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How To Resolve Midlife Career Change Doubt

Do you want to change careers, but feel stuck and full of doubt? Maybe you have a dream career goal and have researched it thoroughly. Maybe you’ve gone as far as undertaking preliminary training. Despite this, you aren’t ready to commit.

If this sounds like you, you’ll notice that you lack confidence despite having lots of information about your ideal career. The reason? You can’t conceptualise yourself in the role. Secretly you wonder ‘what will it be like? What will be required of me?’

This doubt – about who you are in relation to a new profession – is a common reason I see many people holding back from change. It’s easy enough to research a job description, but that isn’t the same as understanding what you – as an individual – will need to step into an alternative career. WHO will you need to be to do that?

Why Doubt Can Hold You Back From Your Dream Career In Midlife

At the start of our working lives, we begin to explore who we are and what we have to offer in a professional capacity. We may feel there is a lot of time to choose another career. We might take more risks. At this stage, we might be more inclined to ‘go with the flow’ with our hobbies and interests without needing to know where they’ll lead.

By midlife, we have developed our skills and experience and now have an individual story of who we are and what we are capable of. We may also have gained multiple responsibilities (such as a mortgage or children), with their own financial and practical considerations. Decision-making needs to be strategic. Self-doubt makes us cautious. The combination of these factors means that we might not want to follow our interests and see where they lead. We want certainty. Even if we have a dream career goal, our passion may not be enough to guarantee our commitment to it.

An Activity To Untangle Career Doubt

So, if you are full of doubt about your dream career goal, what can you do? Grab a pen and paper or use your favourite device to complete this short brainstorming activity.

1. Write down your doubting thoughts concerning your ideal career.

Get them out of your head. No edits. Examples of common doubts are: ‘I don’t know if I’ll be able to manage.’ ‘I don’t know if I have what it takes to do the job well’.

Keep going until you have listed all your main doubts.

2. Review your list of doubts and notice if there are common themes.

You may notice a repetition of the same doubt, phrased differently – if you do, decide which phrase best represents the core meaning of your doubt. Or write a new phrase that describes it more accurately.

3. For each doubt listed, brainstorm what you would need to know to alleviate the doubt.

Be specific. For example, ‘I would need to know how tiring the job is.’ ‘I would need to know if my personality type would fit the role’.

4. Brainstorm practical ways you could find out what you want to know.

Don’t worry if they seem silly, or if you do not yet know if they are possible. Write them down anyway. For example ‘I could have a one-day job trial’, ‘I could call HR and ask them about the role’. Come up with as many options as possible.

5. Lastly, identify which of these practical steps you CAN do, and commit to doing them.

Decide when you will take action and commit to it in your diary. When you have completed the steps, repeat steps 4 and 5 until your doubt shifts.

I hope this activity helps you to gain the clarity you need in your career decision making. Even if you realise your fantasy career is a definite ‘no!’, coming to this understanding will free you to make other choices. Don’t let doubt keep you stuck!

This tool is by no means the only way to resolve career doubt – if you would like 1:1 support to do so, you can find out more via a free 30-minute consultation call. Find out more about my career coaching packages here.

Are You Out Of Touch With Your Personal Strengths?

Do days go by where you feel you are wasting your potential? Perhaps your work lacks meaning, or you struggle with daily feelings of dissatisfaction? As a career coach, I focus on helping people to identify their strengths and how they would like to utilise them. I see first-hand how undeveloped potential can lead to feelings of sadness, unfulfillment and frustration. It can feel – on an emotional level- like an unseen tragedy. You might not immediately notice that you’ve become stuck. And when you do, you may have forgotten what it felt like to be any other way.

At some point, we all experience periods where we can’t, for some reason or another, bring the best of who we are. Maybe we aren’t given the opportunity, because we or others don’t recognise our potential. Maybe our strengths aren’t within the remit of our job description. Or maybe we dismiss or undervalue our strengths because we have learnt to value other ones instead. If you are stuck, consider whether these examples apply to your situation. Then commit to taking action to address it. The danger of not recognising or valuing your strengths for too long is that you might assume they don’t exist. And I promise you, they most certainly do!

How do people get out of touch with their personal strengths?

