Why Career Clarity is so important?

Times have changed

The idea of having one career for life and sticking to this has changed dramatically in the last 40 years or so. I have seen this in my parents’ generations and in the generations before them. My grand-dads and grand uncles stuck to one profession for life and then retired. With my parents my mum changed her career from an accountant to teacher. My dad shifted his direction of how he practiced law from being a criminal barrister to family solicitor.

Career change isn’t seen as an unusual concept anymore nor is seeking your true purpose. When the “Black Monday” crash happened in the 80s. A lot of people who had families to support needed to re-train and begin again.

The concept of having one job for life has been spun on its head. Especially as this continued to happen through to the 90s and now. Again, with another crash happening in 2000 onwards. Where more people were being made redundant or feel confused about their options because there are more options available.

Career transition is different compared to 50 years ago. Also, the type of work that people used to do is different a lot of manual jobs factories have seized due to the advancement in technology. Technology has allowed more people to work from home. Go freelance, start a small micro business or build a small start-up employing others.

Career theorists that help explain why a lack of career clarity could happen

If we apply a principal of change to a career theorists like Super and Adams, Hayes and Hopson life was different and expectations from society where different for those born in before the 1920’s to those born in the 1940’s to now

Super says we go through 5 stages in our life that is directly linked to our career. It is between stage 3 -4 we are beginning to seek more clarity and meaning in our lives.

Stage 3 is known as the Establishment phase when we are aged between 25-44. We may have entered different roles but are trying to understand what suits us. You may feel like you want more, like a promotion, starting a business or having more flexibility especially if you are working mum. Hence wanting to the establish yourself career wise here. You could be confused because life is throwing you a few curve balls and although you want a steadier career perhaps the one you currently have isn’t suiting your individual needs and values.

This is also were Adams Hayes and Hopson can be related to this. They express that direct life events impact on our career and this can be linked to a lack career clarity. Which can be caused by overwhelm and confusion with your working life. This is a six-state transition process. If you have recently been made redundant you may may start to experience self-doubt which is stage 3 of this process. Wondering what I will do now etc. Or become anxious or depressed if you are worrying about the future longevity of your career.

These theories show you some of the reasons why a lack of career clarity can be directly linked to life events. It’s not something we can necessarily control which is ok and it’s about understanding this and thinking how we can move forward.

We all need to have a purpose and why.

It’s important to have a purpose and a why because without one how can we go to work and do something we truly love. Therefore, career clarity is important because it’s pointless going for a goal or achievement if it’s not actually what you want.

For example, if you know going for a promotion isn’t want you want because you don’t enjoy your field of work anymore why are you doing it?

It’s important to understand your key values, your beliefs and the purpose you want to embody in your work. The hardest part here can be about feeling like you are being unrealistic or silly if you want to do something.

I am not saying you need to go for a lifelong dream of being singer or actor if you can’t do either lol. Be realistic of course. However, don’t limit what you can do.

For example, if you are a mum reading this and your dream is to set up a clothes boutique business and you have a creative flair for designing and making clothes. Perhaps you ended up doing this when you had a child because you wanted to create something bespoke for them. Then realised others noticed your designs and someone said you could turn this in to a business etc. However you thought being a business owner isn’t something that could be viable and thus went back to a full-time job. In fact your currently job as a medical secretary is stressful and not making you happy, What steps can you make to start taking small actions to create what you actually want? Especially if you feel money is something that is holding you back?

If you are completely unclear about what you want. This may because there are some negative forces in your life which are preventing you from seeing things clearly. Or you may feel it’s too late for you get clear because of your age, gender, etc.

It’s never too late remember your why is unique to you. Your why is an important part of understanding career clarity because without it you can’t move forward. It may take some time to formulate it.

This could also be because you feel overwhelmed in your life in general and feel change is something you can’t face or are just not sure where to start.

I will be talking much more about this in my online career clarity workshop. If you know you need some help understanding career clarity more and getting clear on what you want. Why not sign up to the workshop here. I will be talking about your why, causes of career clarity and giving you practical solutions to help you figure out what you want more of in your career.

To sign up to the workshop and gain more insights and takeaways please go here http://www.thecareerhappinessmentor.com/online-workshops

 

My career unhappiness story

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Here’s how it began

I was sitting in the doctors, when I started crying, I wondered is he going to think I'm completely nuts for crying he was a nice caring doctor. He gave me a tissue and reassured me that it was okay to cry, he wasn't going to judge me because I felt silly for crying. This happened in my mid 20s whilst going through the redundancy process it was so stressful the uncertainty of not knowing where I was going next was adding to this stress.

Everyone in my community of my generation are doctors, dentists, accountants, lawyers etc all the professions which are highbrow. I was never academic and couldn't pursue any of those professions. I'm not saying that I'm not intelligent, I've worked hard to be where I am. I know who I am. I know my opinion counts, it's why I created a business.

It can be very easy for all of us to feel like things are against us when you feel like you are not the brightest, not the smartest etc. We can all feel like failures we can feel as though we are not enough. I'm sharing this story with you, because I remember when I didn't get selected to be in my team I and was made redundant, that it wasn't anybody's fault. It was the universe's way of telling me that I was meant to learn and grow and do different things. I was grateful for the experience. And I was lucky I started a new job. I lost my job on the Friday started a new one on the Monday.

