Are you still having a Job or already a Career?
17 Jobs | 5 Careers | 15 Homes …
these are the average numbers a typical Gen Z will face during their work life.
The only constant that is certain is change
In today’s fast paced world, we see a more and more fluid workplace and changed requirements to succeed in a career or industry.
And whilst the change and evolvement opens so many new doors and gives us more opportunities than ever before like working remotely, having multiple jobs and pursue passion projects whenever and wherever we want, it also causes uncertainty and insecurity about someone’s next step to stay relevant.
All by yourself ... doesn't have to be though
Especially in those times of transition and constant change, having someone by your side who doesn’t walk your walk but can guide you to take the right step and move into the right direction can’t just ensure your ability to pay bills but can also open new ways and opportunities that actually give you a genuine feeling of accomplishment and purpose.
No job is forever these days and especially younger generations wouldn’t even want that anymore. Whilst these days, the average tenure in a role is about 3-4 years, predications are that this will change significantly over the next few years to only 1.5-2 years anymore. On top of that, with digitisation, almost 40% of jobs, including highly skilled roles, may be redundant in 10 to 15 years, according to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia.
This shouldn’t cause scarcity but awareness to act now and be prepared for the change before it overrules us. And this is exactly where a career coach can help: it is identifying how talents are going to become and remain relevant to their industry, where there is a need to develop skills and gain experience in and which step to take next to achieve the overarching goal – which can be professionally but also personally (like working part-time from the age of 35 years).
Ok … we got that but how does career coaching actually work?
It is about identifying a talent’s unique uniqueness – personally and professionally and this involves all the deeper lying and not so obvious traits like values, interests, motivations, aspirations and inspirations.
Next step is to assess the status quo – the current level of knowledge, experience, skill sets and overall capabilities to achieve the big goal. It is about setting realistic expectations and actionable steps in the right direction which is done by a detailed career pathway mapping.
A career coach doesn’t (but definitely shouldn’t) have an agenda, so it is also the unbiased advice based on personal experience that is invaluable for a talent’s decision.
When the obvious is not always that obvious
One of my clients somehow didn't just get into the Sales Industry, but he actually climbed the ladder and achieved a senior status quickly which sounds impressive right ... well, if it wasn't the fact that he hated every second of it. His passion was in Digital and Technology, as forward thinking disruptor being trapped in a very traditional cold-calling sales environment just gave him the shivers when he went to work every morning.
Coming from overseas, with a background in online media advertising and digital before it was even a thing here in Australia, he was ahead of his time when he arrived and couldn't find a role that fit his expertise which is why he landed – and climbed up – the sales career ladder.
After thorough consultation, we identified how his sales skills coupled with his knowledge and experience in digital advertising can be transferred and combined into a commercially focused role within the media industry where he is responsible for the profit of a department but was back in digital and media – more specifically in programmatic media which was only starting to become a thing here in Australia when we could match him with the right opportunity.
Not everything that shines is gold
Success stories like that make it easy to realise the benefits of having a career coach for talents but also how this rewarding feeling of being part of someone else’s success journey makes it so attractive for people to get in.
And with that, there comes the down side of this industry: career coaching is an unregulated industry; anyone can set themselves up, you don’t even require a dodgy online certificate.
So what to look for in a good coach?
Well … nothing is more powerful than personal recommendations and word-out-of-mouth advertisement. Having trustworthy and real testimonials coupled with their own career – ideally in the same industry – experience are a good start to identify the crop from the top.
Also check out their profile online and their reputation in the market/from industry bodies – particularly where they claim to be an expert in, like social media or software development.
What about the cost?
Well... it's not about the money money money ... and the best answer to thsi question is a counter question of how long is a piece of string?
Rather than seeing it as an expense, it is an investment in:
- your life
- your career
- your future
How much is it worth to you to not only find your real passion and strengths but also a career that embraces it and pays the bills?
You can spend weeks, months and years wondering and dreading every single morning to go to work. Or you can invest in someone who has been there and done that and learn from in a much shorter and more compressed time.
Don’t forget – it is not only the actual coaching session you pay, it is the preparation and research that happens prior as well as the years of (industry) experience that makes up the prize. Plus: you walk away for a comprehensive and actionable, tailored plan.
Get ready to get up, close and personal
Career coaching is like every other form of coaching – very personal.
And because the results are based on honest conversations where you can open up and be yourself, make sure you find a coach with whom you have great chemistry and you can connect with easily. The first encounter, may it be over the phone, skype or in-person will give you a feeling whether or not this coach is the right one for you. Just trust your gut instinct.
Be open prepared for feedback – the good, the bad and the ugly… especially the ugly
Career coaching goes far beyond finding the right job, it is about finding the lifestyle that brings joy, a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction.
Whilst some of us can reflect genuinely on our strengths and weaknesses, for most it is a hidden mystery and only unconsciously available.
So it is about triggering those underlying motivations and raise greater and more objective awareness to those. And this might not always be pleasant.
However, it is not about critising whatsoever. It is about genuine thought provoking to question the status quo. Having a clear understanding of your weaknesses and perceptions on others and other’s people perception on you is key to move forward and upwards.
We all have a blind spot and it is shaped exactly like us
A good coach also challenges your reality on how others may perceive you in your role, in your environment, in the way you present yourself and communicate with others – from peers to superiors and everything in between. This can also shed light on feedback that doesn’t always make sense, like when you get told you are unapproachable but you may just don’t have the awareness how you can come across to others in this situation based on your body language, tone and facial expressions.
So as much as coaching is about identifying your strength and unique uniqueness it is also about managing your interactions with others to make it work and address your and their underlying fears, frustrations and insecurities which we all deal with.
It is about be(com)ing confident and positive in yourself which is easy when you know ‘how to’.
So, how’s your career looking today?