Do you feel unhappy at work?
Let’s be frank for a moment- career dissatisfaction feels BLEURGH.
But there can be a positive side to it if you are willing to use it as a learning opportunity.
Dissatisfaction is a very important messenger. It feels unpleasant, but it also communicates to us that we are not living our full potential. Once we let in that message, we can use it to identify what we want from our career instead.
Like life, careers are winding, sometimes inexplicable, journeys that we can’t completely control. However we try our best, we cannot avoid getting hit by the odd curveball from time to time. So, if you are feeling downright fed-up as you read this blog, remember that your own version of that curveball isn’t personal.
Your potential though…that most definitely is personal. Your interests, values and talents are all part of who you are, what you have learnt and where you want to go. Your potential is the ‘already capable you’ AND the ‘you’ you have yet to become.
Sometimes we feel dissatisfied when we are not using our abilities to full capacity. If that resonates with you, you will need to establish where you thrive so you can employ your talents better.
Sometimes, however, dissatisfaction stems from undeveloped potential, and you might not yet know how to develop your career to experience the fulfilment you want.
So, what can be done about it?
Use emotional intelligence to identify your next steps
There are a number of ways you can get moving beyond mental gridlock.
Grab a pen and paper or open your preferred writing app and join me in the following activities to identify your next steps to a happy career.
1.) Categorise the nature of your dissatisfaction
Consider for a moment whether the root of your career dissatisfaction is due to not using your preferred skills/talents, or whether you have yet to identify satisfying work activities. Make a note of which of these categories apply to you- it could be both, or perhaps another reason altogether. Clarity around this will help you to recognise the kind of support you need to achieve career satisfaction.
2.) Identify your career preferences
Brainstorm how you would prefer your career to be instead of how it is now. For example, it could be that you don’t know what you want to do, but you want to experience a social workplace, or you want to feel engaged on a day to day basis.
Allow yourself 5 minutes where you can totally focus on this activity and write whatever comes to mind. Let go of any perfectionism that creeps in whilst you do this- you are not trying to define the minute details of your ideal career at this stage.
Once your ideas are exhausted, go back through the list and circle the ones which feel most important.
3.) Pinpoint your next steps
Consider the following questions in relation to each circled preference on your list:
- Where can I experience this now? Who can help me?
- Where can I introduce this now? Who can help me?
- Where can I develop this now? Who can help me?
- Where can I learn this now? Who can help me?
Note each positive solution you find and make sure you diarise related key action steps.
I hope this post has helped you identify some key next steps- even one can be enough to gain traction in the right direction. If you need support with any aspects of the activity, don’t hesitate to contact me at katie @ fireflycoaching.co.uk
Have you ever considered the impact of self-love (or lack of it) on your career? It isn’t a common discussion topic, I know. Yet, self-love is the key to happiness in every area of life, and it is no different with work. The question is, do you believe that you deserve to be happy in your career, as well as your personal life? And if so, how can self-love make a difference?
Reason 1: Self-love Motivates You To Explore Who You Are
‘Self-love’ may seem like a vague term at first. Moment by moment, it might look like an active doing, or allowing yourself to be. You might feel good enough to be who you are and also have a desire to explore and develop your potential.
Career happiness depends upon your ability and willingness to explore who you are, develop your skills, try things out and find out what works for you. It usually arises from the alchemy between personal skills, interests, and values, but it often isn’t possible to predict.
When you lack self-love in career exploration, you hold yourself back. You might notice negative self-talk like “I’ll never be able to do that”, “I’m not good enough” or “other people won’t like me if I do”. Thoughts like this are powerful if you assume they matter. Question them instead. Don’t let them stop you from exploring who you are and what makes you feel alive.
Reason 2 – Self-love Helps You Choose What’s Best For You
Making career decisions can be challenging in today’s digital world, with an overload of information and oftentimes unhelpful opinions on social media. You might consult career advisors, research sector pathways, and join online forums to learn from others. At worst, you might take advice from the wrong person. At best, you will use trusted sources of information. Either way, the choice still comes from you.
But what does this have to do with self-love?
