Four surefire steps to figure out what you really want
Thursday, July 11, 2013
Posted by: Barbara Francella
In response to my blogs here and on Forbes
and Huffington Post, I hear one comment over and over: "I just don’t know what
I want. Despite all my efforts, I can’t figure it out what I want to do.”
I find this phenomenon amazing. So many women
have lost touch with who and what they want to be professionally. We like to
blame the economy and our money problems for our unhappiness, but that’s not
the root cause of this career malaise. There are other reasons for feeling
disconnected from what you do for a living. Who would have believed that there
could be millions of people working in jobs and careers they hate, not able to
figure out how they want to be of service in the world?
After 10 years of serving as a success coach
and leadership developer, I’ve learned why people are so resistant to career change.
And I’ve created a successful step-by-step program to help women find both the
"essence” of what makes them happy and the right "form” of it to suit their
financial needs, values, life intentions, standards of integrity and more.
Here are the four keys to figuring out
what you really want:
throw the baby out – understand what is
working along with what is not. Many
people wake up in midlife and realize their careers are dissatisfying and
unsuccessful, and they’re so upset about it, they want to chuck the whole thing
out. Don’t make that mistake. Conduct a thorough assessment of what you would like to preserve
and maintain in your current career, and get rid of only the parts that make
you feel angry, sad, frustrated and thwarted. After all, you’ve been in this
career for some time now – it’s not all bad. You were attracted to it once and
you are utilizing some talents and skills that you want to continue to draw on.
2. Address your problems now, before making a change. Begin today to address and resolve
what’s making you miserable in your current work before you leap. Until
you feel more empowered and become more controlled,
authoritative and masterful in your current situation, you can’t expect to
attract a better situation in the next chapter. You’ve got to do the inner
and outer work to earn a
wonderful life ― it’s not just going to fall in your lap.
I’ve found that once my clients do
the work to address their problems in the current situation (such as terrible
bosses or cut-throat competition), their challenges tend to evaporate and often
they don’t need to leap to something completely different.
3. Build your personal brand and
tell your story well. Before
you can figure out what you really want and get it, you have to know who you
are and tell a compelling story about
yourself. Of the thousands of
professionals I meet and work with each year, only a tiny fraction can answer
these questions in a compelling and engaging way:
are you known for and fabulous at?
do you offer and do that is different from what the best in your field do?
were you noticed for back when you were a young adult?
skills, talents and abilities make you stand out?
life experiences have shaped you in special ways?
are your life intentions?
are your core values – the non-negotiables you need to be happy and fulfilled?
do you love to serve and support, and why?
you’re 90 years old looking back, what do you want to have given, stood for and
4. Now, connect the dots, and get
the help you need. After
you’ve done all this work, it’s time to connect the dots (listen
to the amazing Steve Jobs TED Talk
about how to live before you die and "connect the dots”).Figure out what
paths will truly make sense for who you are and what you want to achieve in
Gain clarity by conducting online, offline, and
in-person research to answer these critical questions:
- What are my passions? Which of these make sense as
a livelihood and which are better as hobbies?
- Based on my passions, talents and skills, what
careers are best suited to me?
- What are the factors I need to consider in planning
my next direction (money, timing, energy, geography, family needs, support,
enjoyment, health, etc.)
- Am I making any wrong assumptions about myself and
my life I need to rethink?
- Do I know what it takes to be successful in this
new direction, and am I committed to it 100 percent?
- Do I really want to start my own business, or am I
just running away from something?
- How will I fund my career change or transition?
- Where will I find the ongoing support I need?
make the same huge blunders that so many career changers
make. Do the inner and outer work
required to discover who you are and what really matters to you; overcome the
obstacles in the way of your success, and "try on” the paths that make the most
sense for you and your life.
Kathy Caprino is a nationally recognized women’s success and
leadership coach, speaker, and trainer dedicated to the advancement of women.
Author of Breakdown, Breakthrough and
founder and president of Ellia Communications, Inc., Caprino is a contributor to Forbes,Huffington Post and AARP.
Follow her on Twitter at @kathycaprino. For Kathy's
original post on this topic, visit her Forbes Leadership blog "Career
"Let it go: The number 1
career-buster for women ”
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