Let me give you a few examples of how this can occur:

  1. Someone kind and naturally soft-spoken might not excel in an environment that demands they communicate in a different manner. They may unfavourably compare themselves to others there, wearing away their self-confidence.*
  2. A person who gets ‘in the zone’ through physical exertion might get frustrated in a static desk job. They might sense that they are better suited to something else, but can’t identify what that is as they haven’t yet utilised their potential in a paid role.
  3. Someone who thrives on solving customer-facing issues might feel as if they’re not doing their best if they can’t see or meet the people they help. They might perform highly in their role but as they value people contact, they still feel dissatisfied.

Ultimately, our work isn’t just a set of tasks we perform, it is what we bring to it; our flair, our values and our unique personalities. If you feel you are wasting your potential, it is probably because there is a mismatch between the work you do and your personal strengths. Put another way, it can be very dissatisfying to utilise your strengths if they aren’t valued, or you are not recognised when you do. And if you do not nurture your strengths, you are only slowing down the process of finding out where they could lead.

Some questions to help you resolve your dilemma

So, what can you do if you find yourself in this situation? First, take a deep breath and assess your position with a clear, open state of mind. Some questions you may wish to consider are:

  • Is there room for me to develop/use my potential in my current role?
    It might be worthwhile asking your boss if you can take on additional responsibilities or take a secondment in a different department, for example.
  • Do I need to move to a different environment or organisation to excel?
    Sometimes it is not the remit of the role which stifles our potential, but HOW we are required to fulfil it that matters. This can vary across organisations, so research different company cultures to identify alternative job possibilities.
  • Do I need to focus on developing/using my potential outside of employment?
    If your strengths relate to skills or interests which are not related to your job, make sure you identify opportunities to use them anyway. Eventually, you may be able to incorporate them into your work or even make a complete career change.

As you can see, there are many ways to identify, develop and nurture your potential and utilise your personal strengths. Doing this will benefit every area of your life as you will feel more fulfilled and valued for who you are at your best.

* Note: These examples are just for illustration. It is entirely possible, of course, to develop new strengths in areas we might not immediately gravitate to.

Do you want to address your career dissatisfaction? Book a free 30-minute consultation call with me. You’ll receive a complementary Introduction to Career Coaching PDF too. 🙂

Find out about the Career Satisfaction package, a 5-week coaching journey to help you identify your unique strengths.

What To Do When Success Feels Out Of Reach

My message for today is: DON’T GIVE UP!
Goals can take longer to accomplish than we anticipate. And if you are extending beyond your usual area of expertise, you might find it a challenge to identify a realistic time frame of achievement. This is an excellent reason (as if you needed any) to be kind to yourself. Changing careers or expanding your comfort zone can be tough!

It can be easy to look at other people’s success journeys and fall into the comparison trap. When we want to accomplish something, it makes sense to find out how others did it first. But, the problem with this is that our perception of other people’s success is distorted by an outside view. Typically we only see the end result. And when we see more than that, it can create an even greater distortion because we might think we know it all.

Take television singing contests, for example. The process appears to be transparent. It would be easy to assume (even if we don’t consciously think so), that we understand what is involved. But it’s important to remind ourselves – whatever success story we see from the outside – that there is more going on behind the scenes than we know. In the case of shows like Britains Got Talent, there are vocal coaches, wardrobe dressers, make-up artists, legal experts… I could go on! And simply knowing this information is not enough to understand what it means to be in the position of a contestant.

So, when we consider our own journey to success, we need to be careful when we compare ourselves with others. You will have your own strengths and challenges. There will be blindspots to what you think you know. You know you will need to work hard, but may be surprised how your resilience and emotional fortitude are tested.

So, what do you do if success is out of reach and you feel stuck on the way there?

TIP 1 – Remember the reason you want to pursue your goals

Motivation keeps you going when the going gets tough. If yours is low, take a few moments to consider what your goal means to you, and what difference it would make to your life once it is realised. Whilst you ponder on these questions, list down as much detail as you can. You might prefer to make a collage or draw a picture to represent what your future life will look like. Place this somewhere you can see every day, to remind yourself of your goal and motivate yourself to take consistent action.

