Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Re-energizing Your Career

The economy is rough nowadays, and coupled with the recent massive lay-offs and plenty of discouragement happening, it’s definitely a good idea to look for career advice to change your focus to something you can be passionate about.

I remember talking to an ex-colleague a couple of weeks ago – at the beginning of our conversation, she was all de-motivated in her current role because she felt there were nothing more she can contribute and that all her previous passion for what she’s doing is greatly diminished. She was getting frustrated at what she termed as her daily routine, which she had been doing for the last few years. She wanted to advance further in her professional development but was unsure what, how and when to do. In a nutshell, she was confused and had lost her sense of direction. There was absolutely no sign of energy in doing what she was doing at that moment

The difference between a job and a career is that the first option is labor oriented and usually does not have much advancement involved, and the second option is passion oriented, allowing you to advance and grow using skills that you have learned through some kind of formal or technical education. If you do not know what direction to go into, seeking advice is an excellent first step to organizing your goals while helping you head down a path that will encourage and motivate you to succeed. As you begin your quest for a career, you may not have an idea about what kind you should be pursuing. An easy way to determine what direction to take, and the first bit of advice to edge you forward, is to think about what you have always loved to do with your time. There are activities that you take part in because you enjoy them as hobbies, and activities that you take part in because you could see yourself doing them to make money seriously. Those activities that you could see yourself turning into a career should be your first stepping stone to paving the road to success for yourself

The second point of advice for is to consider going back to school or taking some kind of professional training to help enhance your skills. You may not be equipped with the necessary skills and education to begin your future plans right away, and finding a job without the right skills will be nearly impossible. It is best to research what institutions of higher learning you can attend that will allow you to get a degree, certification or license in the field that you are interested in. Choose a university or program that you will enjoy going to in a location that makes you excited to be there. This will help to motivate you to continue on with your studies

The final point of career advice is to learn how to negotiate your salary so that you can live a lifestyle that is enjoyable. Research the high, average and low incomes for your career so that you know what kind of base salary to expect with your experience and skill set. The skills you have obtained may be high end skills that allow you to select a salary that compliments what you have learned. Be confident when you negotiate your salary, but not arrogant or unrealistic. It is always better to be humble than to come off as obnoxious or snobby, so keep your attitude in check and enjoy making the money that reflects what you are worth

After engaging in a few “coaching” conversations with that ex-colleague of mine, she finally decided to continue pursuing her current career track, and in addition obtain additional professional certification in psychotherapy and to gain further overseas work exposure. We broke down the two major components of what she wanted to do additionally, and worked out a time-line for her to complete the sub-components and she’s now on track to meeting those targets. I spoke to her recently and she’s feeling motivated, re-energized and extremely excited about the changes she made to her career.

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