Many of my coaching clients are looking to improve something in their careers.
Some of them like their jobs and they just want to take it up a notch, some of them will tell my plainly at the first coaching session: “My job sucks; I want your help to get better at finding a better one, so I can get the hell out of there”.
My experience is that in the careers of many people, there is a big gap between the kind of job they want and the kind they have. Those big dreams they had somewhere in adolescence simply aren’t turning into reality.
If this is your case, I want to take the time and explain from my perspective why this is happening to you. In my communication coaching, I see certain causes manifest over and over gain. Here they are:
1. You Have No Clue What You Want
Unless you’re one lucky SOB, it’s practically impossible to have an extraordinary job if you don’t know what you want. When you don’t know what you want, you’re like a ship adrift being taken left and right be the wind of the moment. This is exactly what happens to numerous people.
I’m not going to say “try harder to figure out what you want”, that would be pretentious. I will say this though: “Try better!” Asking yourself “What do I want?” is usually not enough to get an unambiguous answer. Take a good personality test, get a 360 degrees feedback, ask yourself more specific questions or work with a coach.
2. You’re Head over Heals in Debt
Here’s a very ‘smart’ career move I repeatedly see people doing: You end up in a job where you earn a decent salary and immediately, you take a huge loan in order to buy a big house, a car, a second car, a huge fucking plasma TV and so on.
However, a few years later, once you get over the excitement of the money you’re making, you realize that you actually hate the job you’re in, it offers you no satisfaction it itself, and you want to change your professional field. The only problem is that you’re so far up in debt that you can’t afford the initial financial drop implied by a career change. Really smart Sherlock!
3. You Do Not Take Risks
Getting to a job you find truly fulfilling involves some bold moves. I’m talking about moves such as: quitting a job, asking for a raise, negotiating hard, saying no to a tempting offer, taking on new responsibilities, failing, exposing yourself to uncertainty or putting your foot in the door.
I find that most people are not willing to take the risks associated with these moves. They want to play it safe and make it big at the same time. Well, if this applies to you, I have some disappointing news: life doesn’t work that way. You need to take some risks if you want to get anywhere.
4. You Don’t Know How to Promote Yourself
This is something I keep saying ever since I started working as a communication coach: your professional skills are basically worth nothing if you don’t know how to sell yourself with high impact. It’s a skill required with your boss, your clients and potential future employers.
Promoting yourself is one of the critical people skills for career success. Many people discover this the hard way: by hitting a wall prematurely in their careers which prevents them from moving forward. The sooner you start consciously developing the people skill of promoting yourself, the better it will be for your career and your life.
Each one of these for reasons can be broken down into smaller ones. For example, some people have problems selling themselves at interviews, some at promoting themselves through networking. I’ll leave it to you to discover the nuances of your context.
I firmly believe that we now live in the best world we as human beings have ever lived. There are more opportunities than ever for you to have a prosperous and exciting career. It all starts with taking control of your own steering wheel.
Image courtesy of rashdanothman