Self-love is key to making life-affirming decisions – the ones in alignment with who you are and what you value. When people make career choices based on what other people want from them or what other people think of them, they risk not discovering their potential and experiencing career satisfaction. Self-love involves self-worth, respect, and sometimes a determination to be true to yourself despite what others think.
Reason 3: Self-love Supports You Through Career Transition
Over the course of a 30+ year working life, it is not surprising that most people will experience career change at some point. Whether change comes about because of job loss, company culture, or personal circumstances, it’s important to take care of your needs throughout the transition process. This might involve learning new skills or taking time out for rest and recuperation. Sometimes, the action you need to take requires great courage, especially if your career no longer satisfies you. You might need to consider an alternative career altogether and you might not know what that is.
Self-love prompts you to pay attention to your personal values and priorities, so you can take care of them whatever is happening around you. You take proactive actions that empower you to the best of your ability.
Is your career in transition?
Book your free 30-minute consultation call with me here
Check out the 6-week Career Satisfaction coaching package here.
“I love you darling”
“I know but…something’s not the same. I can’t do this anymore”.
Were you once happy in your career, but now you wake up in the mornings and wonder what you’re doing there? Have you passed the honeymoon phase?
Yes, your relationship with your career can be just like any other.
The initial excitement phase, when everything is new.
The honeymoon phase, when you experience expansion and fulfillment.
Then the post-honeymoon phase comes when you start to notice the rest of the picture.
Some people try to stay in a career ‘sweet spot’ by juggling employers or jobs – but this isn’t always possible or beneficial. If you find yourself questioning your career, it can help by having an honest look at your needs and asking “what works and what doesn’t work for me?”.
As adults, we come to accept that hard work and doing things we don’t enjoy – at least some of the time – is a part of life. Yet, we must know where the line is between too much of what we don’t want and too little of what we do. Too much drudgery and our happiness plummets. Too much hard work and we get sick.
At the post-honeymoon phase of your career, your experience reveals the not-so-great parts of it, as well as the things-you-could-do-for-the-rest-of-your-life-regardless. You know the ones. The responsibilities you hoped your career would be full of, but instead, are often overshadowed by tasks you don’t like.
And just like a human love relationship, if you reach this point, you have to discern whether it’s worth it. Dissatisfaction may push you towards change, but what kind? Are you at the wrong company or would you benefit from pursuing something different altogether?
If these questions resonate with you, consider talking to your line manager to explore internal development opportunities. Alternatively, career coaching will help you to drill down on your yearnings for change.
Some key questions to ask yourself are:
- What gives me satisfaction at work?
- Does my job cover my basic needs?
- What are my priorities at this point in my life?
- When all is said and done, what would I regret not doing, if I didn’t do it?
Has 2020 left you craving a rest over the Winter break more than usual? I will certainly be using this holiday season well- to recharge, refresh, and reflect. I hope you all have the opportunity to do this too.
Firefly Coaching will be open in December as usual until Thursday 24th.
Please note that new bookings for CV services from the 18th December will be deferred until normal services resume on Monday 4th January. I will be accepting orders over this period but I cannot guarantee the usual 5-day turnaround until after the holidays.
My office hours over the Christmas period will be:
Wednesday 23rd December – Open until 6 pm
Thursday 24th Xmas Eve – Closed
Friday 25th Xmas Day – Closed
Monday 28th Dec – Closed
Tuesday 29th Dec – Closed
Wednesday 30th Dec – Closed
Thursday 31st Dec – Closed
Friday 1st Jan – Closed
Services resume as usual from Monday 4th January 2021.
Wishing you all a peaceful holiday season and many blessings for 2021.
Book your free 30-minute consultation slot with me for January 2021. Until then, please familiarise yourself with my range of services here.
If your once-enjoyable career no longer satisfies you, it can feel like the end of a relationship. Your values might have changed, but your career doesn’t match them. Your needs might have changed, and your career no longer meets them. Or maybe your career itself has changed, where the demands of your industry mean that your role and responsibilities are no longer as satisfying as they were.
When this happens in life, your security and sense of certainty get rocked to the core. What can you do now, after you have worked so hard to get where you are? How can you find career satisfaction again, when there were so many unknowns which led you to where you are?
