Do you TRULY know your own career value? Chances are, you’re overlooking some of the MOST valuable things about yourself. In this podcast episode, Creating a Career You Love with Amir Ghannad, I share some helpful exercises to empower you as you gear up to land your next position.
I’ve found in my personal life and in my career as a Life and Career Coach that there really is no such thing as bad news for your career… losing a job and mapping out an effective job change strategy included.
Let me explain…
Most of the time, when someone is fired or laid off from a job, it ends up being a good thing in the end.
While it can be a shocking blow initially, chances are it’s the universe doing them a favor by (not so gently) inspiring them to create a more satisfying work situation. Be honest with yourself, haven’t you been secretly thinking about new career possibilities anyway?
So, if you’ve lost a job or just want a change, I’m here to help. Keep reading for some advice on how to move through the initial shock and quickly gain new confidence and clarity.
I’d like to mention a quick side note here about the importance of what I call a freedom fund.
It’s a great way to provide yourself with some breathing room when you’re in a job you don’t really enjoy (or even if you love the job you’re in).
Either way, start now.
This is different from an emergency fund so please save for that separately.
A freedom fund is there for your FREEDOM when you need it… whatever that means for you at the time you choose to use it. And please don’t decide now. Later on it could be for surfing lessons. It could provide you the means to take some time off to help a family member or friend.
It can give you the confidence to be a bit more assertive in your current situation without fearing the consequences. It might be a courageous move to another state, starting a business or ending a relationship. Anything that feels like freedom to you.
The best way to start a freedom fund is to set up an electronic transfer to process automatically each month from your primary checking account where you deposit your earnings. This is how you pay yourself first, whether it’s $200 or $10 a month. You can increase it as your situation allows, but make it a bit of a stretch because before you know it, you’ll see it accumulate and you’ll be very proud of yourself. Have I mentioned start now? You will never regret this.
Now for a few steps to get you started with designing a new career path that really works for you (whether you have a freedom fund or not).
Definitely don’t go out and start looking for your next job right out of the gate without taking time to process your disappointment or other emotions you may be experiencing. Give yourself time to feel what you’re feeling. (Just don’t get stuck there.) Trying to suppress what’s bubbling inside doesn’t work so well anyway. It only makes the most uncomfortable part last longer. Think of it as a grieving period to keep from bringing any resentment into your new job search. That definitely won’t be productive for your motivation, inspiration, creativity or interviewing, no matter how good of an actor you think you are.
Make a list of your gifts and talents.
Job searching is a game of self-worth. Anything you can do to remind yourself of why you’re a valuable prospect will shore up your self-esteem while also giving you a great list of assets to bring to the table.
One surprising thing I’ve learned working with many, many clients as a Career Coach over the years is that many people are sadly unaware of their own strengths and talents. We tend to discount the things we are naturally good at since they don’t seem like work to us. Or we might think everyone has those gifts, but they don’t.
News Flash: The things you’re naturally good at are some of your MOST important assets. When you’re good at something, you do it efficiently and effectively, something every employer appreciates and is worthy of feeling proud of!
So, here’s one specific exercise to explore:
- Take out a pen and paper. (This is best done as a written exercise, not on the computer)
- At the top of the page write the question: What Comes Naturally To Me?
- Write down EVERYTHING you can think of no matter how small or seemingly unrelated to work you think it is. This includes personality traits, ways of communicating, your energy, anything. If you’re great at thinking fast in the moment, researching solutions, fixing things, finding bargains, brainstorming ideas, designing a dinner party table, or listening to your friends’ problems, write these down. Don’t edit yourself. Just write it all down.
- Now put the list aside for a day or two while you let this question of what comes naturally to you percolate. Come back to the list, and add any additional thoughts that have come to mind.
Now make a list of the more tangible skills you’ve used in all the jobs you’ve done in your life.
Skills you’ve developed volunteering or being a parent count too.
Both lists from #2 and #3 should give you a pretty comprehensive inventory of your greatest assets.
Mark through anything you prefer NOT to have in your job description, and not just because you don’t like them, but because you’re ready to grow into new areas.
Boredom is not motivating.You don’t want to be advertising these on your resume to prospective employers when you’re looking for a job you love!
This will be a great jumping off point for getting clearer on the work that brings you satisfaction because it’s always more fun to do work we’re good at. Let these steps inspire new confidence in you to go to the next stage!
Is your work situation uncertain or frustrating you? Are you without a job or wisely thinking a current furlough may be just the hidden gift to start exploring work you’re truly meant to do? Do you hate your job, but have no idea what to do instead? Attempting to navigate those waters without support is not fun (yes, I do know, but that’s another story). I’m excited to announce that I’ve created The Job I Love Toolkit, with all the resources you’ll need to finally clarify how to get paid to do you.TM To be the first to hear more details, join the join the VIP Wait List.
And if you know a friend or neighbor who could use hearing the advice in this article or needs The Job I Love Toolkit, please forward this to them.