THINKING ABOUT A CAREER CHANGE? Here’s what to do; and how expert career coaching and counseling can help.

If you’re like most people considering a career change, you’re probably thinking about various potential jobs . That seldom works. Since you want work that fits you, start with YOU rather than exploring careers. Here are a few things to consider:

Natural talents and innate abilities Everyone is born with a unique group of talents that are as individual as a fingerprint or snowflake. These talents give each person a special ability to do certain kinds of tasks easily and happily, yet also make other tasks seem like pure torture. Can you imagine your favorite improvisational comedian as an accountant? Talents are completely different from acquired knowledge, skills, and interests. Your interests can change. You can gain new skills and knowledge. Your natural, inherited talents remain with you for your entire life. They are the hand you have been dealt by Mother Nature. You can’t change them. You can, however, play the hand you have been dealt brilliantly and to your best advantage. Your new direction will fit best if it combines your talents and personality perfectly, and requires very little time spent in activities that do not make best use of your strengths.

Personality traits and temperament Many people are engaged in careers that make it necessary to suppress themselves at the job. An elegant fit between you and your work includes and supports the full self-expression of your personality. Telltale signs of a career that doesn’t fit your personality include: the necessity to assume a different personality at work, restricted self-expression, activities that conflict with your values.

Passions, meaning, mission, purpose  People who are enthusiastic about their work are usually engaged in something they care about and are proud of what they do. They feel they are making a contribution. They may need to go to work to pay the bills, but that is not what gets them out of bed in the morning.

Willingness to stretch your boundaries Stretch as far as possible toward a career choice that will not be a compromise. At the same time, be completely realistic. It makes no sense to make plans you are unwilling or unable to achieve.

Fulfills your goals Having something big to shoot for is an important part of the joy of working. A custom-designed career supports you to fulfill your personal and family goals and gives you a sense of challenge on the job.

Rewards fit your values Like a biscuit you give a dog, rewards are the motivators that help keep you happily performing your tricks at work. Some rewards mean more to you than others. That is because they are linked with your values.

Compatible work environments Each person flourishes in some work environments and finds others stressful or otherwise inappropriate. Several different aspects of the environment that surrounds you play a vital role in the quality of your work life. You live in a certain geographical environment. The company you work for has a particular organizational environment, style, and corporate personality that affects you every minute you are there. On a smaller scale, your immediate work environment includes the physical work setting, the tone or mood of your office, and your relationships with others, including your supervisor, fellow employees, and clients or customers.

The bottom line Are the careers you are considering really suitable, doable, and available? Do they really fit you? The decisions you make about your career direction are no more than pipe dreams unless they are achievable and actually turn out as you hope they will. Research is the key to understanding the reality of potential future careers.

How expert career coaching can help: Most of what we know about based on past experiences. If you just reorganize these experiences and points-of-view into a new job, your future is likely to look pretty much the same as the past. It is often what we haven’t considered; the things we don’t know that we don’t know, that provide the most powerful insights that support the best choices. It takes looking from new perspectives to reach the best decisions that will lead to the most fulfilling future. And who better to help with that than an expert coach – counselor – adviser – guide?

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