This moment I am describing is the typical beginning point of the career change process for many professionals in midlife. This realization may come slowly, and people often try to suppress this ‘uncomfortable truth’ and carry on regardless. The trouble is, ignoring the problem does not make it go away and can contribute to stress and other health and wellbeing issues.
If this sounds like you, you may feel bewildered at the thought of changing your career. “I don’t know where to start” is something I often hear. You might have lots of responsibilities and a busy lifestyle. It might feel like changing careers is too much alongside everything else.
Bear in mind, that if you are in a stable job, you can give yourself time to facilitate career change at your pace. Whatever your situation, your career change process is yours to decide. However, once you are aware that something needs to change, it is difficult to carry on the same without addressing it.
If you are at the beginning of this journey, read on to see my suggestions to help you facilitate this initial career change enquiry process:
Gift yourself quiet space on a regular basis to notice what truly matters
During hectic times, it is easy to become busy and lose touch with your inner world. However, when you are changing a big part of your life, like your career, it is even more important to take care of yourself and pay attention to what is contributing to or driving your decision-making processes. Giving yourself regular quiet space to notice your inner world will prevent hasty decision making and reduce ‘autopilot’. Ask yourself “do I still need the same thing from my career? What do I need now?”
Get to know your transferable skills as if they were your best friends
They really are! I have never met a person who does not have multiple skills, and if you are exploring alternative employment options, understanding your skillset inside out will help you to identify, as well as create new possibilities. There are lots of ways of identifying your skills- one way is to list the skills you have used in each paid or voluntary job so far, as well as your related competency level
Think outside the box
Spend half an hour on any jobs page at the moment and you will see changes emerging in the world of employment. As employers adapt to virtual working, the skills required in some roles will reflect this. Once you understand your transferable skills, you will notice how these can be used in different combinations for different roles. Perhaps a skill you had previously discounted is now relevant? It is good to review your skills regularly, especially if you have not done so in a while or you are considering new career options
You may end up with a number of new career goals. Sometimes identifying what you want is enough to keep you happy whilst you work towards them. If, through your enquiry, you realise you need an immediate career change, consider what that level of change would be. Expecting too much too soon can add unnecessary stress.
Enjoy using this time as an opportunity for radical self-honesty. Allow yourself to dream as well as get real about the practicalities of life. Sometimes life can be so busy that people carry on the same way for years, not noticing that it doesn’t serve them. What are you drawn to now? What do you love now? Where would you like to go now?
Would you like to explore your career change journey through coaching?
You can secure your free 30-minute consultation call with me directly here https://calendly.com/fireflycoachinguk/30min or alternatively you can find out more information here https://fireflycoaching.co.uk/product/introductory-free-consultation/
Are you finding it difficult to make career decisions since the impact of Covid-19? It can be easy to get swept up by fear or uncertainty in our current economic climate. Whilst industries adjust to ever-growing change, you might be wondering what your career options are and how to navigate them. If you were seeking to change your career before Covid hit, there may be another layer of concern – questions like “should I wait?”, “is this the right time?” and self-doubt might prompt you to stay with what you know.
What can you do?
It may feel counterintuitive, but now, more than ever is a time to let go of perfectionism and the idea that there is ‘only one right way’ forward. Allowing yourself to notice the variety of possibilities, rather than clamping down on one fixed route through your career, is a sensible approach in a post-Covid environment. It’s ok to allow yourself to adapt however you need to.
Irrespective of what is happening ‘out there’ in a changing world, make sure you have a rock solid understanding of your personal assets, as these will help you to adapt. Your assets might include finances and emotional support, but just as crucial is your understanding of your personal skills and attributes.
Know what you want, what you can offer, and what your priorities are. Know these first to prevent getting swayed or pulled off course by fear and the ‘what-ifs’.
Create a clear development plan
So, how can you do this? Here are some recommendations to help you through this reflective process:
- Conduct a thorough audit of your personal skills, expertise and experience. Write them out so you can see them in detail. Notice how you have far more skills and expertise than you would use in a single job role (if you don’t believe me, make sure you include examples from all areas of life).
