Moving Forward On The Journey
It seems these days that I am frequently engaged in conversation with someone who a) wants to leave their current job or b) recently lost their job, and in either case is looking for ‘their next chapter’. Maybe they want to move to the next level in their profession, maybe they want to try their hand at a different line of work, maybe they are just ready for something to be materially different than what they’re doing today. Certainly the Great Resignation has increased the number of these conversations. I admire those who decide enough is enough and actively chase down a better situation. However, not everyone is wired to know exactly what they want. If this is you, and you’re maybe not so confident about how to identify your next move, then we have some things to explore and apply together.
Here are three proven steps to help move you forward on the journey towards your next chapter.
1. Find a Coach
There is a treasure trove of resources available for the person who wants-or needs-a change. I’ll argue, however, that just registering with an employment website with job listings isn’t always a recipe for success. You may find a job listing that sounds interesting or exciting, but there are several points in the process where it may be discovered that you’re not a good fit. It’s exhausting and sometimes demoralizing. This is a good reason to consider working with a coach or coaches before you begin your search. A coach can help you solidify your personal brand, develop your resume, identify your key skills, as well as many other areas of focus. Having clarity around who you are, why you’re searching, and what you’re seeking going into a job search can save you time and frustration. A coach can help you with the heavy-lifting as you discern both what you’re looking for and what you want to avoid, as well as how to find workplace environments that will align with your needs.
2. Find an Unbiased Acquaintance
In addition to finding a coach, finding an acquaintance who will offer an unbiased opinion regarding your current employment situation as well as career changes you’re considering is a great idea. The payoff is that you will avoid emotional responses from close friends or family who will likely want to be abundantly careful with your feelings and confidence level. This is a great reason to make sure that you’ve kept a good professional network. Perhaps you can check in with someone who worked for the same employer you’re leaving at one time or another, or someone who works at an employer you’re considering, or an acquaintance who has been in multiple workplaces through their roles.
3. Just Ask
Everyone has a network, reach out! Ask others for resources they have used or can share. I recently met someone while volunteering who told me about other places she volunteers to leverage her vast business experience. I was directed to a local nonprofit that empowers citizens to succeed in small business. I’m registered for my first class next week! You never know where you’ll end up if you just ask. When you’re volunteering alongside someone, when you’re connecting with someone over coffee, when you’re checking in on a friend you haven’t spoken to in a bit, when you see someone has changed employers because they post on Linked In – these are all great moments to reach out to your network and ask them for their insights and perspectives.
Bonus– Want to know if you’re ready for Retirement?
Now, suppose that you’re a member, or wannabe member, of the Great Resignation who isn’t 100% certain that sticking with the daily grind is in the cards (let’s call you a very tenured worker). Again, assuming that friends and family will find it difficult to be impartial, a career coach, an outside observer, can offer a neutral approach to help determine what’s next. I have coached many individuals through the sometimes baffling process to decide if it’s time to retire, semi-retire, or just try something different. At Your Clear Next Step, we’re excited to soon be offering a new program that will be exclusively focused in the area of helping individuals explore the end of their working life. We want to help everyone have better workdays, whether that means a tweak in your busy career or deciding your role is to manage the winter escape to the south and visiting grandchildren.
If you’re not sure where to start exploring opportunities, Your Clear Next Step is also hosting Level Up: Three Lenses to Help You Level Up at Work. This program provides high level insights about how to Level Up in three different area of work. If you have just three hours, this program can kickstart your journey. And, of course, we want to connect with you at any time to discuss the spectrum of options that we have to help you get to better workdays.
What about you? How do you figure out the next step? Share on social or in the comments below!