As clear as mud?
My clients inspire me so much and a coaching session this week inspired me to write this blog, as this blog’s theme is a common one to arise.
A new career involves a lot of new and, for many, challenging aspects:
- Learning the language of a new market
- Having to market yourself
- Creating a different network
- Asking for help, advice and introductions
This can be overwhelming and daunting; you can only know what and who you know. So why are career choices so overwhelming?
- Where to look?
- Who to ask?
- What to ask?
- When and how to tackle?
- How to find the time?
- Which to choose?
When people feel overwhelmed and daunted, the easiest thing to do is nothing because of lack of time and avoiding stress.
So what is the best way to tackle finding out about potential careers which suit your experience and skills?
I remember in the early days of my business, over 14 years’ ago, I used to put ‘call contacts’ on my ‘to do’ list. However, I seemed to never get around to doing it.
I worked out that there were various reasons why I wasn’t phoning my contacts;
- I would rather write an article or blog
- I felt like I had too many so didn’t know where to start
- I wasn’t clear about who to phone or why
- I was worried about disturbing and annoying busy people at work
- I like peace in my office so was projecting my preference onto them
- I am better at phoning my contacts to help other people than for my own benefit
Having established this, I felt a bit clearer, but what next?
I spent some time focusing on what my objectives were i.e. my purpose for phoning my contacts:
- To see how they were
- To keep top of mind
- To get an update on their needs
- To arrange to meet
- To share what I had been doing
- To find out specific information e.g. when their financial year was, who was responsible for a specific area
Once I had broken down the task, it felt like the mud was starting to clear a bit.
For people who are considering a different career or to set up a business, getting really specific and explicit can reduce the overwhelm so the brakes are taken off taking action.
A list of questions are a good starting point and asking just one of each person can feel more comfortable:
Questions to start exploring with might be:
- Who are the experts in this field?
- What are relevant networks?
- What web sites should I look at that have useful information?
- What is their advice from their own experience?
- Who do they know who they can introduce me to?
Analysing and breaking down what can feel like a huge undertaking into small, simple, clear bite size questions and tasks can make it feel do-able rather than impossible.
Getting some insights and information gives a sense of progress and reward and helps the mud start to clear as well as creating motivation and energy to take more action.
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