- Consider how your skills are relevant to different sectors, even if they are ones you have not worked in before. Notice how different skills can link together to form different possibilities.
- Get crystal clear about your current career priorities. Is it to have £X income? Is it to work from home? To have flexible work hours? Or is it to develop specific skills?
Once you are clear on the above, use this awareness to support your job searching and networking activity:
- Approach job searching with an attitude of curiosity and openness to new possibilities. You won’t be the only one if you try something new- many people are shifting industries right now.
- Notice whether your job searching approach matches your current priorities, e.g. if your real priority is to work from home, are you making it more difficult by restricting the kind of work you do?
- Use your awareness of your transferable skills to tailor your CV (and cover letter) for each application. It will significantly increase your chance for selection and it also supports you in your preparation for interviews.
And lastly (but not least!)
- Be kind to yourself. Allow whatever you choose to be enough.
To your success!
If you are ready to identify the next steps in your career, the 4-week Career Development coaching package will help you do that. Not sure enough to take the leap? Book a FREE 30-minute consultation call with me to clarify your needs.
Have you ever wondered what happens behind-the-scenes here at Firefly Coaching?
Believe it or not, creating a CV isn’t just about writing! There are many considerations to creating a stand-out document which any good CV writer needs to know.
Here’s a run-down of what I do to create the best products for my customers…
Reading through employment histories & other details
I frequently tell customers that I never make assumptions about their jobs. This is true! Every position is unique- even if you work in an entry-level role for a nationwide employer, there will be something different about your branch or role and, most importantly, what you bring to it.
When you place a CV order, I read through your employment details, and gather additional information through telephone or email to ensure I have a good understanding of your responsibilities and anything else related to your role. I also read the application documents for specific positions, which is not something to be rushed!
Identifying your key skills
A ‘Key skills’ section is an essential feature of a good CV. Not only do they reflect the essence of what you can do, but they also relate to what you want to do. They give recruiters what they need to know in a snapshot, to pass that ‘30 second’ rule before deciding whether to keep or bin your application. When I write CVs, I have to understand what the applicant’s key skills are and also what they ‘should’ be from the perspective of your preferred industry or employer. Using the right keywords also helps with Applicant Tracking Systems, so your application doesn’t get overlooked by mistake.
Identifying your strengths and achievements
I aim to make your CV shine – and by doing so, you are more likely to secure interviews! I use my expertise to ascertain which of your career strengths to highlight to ensure it is fully tailored to your needs. If you’re not sure what these might be, I will make suggestions so you can pin them down. Many customers have found this process to be a great precursor to job interviews, as it has helped them to clarify their achievements and feel more confident.
Producing a suitable CV layout
Many people are aware of the difference between chronological and functional CV layouts- but it doesn’t end there! I write CVs for people at all career stages- from those starting out, and those in top senior positions – each customer needing something different.
Your CV layout is determined by many factors, such as what you want to emphasize and how much experience you have. For example, career changers typically need to highlight their transferable skills so their relevant experience is immediately obvious.
Writing the content
Despite the differences between layouts, there are usually three key sections I will need to compose for each CV. These are the Personal Profile, your Key Skills, and your Employment History (which often go by other names).
The Personal Profile is a summary of (yes, you’ve guessed it!) your personal qualities and career. It’s important that this feels authentic to you and describes you in a way that relates your career history to your ongoing aspirations.
The job descriptions are typically the ‘meat’ of each CV. I write genuine depictions of your duties whilst showcasing the skills relevant to prospective employers.
Writing a CV may also entail verifying specific details such as name spellings, jargon and researching statistics which can be used to demonstrate the credentials of your employment background.
Formatting and presentation
After all that attention to detail, it’s important to step back and consider what the CV looks like upon the first view. Does it make an impact? I want to grab the recruiter’s attention without being fussy – and let them know that you mean business!
There are other CV sections that I could talk about, such as education, voluntary work, and professional memberships. The list is as unique as the customer!
Now you have read an overview of what I do to produce tailored CVs, what are your thoughts? Is it different from what you expected? I’d love to hear your comments!
To your success!
