Career Assessment & Exploration
My clients are looking for a meaningful, purposeful connection with their lives and work lives. They want to identify with and be proud of what they do for a living. They want to create more life-work balance, save for retirement and make a positive difference in our world and in nature. They are looking for clarity, confidence and a little structure and guidance to successfully navigate their life and career transitions. Some people want to find ways to enhance satisfaction at their current job by redefining their roles and managing job stress better. Overall they want to believe in themselves and their direction, and may be interested in going back to school or receive training towards a career they are passionate about, if that will increase their chances of success.
To begin, we put down the binoculars—searching out there for the right job title, expecting that if we see it or hear about it and it's the one, we'll know. Not necessarily! It's helpful to step back a bit and look inward first. I'm fond of saying that direction starts with scattered thoughts or a feeling, a vague, half-baked sense that something better is out there. Ideas may be somewhat formed—"I want to help people" or "I want to do something for the environment" or "I want to be creative, more physical and make more money"—but the specifics of what the job is, exactly, and how to get there need to be filled in.
Occasionally I start with a client who has a very clear idea about what they want to do—they just need to think it through in order to justify a move forward. This is the value of career assessment. It helps us remember and name what we like, exactly, our preferences and values in life, and our meaningful accomplishments, and in that process we connect inwardly with ourselves and our sense of knowing "This path is for me"!
I offer a classic career assessment package to help you look at life interests, values, transferrable skills, educational background and learning style. We highlight your personality, work setting preferences and anything specific you want to learn. Most people have a lot to say about what they're looking for in a work setting, having experienced a negative one, and some are game to explore self-employment. Journal exercises complement the results of online testing, the Strong Interest Inventory, Myers-Briggs Personality Profile, card games or card sorts, the ValueSearch and SkillSkan. As you look at yourself from these different angles and connect inwardly with what matters most, ideas or potential job matches may come to mind along with questions and concerns. The results of your career assessment form the basis of your criteria, your checklist of what's important to you in worklife. (This list can also help you better understand why you should stay at or leave your current job.) Internally, people find an anchor, degrees of clarity and motivation to engage the process further, along with questions that need answers in order to move them forward.
exploring is not deciding
Hands-on exploration is the key to testing whether an idea is right for you on many levels. Once engaged, the process allows you to "try on" or taste potential career ideas that sound the best by talking with people, volunteering, taking classes, attending conferences and reading about the possibilities. I coach clients to create experiences that help answer their questions, from "Will I actually like doing this new job?" to "Will it pay the bills?" My clients, being eminently practical, are often intrigued by whether it makes sense to do something less ideal on a short-term basis while they go back to school or position themselves for an envisioned long term goal, and require hard evidence to feel secure in their decision-making.
Please call or email me to set up a free phone consultation or schedule your first appointment.