The world of work has changed beyond recognition.
Today’s norm is 12 job changes before 42 and 6 career changes before retirement. Permanent, pensionable and secure jobs have been replaced by gigs, freelancing, self-employed consultants, contractors, entrepreneurs and sidetrepreneurs. While innovation brings opportunity, alongside it comes uncertainty. So, whether you are in a career you love or loath, career self-evaluation is critical to career agility.
By focusing on your current professional situation, you uncover the knowledge necessary to thrive in your future career. We call this type of self-evaluation ‘The Career Selfie’.
The Career Selfie
We are all familiar with the selfie – a picture of yourself, taken by yourself. After double takes, filters, and enhancements, naturally, you share the ‘best version of you’ on social. With ‘The Career Selfie’, there are no filters and no double takes. The purpose of this selfie is to help you-
- Figure out where you are in your career,
- Understand where you want to go and
- Use your data to design your own version of career success.
Now that you know what A Career Selfie is, use these five tips to take one-
Make time to take time
Buy a notebook that makes you smile when you look at it. Set aside 60-daily seconds for seven days to work out your Career Selfie. Choose a time, set a reminder and start.
Understand the Now
A Career Selfie involves self-reflection which is often uncomfortable. So, expect to feel uncomfortable but do so without judgement. Ask yourself-
- Where am I in my career now? Am I happy here?
- Is this where I thought I would be at this stage in my career? If so, what got me here? If not, what are the decisions that led me here?
- What are the most/least enjoyable parts of my job/career?
- What are the core functions of my role? Do I enjoy them?
- Do I like the environment I work in e.g., the people I work with, the values of the company and the culture?
Answering these questions establish the hard facts of where you are professionally.
Explore The Possible
This part of your career selfie grants your permission to ignore the practicalities and dream big.
- If everything was perfect, where would I be in my career now?
- What exactly would this look like for me? Be descriptive here.
- What strengths would I use?
- What skills and expertise would I exercise?
- What would motivate, engage and fulfil me?
- What would my work day look like e.g. remote work, flexitime, short commute or travel more?
- How much money would I earn?
Understand your data
Compare the data from your two lists. Identify any differences and skills lacunas that are evident. Do not consider any potential stumbles you may face as you progress, transition, change or pivot in your career. Based on this data, your data, devise your strategy.
Fill Skills Lacunas
Once you understand your data and put a plan in place, begin to fill your skills gaps. Upskill, reskill, or retrain in a risk-free way by doing online and part-time professionally recognised programmes. You can also gain work experience and/or work with a professional coach.
As you go through the process record your momentous moments.
Article by; Sinéad Brady
Sinead Brady, Chief Inspiration Officer at A Career to Love, is a Dublin based career and coaching psychologist who works internationally. Over the past 15 years she has helped 2,132 people to thrive in the modern workplace through her Design Your Own Success Programme.
She writes, coaches, blogs and speaks about all things careers related. Her favorite topics are managing your career in a time of change, the future of work, psychological safe workplaces, work-life blend, leading you, and returning to work after maternity leave. For more information, check out A Career to Love.