TIP 2 – Identify what you can accomplish now

Some goals are bigger than others. Whether you want to compete in the big space race or run a sustainable farm (or something else), it is important to make sure you have achievable sub-goals that provide satisfaction along the way. And, if you are experiencing feelings of frustration, sadness or hopelessness, make sure you bring a little of your big goal’s essence into your life now. How can you do this? Consider the essential aspect of your goal – is it that you will help others, have autonomy, lead a team…? Once you know what it is, brainstorm realistic ways you can experience this in your life now. It will be on a lesser scale than your big goal, but I guarantee there will be SOME way to experience this meaningfully. Review your list of ideas and commit to a new achievable action (with a date) so you can experience the essence of your goal. Feel your soul sigh with relief and rejuvenation!

TIP 3 – Create a clear(er) action plan

If you don’t have a strategy to achieve your big goal, you are leaving it to fate. Even if you do, the likelihood is (as you are reading this), it may not be working for you.

Put aside 20-30 minutes to review your goal. Ask yourself; is it clear? Is it achievable? If you’re not sure, that’s ok as your emotions act as an excellent indicator. Do you feel motivated by your goal? Positive? Excited? Confident? If any of the answers to these are ‘no’, you may need to amend your plan so it is achievable. An action plan that doesn’t help you to achieve your goal is worse than having none at all as it will waste your valuable time. Be honest about where you are now so you can find the next step and start to make progress.

TIP 4 – Surround yourself with supporters

A problem shared is a problem halved. Share your goals with supportive allies who will encourage you to keep going throughout your personal journey to success. Support can come in many guises- it may be emotional, practical or financial.

Allies who value you at your best and believe in what you want to bring into the world are priceless. They may be accountability partners, mentors, coaches, role models or understanding friends. Your personal vision of success matters, and it is even more powerful when you share it with others.

If you would like to gain a coaching ally to help you pursue your dream life and career, book a 30-minute no-strings career consultation call. It’s free, so the only thing to lose is uncertainty. 

Ready for the next step? Read more about my career coaching packages and fully individualised support to help you plan your next steps.

The 3 Inconvenient Truths Of Career Transition

Career change and transition are so much more than going from one job to another.

It’s a process of adapting to change which tests your emotional and mental resilience. 

When you change careers, you are changing how you choose to identify yourself in the world of work. Your potential, your strengths, your skills. You’re making a different decision about who you are and what you can do.

Career transition takes courage, but it might not be as hard as you expect. The first inconvenient truth is, you won’t know exactly how it will be for you until you are in the process of change. There is so much unknown; about what it will be like after those initial first steps, for instance.

Sometimes excitement or a sense of your future potential can be enough to motivate you to get started. But, what if it isn’t enough, or you don’t feel that yet? The second inconvenient truth is, if you need to know how things will work out before leaving your comfort zone, then the change you want might not happen for you. 

But – wait. Don’t give up! Do you know where your comfort zone is? Can you feel the very edge of that comfortability? If so, you have a starting point. A recognition of the old and known and everything you can already do. You don’t want the same old anymore – you want a career that is in integrity with you and allows you to grow.  You are much more than you thought and you can feel this deep inside, otherwise, you would be content where you are.

When you realise that the old won’t give you what you want, the unknown suddenly has potential. You can see it from a new perspective. The unknown is where possibility lives. That’s where your untapped potential is waiting.

So now you have some desire for change, uncertainty, and knowing what doesn’t work or what you can do. This is the territory of very early career transition. And if you are willing to explore further, a day will come when you can leap and dance in and out of your comfort zone because it has become your friend. The third inconvenient truth of career transition is…your strength never came from your comfort zone anyway. It was within you all the time!

Career transition may be different than you imagine. If you would like to find out how coaching can support you through a career transition, book a 30-minute no-strings consultation call. It’s free, so the only thing to lose is uncertainty. Are you ready to go on an adventure?

How To Manage Your Mindset During Career Transition

Changing careers usually entails a period of transition and adjustment into a new professional identity. Learning how to manage your mindset will help you stay resilient throughout this process. This guide introduces 5 key tips to help you maintain a positive mindset throughout a career transition.

1. Change Your Mindset Around Your Existing Job

It can feel frustrating when you want to change careers. You may have outgrown your job role, or identified a new career goal and want to reach it as quickly as possible. But focusing on how you do not like your job, only adds to your frustration and increases the sense of pressure you feel whilst you are there. Instead, choose a different perspective of your current job. See it as welcome financial support that will help you to achieve your career goal. What positive ways has your job helped you in your journey so far? Write these down and remind yourself of them often whilst you are in transition. If your work situation is untenable, seek professional advice to find out your options.