It has been a while since I updated this blog, but I am very much open for business!
I have been busy creating NEW online career coaching packages designed to deliver the right support during this period of uncertainty and instability.
One new offer is the Career Development Package– if your employment situation has changed, or you are expecting it to, this 4.5 hour coaching package will help you to take stock of your career history and identify the skills and strengths you have for your next opportunity.
I am also working on a Redundancy Support Package including an online course- I can’t wait to launch this soon!
If you have been thinking about career coaching for a while, but have not yet taken the leap, why not book a FREE 30-minute consultation call with me? We can talk through your situation and find out which of my services would be most suitable for your needs. No strings attached!
I can also be contacted Monday to Friday 9 am to 6 pm 01453 705 103.
I understand. It’s hard to be with the indecision and fear which can come with career uncertainty. Believing you will ‘work out’ your career, as a challenge to overcome, is a seductive, although ultimately problematic stance to take. It means that you treat your life – and yourself – like a problem that needs to be solved.
Just like life, your career unfolds as you grow. As you gain experience, exposure to new people, ideas, influences, expertise. It evolves as you do. Because of this, you can’t ‘work it out’. I know, I know. It’s not what many people want to hear. You can, however, pause information-seeking for a moment. Just long enough to notice where you are and where you want to be for the next moment.
Your career is not separate from the rest of your life
You are an ever-changing gloriously evolving human being. Do you really want to believe that life, your career, could be different? Can you expect to know the ‘answer’ to your perfect career when you may not yet be the person who will make it happen?
There are people who ‘know’ what career they want from an early age. They might have their path mapped out in front of them. These people are in a minority though. Their ‘certainty’ may come from family conditioning and societal ideas about what is attractive, available, or possible. The certainty itself doesn’t mean it is the right path for them, or that it has anything to do with who they are.
If we strip back all the career ‘shoulds’, ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’, we are left with the human vulnerability of simply wanting to live each day well and meet our needs. Wouldn’t you rather choose your career with this honesty of who you are, rather than make decisions from endless surface information? Career coaching is a process that helps you to get in touch with your values, so you can make career decisions based on them.
It may feel compelling to set New Year Resolutions, but studies show that most people don’t stick to them for very long. After an initial surge in motivation- boosted by the buzz of ‘resolution season’ – many find that their commitment wanes after the first 30 days. Why is this?
A lot of New Year resolutions get set from a place of frustration or negativity. “Oh, it’s about time I gave up smoking”. “I’m sick of…” We may react against what we don’t want, but then discover this is not enough to help us move towards what we do want. This is an important lesson in goal achievement. If we put too much emphasis on what we don’t want, we simply create more of the same.
However, this doesn’t mean we should ignore negative feelings or fears. To do so would be unkind to ourselves. Nevertheless, we also have to make space for the new we want to create.
The middle path
If you feel moved to change your life this year, make sure that you give quality attention to what it is you choose. If you want to give something up, make sure your focus is on the thing you will have more than the thing you won’t.
Take a moment now to consider who you are as the person who makes this change for your life. How does this choice benefit you? How do you feel as someone who lives this choice? What do you do as someone who lives this choice? What supports you to choose this today, tomorrow, and the next day?
The good news is you do not need to know everything about your goal outcome before you take action towards it. You will grow during the process of change, and as you do, each step will become clearer. And you can come back to this enquiry as often as you like…
To your success!
Do you need some good fortune right now, or know someone who does?
I am offering 5 FREE CV rewrites in December- no strings attached!
Imagine starting the new year with a new CV ready for employment… it could make all the difference – and help you start 2020 with a positive bounce!
However, in the spirit of good will, this gift isn’t for everyone- I am only able to offer a free CV to people who would otherwise be unable to make this purchase. I produce CVs at variable rates – find out more here https://fireflycoaching.co.uk/product-category/cv-services/
To apply for this amazing offer, call me on 01453 705 103 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to tell me why you would benefit from this complimentary support at this time. As there are only limited slots available, you will want to get in touch quickly before they run out!
PLEASE SHARE THIS OFFER WITH YOUR CONTACTS TO SPREAD THE HOLIDAY CHEER!