A large pile of laundry can be such a daunting task that we put it off as long as we can before we run low on under garments. However, instead of buying more skivvies every week, wouldn't it make more sense (and be cheaper) to just sort the piles and do our laundry?
This daunting feeling is similar to what we experience when we consider a career change, pursue a promotion, or when looking for employment. The questions loom, consume and balloon into such beasts of burden that we keep putting it off until our vitality is sapped and we are truly out of underwear.
Where to begin?
Why do you want a change in the first place? Do you have a similar complaint about every position you've had or is there validity in your inquiry for change? Are you not doing what you WANT to be doing?
The secret to doing your laundry is well known but not as an exercise in distinctions. That big loathsome pile is not so foreboding once you've separated the piles into lights, darks and colors, is it? Then sit down with pen and paper and start asking yourself a few questions about why you're looking for change.
First, distinguish if you are looking for a career change, promotion, or being employed. The first step in simplifying what you want is to distinguish the change you seek.
Next, list out everything you dislike about your current career, position or status of employment. For example if you are a mid-level manager at a retail store, write out what you don't like about your job. It could be what you don't like about your position as manager, or the people you work with or for; your list could include the areas you feel challenged by or not trained in doing. Write down every complaint, issue and dissatisfaction you have about your current and past positions and/or career.
Coaching Tip: Don't get hooked into the drama of what you are writing. Keep your answers to one sentence each and list out the fact of the matter, not the gossip of the chatter.
Next, list out everything you really like about your current career, position or status of employment. For example list out what inspires you about what you do. What is it about your position or career that has you stay or continue? What makes you smile or brag about your position? (either to others or to just your mom).
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Coaching Tip: Really look at the positives and list them out. It's okay if there are more complaints than positives, or more positives than complaints. This exercise is not a test or measurement, it's a sorting of the piles. Again, keep them to one sentence answers and stick with the facts.
Next write out what concerns you the most about pursuing a change. What are you afraid will happen if you start looking, seeking or pursuing? What do you fear won't happen? What will you make it mean if what you set out to do doesn't come to fruition? What will you make it mean if it does?
Coaching Tip: Be honest with yourself when answering any of these questions, sometimes when you think someone might be judging your answers, you'll document something different from the truth. Again, keep your answers short and to the point.
Once these lists are complete, summarize the common themes that have become clearer after listing all these things out. Guaranteed you will see a theme and pattern about your complaints, what you enjoy about what you're doing and what concerns you about taking the plunge into change.
Bonus Tip: The complaint list is very important because of the insight it offers. If you have a common complaint that shows up in many to most of your jobs or responsibilities, consider that this complaint is yours to own. Meaning, you are the common denominator to any dissatisfaction you experience in the workplace - you played a hand in how your career has turned out thus far. What if you took a look at the source of your complaint, made a difference with how you cause the complaint and reinvent your outlook on the issue? You would be a source to your happiness and I bet you'd have a new outlook on your position, career and more importantly, yourself.
Your next step is NOT TO STOP being in inquiry about your desired change. Your next step is to ask yourself, if money was no object, what would you be doing? Using the themes you've discovered from your lists, this question will be fun to answer and also an interesting discovery into what's possible for your future career, promotion or new position of employment.
Finding you have roadblocks to your success in making changes in your life? Or, did you do this exercise and find yourself excited about what's possible for you but would like more guidance? Contact Kris Parfitt at www.careerleadershipcoaching.com and be the source of your success.