Feeling lost in your career can surface in the first few months of the year. It is a time for goal creation, however often motivation is diluted or even evaporated come February. For many years it was drilled into me that I needed a 5-year career plan, but how could I plan for an unknown destination? After living and fighting this process, I finally came to terms with it being okay not having a concrete plan. Letting go of it led me towards finding career direction. This direction came from my values, strengths, and overall career vision.
Values are your core beliefs; they are the standards by which you see the world and live by. Within these values lies the vision of life happiness which is the benchmark for life and career success. When you live life through your values you feel a greater sense of fulfilment, increased happiness and have greater confidence. To understand your values better imagine you are 20-years into the future, ask yourself:
Now consider if you are living these statements today. If not, what could you do to start living them?
Understanding strengths is a catalyst for personal growth and helps us to act. When you work with your strengths you feel energised and motivated, you keep pushing forward and are more likely to achieve goals. Being in this zone improves your confidence, attitude and gives you direction. Having a meaningful career relates to finding what you are good at and growing your skill. Consider:
Are you engaging in what you are good at every day and growing this skill set? If not, what could you do to engage a strength every day?
To get on the right path towards career success, your goals need to be meaningful, you need to believe in them. Meaningful goals require hope.
Hope whispers possibility and choices, it believes in a better future. For many of us, hope is why we get up in the morning. Something matters and consequently it provides a doorway to inspiration and our desires. Hope wants life to evolve, to grow and encourages the fulfilment of your potential.
Knowing your values and strengths are critical, however, combined with hope can uncover your career vision.
Doing a visualisation exercise can help you envisage your desired career direction. The mind is incredibly powerful, so much that when we create new experiences in our mind the brain begins to create new neural pathways to encourage its manifestation. I also find that I feel energised and motivated from dreaming about possibilities.
Create Your Vision
Find a quiet spot where you will not be disturbed and make the space feel good. It could be that you light a candle, or you make a cuppa and snuggle up on the sofa. Make it feel as though you are about to do something lovely for yourself. Take a pad and pen to hand. In the middle of a page write “my career”.
Close your eyes and take a few deep belly breaths. This is designed to help you relax your mind as it can be difficult to do a visualisation if your mind is somewhere else. Keep breathing deeply until you feel relaxed. When you are ready, ask yourself:
Allow your mind to wander freely. Let it dream and explore. Try not to judge your thoughts, simply watch them as though you were watching a film.
You might also ask:
- What am I doing (activities) in my ideal career?
- How do I feel?
- What does success look like?
When you feel ready, open your eyes, and write down the thoughts that came to mind. Sit with these ideas, what else comes to mind?
You may notice that your career vision captures your values and strengths. When these connect, it means that your vision is authentic.
From this information, you can begin to create meaningful career goals that you are motivated to achieve. This is where Uniqueness comes into play as the third step in the COURAGE Model of Change©. It unlocks your unique vision towards a meaningful career.
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