you life be one you will look back on with pride as something that is truly yours – or will it be someone else's story played out by you?

Your New Career Identity

I was walking round the woods with the dogs this morning, listening to a talk by Nick Williams called 'The Book You Were Born To Write'. The very first exercise he asked his participants to do was to walk round and introduce themselves to a few other people as the successful author they aspired to be.

This struck me as a great exercise for career changers too, so I decided to adapt his exercise for the 5 Minute Career Coach Community. Here's my suggestion for this month.

Get together with some supportive friends and practise introducing yourself as if you were already in the new job you dream of having.

"Hello, I'm Dana and I am a solicitor in a big City law firm advising large corporate clients."

"Hi, I'm Terry and I run a photography business specialising in quirky and individual portraits."

"Good to meet you – I'm Rayonne and I work as a freelance garden designer."

"Good morning, I'm Naveen. I used to be a teacher but now I am work with a Youth Action Project running practical courses to help young people build their confidence and self-esteem."

Get the idea?

Then carry the conversation on for a while. Get your friend to ask you questions like:

  • What does your job involve on a day-to-day-basis?

  • What is it about your work that you really love?

  • What made you decide that this was the kind of work you really wanted to do?

  • What makes you particularly good at this kind of job?

  • What are the biggest rewards for you in this kind of work?

  • Where do you see yourself 5 years down the road as you are truly established in your new field?

Use your imagination to fill in the gaps in your knowledge. Allow yourself to build up a picture of what this new role will be like for you. This is a great way of beginning to get yourself to truly identify with the job you would love to do. You flesh it out and breathe life into the dream. You imagine what it would feel like to be on the inside of that kind of work and make it your own.

I am not a great believer in the notion that you just have to imagine something and then it will magically appear – of course there are many steps you will need to take to reach your career goal and they may not all be easy ones. But I think giving yourself permission to create a really compelling picture of what it will be like when you get there can really strengthen your resolve and self belief in a way that will help keep you moving on the journey.

Why not give it a try?

Recommended Resources

This month I am recommending a web based interactive tool called Goal Mapping Online.

If you like interactive stuff and want something to enliven your attempts at goal setting and action planning, why not take a look at this?

There are webinars and video to explain how the system works and it guides you through creating your own Goal Map using the range of images and ideas they supply or you can personalise it by uploading your own images. You can then use the planning feature to set actions and track your progress.

Basic bronze level membership is free so you can experiment with the software and see if it suits your learning style. You can then pay a small subscription to access a wider range of tools if you wish.

Why not go and have a play now and see if it is something that will help you keep focused and on target with your career change?

More recommendations
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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