1 02.2017

You want a new Career? So now what?

 

As individuals change their career five to seven times in their lifetime, change jobs, and transition from one life stage to another, we undergo a personal career journey. During the journey, we search for meaning and fulfilment in our work and career to integrate into our life.

The career journey consists of four phases:

  • self-awareness
  • exploration of the labour market and jobs of interest
  • making decisions
  • taking actions to attain our next step

Below are the steps, and considerations at each stage.

 

Step 1 – Self awareness

Self-understanding is the basis from which you make your career decisions. You are looking at yourself; reviewing your present situation and planning for the future. You are reflecting on what you want out of your career and your job. It is a time of deep contemplation as you consider important and honest questions to commence your career journey. These questions include:

  • Who am I?
  • What are my strengths? My weaknesses? How can these be overcome?
  • Where am I now?
  • Where would I like to be?
  • What are my interests?
  • What are my skills?
  • What is important to me?

During this stage, you gain valuable information about yourself to set the foundation for your actions and decisions.

 

Step 2 – Career exploration

You are now ready to research careers, occupations and jobs that are of interest, in order to put together a preferred shortlist. Ask yourself:

“Where am I going?”

For each job, note the specific skills and qualifications that are required to work in the field. The exploration will provide you with a realistic list from which you can assess your skills. At this stage, keep your options broad to enable you to look at the ‘big picture.’ At a later stage, the options will be reduced.

As you answer the question, use your understanding of your skill set from stage one to evaluate how your skills match the occupations of interest. That is, review your skills against the jobs that you are seeking. Where a skills gap exists – the gap between the job that you are seeking and your current skill level, consider how the gap can be addressed and reduced by attaining the required skills or training.

You may need to consider: studying to attain qualifications, obtaining work experience, work shadowing, undertaking voluntary work, or working at a lower level to gain professional experience with the view to a promotion to work at a higher level. Where skills are transferable from one job or context such as your studies, hobbies, voluntary or community work, highlight your skills and experience.

Exploration also involves reviewing the labour market to assess the job availability of particular jobs. Some jobs are harder to find employment in than others. These include: Financial Advisors, Accountants and Auditors, Sales Managers or Human Resource Managers. Consider the labour market as a guide to attain work, but importantly, follow your passion in an area that meets your interests and skills.

 

Step 3 – Decision making

From the list of occupations and jobs that you have devised in step two, narrow your options to create a specific list. Your preferred list may be based on considerations of your interests, skills, size of the skills gap, job availability, personal responsibility, and work/life balance. Ask yourself:

“What decision will provide me with the career outcomes that meet my goals and current situation?”

Weigh the advantage and disadvantage of each option for both the short and long term. This will enable you to review your situation in perspective, and design a strategy to work towards attaining your career goal.

 

Step 4 – Action

The culmination of the planning that you have undertaken in steps one to three position you to take action. For many, this will entail a job application. Ask yourself the questions:

  • How am I going to get there?
  • What actions will help me to achieve my work and career goals?

The action that you take will involve a range of strategies to access jobs and contact with an employer. The job application process will involve writing or updating a professional resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, and interview preparation.

Consider both your internal and external resources available to support you. Your inner resources include: your personality attributes such as resilience, persistence, hard work, goal orientation, and the external resources are your network and people that can assist you.

Once you complete the four step process, you gain self-knowledge, understand the labour market, select a preferred option, and strategise your actions. Keep an eye on the future to strengthen your position with ongoing learning and development to stay current. Ask yourself:

“How do I maintain peak performance?”

 

Best wishes for your career journey! Please share any additional ideas you may have below in ‘Comments.’

About Leah Shmerling

Leah Shmerling

Leah Shmerling is the Director and Principal Consultant of Crown Coaching and Training, and has extensive experience in career development, life coaching, education and training.

Leah is the author of two books in careers and business communication, a former freelance writer for The Age and Herald Sun, and publisher of two accredited online short courses, Mentoring and Development and Foundations in Career Development Practice.

