Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Making a Career Change: Step 4 Looking Inside

Previously: Step 3: Looking at the Now

Phew! In a lot of ways it helps to get all the frustration about your current job out on paper and see it sitting there doesn't it? Now the real work begins. You're no longer holding on to that negativity so you are free to focus on you and what makes you awesome! Take a deep and cleansing breath.

Tip #2: For this next step it may help to use Google or another preferred search engine. Look at question #4 regarding your core values. Start by making your own list of the ones you can think of but then try looking at a long list of values that you find online and pick the ones from it that apply. This will make the end result more robust and thorough since you won't have to think of all of them off the top of your head. So feel free to use the Internet to search for pre-made lists. Just make sure you are being honest when you start picking from them.

Tip #3: I believe there is a difference between your dream job and your ideal job. Some may argue this, which is fine. But to me, a dream job is what you would do if you could literally do anything in the world regardless of time, talent, skill and money. Like, say, own a stable of elite thoroughbred raceshorse for example. An ideal job, is the perfect job for you taking into consideration the realities of your life such as your education, skills, talents, geograghy and other factors that very much have a bearing on your life. The ideal job may be quite far off like a CEO, CIO, or CFO position which is totally fine because it gives you a realistic direction in which you can head.

Tip #4: Notice questions #2 & #3. Classic interview questions. Think long and hard about them now. Knowing the answers to these questions at this stage will serve you well in your self-assessment. Then remember that they are in your notebook so that when you are interview prepping you can refer back to them. You'll never have to struggle with these as interview questions again!

Step 4: Looking Inside
In your notebook, answer the following:
  1. What are your personal interests? What are you passionate about?
  2. What are your strengths?
  3. What are your weaknesses?
  4. What are your core values?
  5. Rank your core values in order from most important to least important.
  6. What do you do better than anyone you know?
  7. What is your dream job? Why?
  8. What is your idea job? Why?
  9. Do you prefer working alone? As a member of team? Why? 
  10. Do you prefer a supervisor who watches you closely or relies on you to keep him/her updated periodically?
  11. List your "Must Haves" for your next job. (i.e. I must have a flexible schedule...I must have a boss who trusts me...) Don't hold back. List as many as you can think of.
  12. Rank your answers to question #11 in order of most important to least important.
  13. Using your answers from Step 2 Question #7, list the top 2-3 accomplishments from your most recent job.
If you would like to continue along this path of discovery there is no shortage of assessment tools you can use. For starters, look at: Strength Finder 2.0, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and CareerLeader. If you do turn to those resoures be sure to record the results in your notebook so that you have them handy where and when you need them. Many of them will give you a print out of the results which you can then (literally) cut and paste into your notebook (yes, using actual scissors and glue).

Up Next: Step 5: Looking in the Mirror

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