2. Create A Career Transition Action Plan 

Take a proactive stance against worry and doubt by formulating a clear plan of what you need to do to achieve your career change goals. This might include a timeline of activities, as well as expected milestones so you can track your progress. It’s ok if you don’t know all the details, or if some change as time goes on. Even the most rudimentary plan can give you peace of mind. It is also easier to adjust existing plans in the face of setbacks, rather than making them up as you go along. 

Decide on a realistic budget for your activities and stick to it. Whether your career transition takes two months or two years, worrying about money will only slow down the process. 

Make sure your action plan includes trusted sources of advice for strong decision-making. 

3. Choose Your Influences Wisely

Conduct an audit of your daily life to identify which influences enhance, or detract from, a positive mindset. Remove those which drain your energy so you have more available for your career transition activities. 

Surround yourself with supportive friends and family members who welcome and encourage you to achieve your goals. Be careful not to discuss details with unsupportive parties as this may distract your focus. Mentors and role models, on the other hand, may have a positive impact. 

Spend a few minutes jotting down ideas about the kind of support you would like (if any) from yourself and others, as you transition careers. This may generate additional activities for your action plan. 

4. Embrace A New Career Identity

Allow yourself to let go of your old professional identity, which may no longer feel comfortable, and tell yourself you are a ‘[insert career goal] in training’. However close, or far away, you are to realising your career goal, remind yourself regularly that you are on the path to it. Find others who can reinforce your new professional identity by joining networks within your chosen field. Online groups can be a great resource to meet others without pressure.

5. Record Your Milestones & Achievements

Use your career transition action plan to record each milestone and achievement, however small. This will help you maintain a positive sense of momentum and stay focused on the career you want to create, rather than what you don’t want. Increased feelings of appreciation and self-confidence will in turn motivate you to complete more goal-related activities. As you progress, you will be able to see your progress until you have reached your goal. You can do this! 

I hope you have found this guide useful. If you would like support on your career transition journey, find out how I can help you on a free 30-minute consultation call with me today.

Are you ready to gain support in your career transition? Check out my Career Satisfaction coaching package.

3 Activities To Help You Hack Career Dissatisfaction

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

Want 1:1 coaching to help you achieve career satisfaction? Access a FREE 30-minute consultation call here.
Check out my Career Satisfaction coaching package to help you identify your personal strengths.

3 Reasons Self-Love Is Vital for a Happy Career

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.

Katie 💫

Is your career in transition? Book your free 30-minute consultation call to discuss your situation or, if you are ready for coaching, see the 5-week Career Satisfaction coaching package to help you identify your personal strengths and career satisfiers.

Have you fallen out of love with your career?

“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?

Katie 💫

Book your free 30-minute consultation call with me here

Are you ready for transition coaching now? Read more about the 4-week Career Development coaching package and the 5-week Career Satisfaction coaching package.

Christmas Opening Hours

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.

Katie 💫

Book your free 30-minute career consultation call with me for January 2021. Until then, please familiarise yourself with my range of career coaching and CV services.

Typical reasons people seek a career coach in the New Year

As January approaches, it is common for people to want to think ahead to the New Year and what they would like to accomplish. This is often fuelled by a revitalised motivation in tackling old goals, making new ones, and generally wanting to ‘start the year as you mean to go on’.

In this context, coaching can help you to:

  • Identify your career development priorities for the year ahead
  • Assess your career development progression from the previous year
  • Plan suitable activities to support you to achieve your goals

I also offer a multitude of CV services, whether you are actively applying for jobs or are thinking about adapting your personal branding to represent a change in career focus.

What to do when your career no longer satisfies you

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

Don’t rush

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 it!

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/

Making career decisions in a post-Covid world

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!

Katie

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.

A behind-the-scenes peek at CV creation!

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!

Katie

I deliver a range of CV services to help you update your professional applications, whether you want to have a CV rewritten for you, or the coaching and resources to learn how to do it yourself.

Not ready to take the leap? Book a FREE 30-minute consultation call with me to clarify your needs.

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