Leah is a professional member of the Career Development Association Australia (CDAA), a Certified Retirement Coach and is Board Certified as a Career Management Fellow with the Institute of Career Certification

Leah Shmerling can be contacted here

 

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY

Training Testimonials

Gina Liu
Gina Liu

Senior Pathway Advisor

Thanks Leah for having provided fantastic training. I did enjoy the course and learnt a lot.

I am interested in continuing my study in this direction so I will think about taking up further study in Graduate Diploma.

James Alexander
James Alexander

Account Manager

Thanks again for your patience and support throughout the duration of the course. I couldn’t have completed without your support and assistance.

Judith Ayre
Judith Ayre

Senior Lecturer & School of Counselling Academic Head

Leah, this is awesome, something to be really proud of. I am so glad you are here but more than that, that you are offering yourself and your expertise to the world. The world is clearly a better place for your presence. Thanks again for everything.

Janette Brien
Janette Brien

Rehabilitation Consultant

I would like to thank you for supporting me through your extensive supply of resources and experience in successfully completing the Foundations in Career Development Practice, CHCSS00005 Career Development Skills Set.

The facilitated delivery included a blend of monthly webinars, on-line resources and relevant workplace assignment tasks that have built my confidence to coach my clients toward achieving their desired goals.

Your feedback of my work was invaluable as it taught me to work smarter, more efficiently, providing me with more effective results and happier clients.

So, thank you very much for all your input over last 7 months!

Penny Azzi
Penny Azzi

Director, The Kazbah Group

I really enjoyed this training a lot and it was very beneficial not only to me but my organisation.  The course facilitator used her wealth of knowledge and experience to provide us with real examples that I could utilise within my organisation.  The content was user friendly and high quality. The support and guidance was outstanding throughout the program.  I would highly recommend this course and look forward to my next program with the course facilitator and the Team.

Tracey Walker
Tracey Walker

Learning and Development Manager, Ayers Rock Resort

I was lucky enough to have the course facilitator as my TAE trainer.  With a blended delivery of on-line content and weekly Skype one-on-one sessions, I found this learning experience to be one of the best of my adult life.  She set me challenges and workplace assignments that made the learning very relevant and effective.  Her various training techniques were both stimulating and innovative, which was extremely advantageous as I was able to use these same techniques with my Trainees.

Jack L. Harris
Jack L. Harris

Prof Emeritus

With Leah’s enthusiastic approach I was motivated to examine much more than the basic requirements of the course. Her depth of knowledge in this arena not only surprised me but empowered me to pursue all aspects of it to ensure I had a really good understanding of what it entailed. Leah had presented the course in a professional yet warm and personal way and which allowed her students to become closely acquainted with the subject. Her passion for helping others is highly evident and via this avenue she is able to encourage others to be the change they want to see in themselves and in the world around them.

Richard Fowler
Richard Fowler

Student, Foundations in Career Development Practice

I have been able to demonstrate many of the elements of the course immediately, and see the results in provoking the right conversations, as well as providing areas of focus that aid in alleviating tensions, and pointing toward solutions. Leah has pitched the course to comprehensively cover pertinent topics with her own flair, in a manner befitting high quality professional development. I would recommend it wherever applicable.

Timothy
Timothy

Hospitality and Retail

‘The courses are good. I enjoy studying online in my home. It is easier and preferable to going to university. Staff are supportive, assisting me to succeed.’

Adrian
Adrian

Student

‘Leah is a wealth of information and useful in terms of teaching content. It has been vital to how we learn and apply the skills.’

Nikki McCartney
Nikki McCartney

Management Consultant

“I’m blown away! This is fabulous! The Foundations unit I looked at has so many great educational principles built in and all using that digital world so well.”

Counselling Testimonials

SUSAN
SUSAN

Teacher

‘Leah, you have assisted me to broaden my career options beyond what I was considering.’

JOHN
JOHN

Teacher

‘A real insight, I can see how far behind I was – beautiful!’

FRANCES
FRANCES

Teacher

‘Leah, you have been absolutely invaluable today. Worth more than your weight in gold.’