Imposter syndrome

I felt thankful that I had a job. When you go through something like redundancy, where you feel like a failure, or you have imposter syndrome which was what was happening to me when I went to this new job. I thought, who was to be in this job? I hadn't interviewed for this job, I've got the job through being redeployed. It's a seemed like a pity job. It knew wasn't a Pity job, but it seemed like that at the time. This voice wouldn't go away the inner voice, the imposter syndrome. The how did I end up here? What am I doing with my life? The who am I to be here voice came up and I felt I wasn’t good enough.  

Then when my cousin was diagnosed with a very serious health condition, I was devastated. I remember thinking because he was a year older than me, he had a very good job and worked for IBM. I thought what if that had been me? I remember I couldn't sleep properly at night, I was worrying. I was thinking, what was I going to do next, what direction was I going to go in? Luckily, I was living at home with my mom or my sister. So, it wasn't as though the world was going to come to an end in terms of finances and emotional support.

I think one of the reasons I found the whole redundancy process so stressful is because of how long it took it.  Sadly, my cousin died two years after that he suffered a lot, he had stomach cancer. Bad things happen, but it it's how we deal with the bad stuff and we can move forward and create something new. Really think about what you want? I knew that being that unhappy was not something where I was doing a disservice to myself. I wanted to write, I wanted to travel, I wanted to live my life because I kept on thinking if my cousin can get ill. What could happen to me? I hadn't even met my husband them. So I left my job to start a fresh and 5 years on I have this business where I help women find their version of career happiness.

Start making a change sooner rather then later.

If you feel like you're a failure, if you feel like you're not good enough, if you feel like you're going through imposter syndrome, there is something you can do about it, you can change can adapt your life, there will be risks involved, there will be a fears that come up. I took the leap and I left my job. I'm not saying that you need to leave your job. If you've got a family and kids and a mortgage etc, you may not be able to do this. What I am saying is, there is always an alternative if you feel pressure to be the kind of person that other people want you to be. It's because you're not thinking for yourself, you're internalizing what your real thoughts are. What I mean by that is, when I work with my clients, I make it about them. It's about them pushing forward so they can create the life they want.

It can only happen if you take the action required to get there. It took me a while to figure out what I wanted. I'm not going to lie. I'm not going to be like, Oh, yeah, I had it all figured out. No, it's taken me five years to get here. What I will say is that all journeys have a destination all of them and you need to find your destination sooner rather than later, so you can start living your career happiness.

If you want to find out how I can help you why not book a call here

 

 

 

 

 

What does your work actually mean to you?

Everyone works for different reasons some people work for money, some because they love what they do but sometimes there  are some people who work because they feel they have to.

So is your job a means to end? I remember asking a old colleague of mine why they worked where they did. It was evident by their attitude they didn't like their job as they always complained "I am bored". So I asked them why do you work here then quite directly. At first they were shocked but they said "Because I have to do something". I then remember asking them what do you actually want to do and they said "No idea". How many people who go from job to job like they this individual feel this way? I am not judging anyone here but I feel its important if you want to work it should be doing something that you enjoy and not because you need to.

Question is how many of you work right now because society tells you have to not because you want to. Yes nobody through choice wants to be on job seekers allowance and am not trying to encourage that here. But what if you had the choice to work because you wanted to do not because you had to? Think about that for a second it may seem strange why I am talking about this as many of you may feel the same thing "We all have to work don't we?" Yes wouldn't be better if this was out of choice rather then necessity. In fact why can't it be both.

The meaning of work according to the online dictionary includes:

1.activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a result.

2. a task or tasks to be undertaken.

Do either of these definitions fit in to how you interpret work probably not. My point is that work by our individual minds can be interpreted in so many different ways. The person who works as banker cashier is no different to a business owner who runs a flower shop. What is different is the activity they engage and perhaps their attitude to their work. Lets take these examples the cashier may of landed this role right after leaving school and feels trapped in this role they feel they can't go anywhere else. Whilst the florist owner made the conscious decision to open up their own business and be their own boss. This example could also be the other way round but I am trying to say how many of us have made conscious decisions to be were we right now. Some of us may have, as have I but not everyone does. I am not saying this is a bad thing but many of us feel the expectations put on us so great its hard to achieve what we actually want.

Work is important to people in different ways. I hear may people saying if I don't work I can't pay the bills or mortgage. This is so important definitely but has the need for having to work been overridden by actually doing something you really love. It's never too late to change your job or career. I have seen so many people do this successfully and helped people with their individual transitions. Yet sometimes society and the people we surround ourselves with stop this from happening.

Redundancy is a key factor in changing people's attitude to work. I remember when I was at risk of redundancy I felt vulnerable and wasn't sure about what I would do, if I lost my job it was a constant worry for me. Many people feel like who they are as individuals is put into question. Their work means so much to them it may feel like a part of them is being chipped away. Having been through this myself its not nice seeing your work colleagues angry, frustrated and upset. Your work is important but there are so many things which are even more important when it comes down to it. Like your family and health etc.  The work you do is only one element of your life it shouldn't define who you are.

So what does your work really mean to you? This is something only you can answer. For me my work is my mission to help professional women seek happiness in your careers and find something they really want. This makes me happy. What makes you happy and how can you implement this happiness in your work?

Many thanks

Soma x