Get Unstuck: Activate Your Career
The recent world events have caused a lot of people to rethink their idea of what the perfect career is. Industries will change greatly due to layoffs, redundancies, and people’s habits changing in reaction to having to stay at home, etc.
In addition, the XYZ generations are thankfully not tied to the concept of following just one career path throughout one’s life. The “path” is now more like a road filled with detours towards something more fulfilling.
There’s no better time than now to think about readjusting your vision of what a dream career could be in the new order.
People are turning to Career Coaching to help them get out of the rut they are in and work towards finding a job that not only stimulates them intellectually and is more satisfying, but often offers better work/life balance.
Dubai based Career Coaches, Dina Bsharat and Valerie Miller, sat down with us to answer questions about how career coaching can put you in a much better position to tackle the market.
W@W: What are the most common misconceptions about career coaching?
DINA: That the time will be spent on the external factors and market circumstances, whereas in reality a lot of the time will be spent on developing and bringing to the surface what is already there for the client. Career coaching mostly focuses on the factors that the individual has control over such as their skills and competencies, experience and education, resume and online profile, etc. rather than what is happening outside of them. The external factors are important and need to be addressed; however, finding fulfillment in a career addresses what is going on inside of the client first, allowing them to gain powerful insights, and then bring in the other aspects. As in, what are their strengths, values, likes/dislikes, potential obstacles, and how are these connected to current market opportunities and areas of growth?
Another misconception is that your career is meant to bring you fulfillment every day for the rest of your working life, otherwise, you’re in the wrong job. Although this may be true for a small number of people, the truth is that there will always be challenges and obstacles, there will always be difficult people, and some days will just be harder than others. Career coaching helps you build the skills required to make more conscious choices in moving towards a fulfilling career.
The last misconception is that people unhappy with their careers need a dose of reality when actually it’s quite the opposite, they need more than ever to be connected to their dreams, their vision, and what kind of impact they’d love to be making on the world.
W@W: Can you describe what Career Coaching might encompass in addition to guiding the client towards powerful insights?
VALERIE: It’s important to offer the client a deep dive into their strengths and competencies, what they like to do, their core values, and opportunities in the marketplace.
After determining which direction they will take, we work on the obstacles standing in the way. Is their resume lacking some sort of experience or education that could enrich their offering to employers? Do they need to work on their confidence?
Helping them design an impactful resume and LinkedIn profile that will speak to employers and contain all the essentials such as keywords to get past the ATS (Applicant Tracking System) that so many employers are using now. It is essential that the coach and client create a compelling narrative which can be used in the resume, cover letters, and LinkedIn profile that enables them to stand out amongst other candidates
A good coach will champion the client and encourage forward action. It’s important to make little experiments to get them closer to the targeted job and allow them to gain confidence as they go.
W@W: What is the amount of effort a person should be putting into a job search? How can a person set themselves up for success?
VALERIE: There are small things a person can do every day. For example, interacting on LinkedIn is intrinsic to getting noticed by the LinkedIn community (recruiters, hiring managers, Human Resources, investors, etc). Many people do not know about the power of LinkedIn Groups and how to use them to get maximum exposure for one’s job search. We teach these techniques in our 4-part Career Workshop Series. Conversations are also important. The more people that are aware that you are looking for a job the better your chances of getting a tip that one is available. It’s crucial to build your “posse”, people you can trust that will introduce you to others that can help give you an introduction to someone that’s hiring.
However, it’s important to know that looking for a job is not easy and can be time consuming. The more tools you have up your sleeve from day one, the better prepared you will be to compete in this market. We call it: Hit the Pavement Running!
W@W: What do you love about your job as a Career Coach?
DINA: That we can give back hope to people who feel like they don’t have a choice. It’s amazing to see the transformation in someone who was trying to find solutions outside of themselves and for them to discover that what they need is right there in front of them. Sometimes when a person has been stuck for a while, it’s difficult for them to gain a new perspective and try to come up with different solutions, and it’s rewarding to be able to help open up a world of possibilities for them. The best part is when we hear from current or past clients and they share their successes and accomplishments.
W@W: What are the challenges people face when trying to change careers or find a new job?
VALERIE: Many clients come to us in a very bad head space. They are frustrated with their current situation and don’t see the way out. The focus becomes their reality. It’s our job to help them practice the ability to see the best in themselves and turn the mindset of “dead end” into one of possibility.
People sometimes fear what they believe is the enormity of all it will entail to change careers. Coaching shows them how to break down the “mountain” into small achievable tasks that guide them steadfastly towards their identified goal.
Confidence is also something that clients struggle with. Either they have been broken down by an unhappy job experience, a toxic boss, or lack of belief in their abilities. We have tools to address all of these things. It takes courage to change. Coaches address self-limiting beliefs a person might have. This can allow people to dream of something bigger—it can also propel them into creating their own business and becoming an entrepreneur, getting out of the corporate world altogether. And sometimes it’s not about leaving a job, it’s about rethinking how you are interacting with your manager and how your behavior is holding you back. It is satisfying to us to feel that shift in a person when they realize they are capable of surmounting the challenges that they have in front of them.
W@W: Is it ever too late to change careers?
DINA: It’s never too late. It’s all about cultivating the mindset that is going to serve you to achieve your career goals. Can you find what you’re looking for in your current career? Sometimes that means that you will make the decision to change careers and other times it may mean that you need a change elsewhere. It’s important to take an honest look at your priorities to notice where you are willing to make changes and what is/isn’t up for negotiation, and how that impacts your career goals. Plus, we both did it ourselves at different points in our careers so we definitely know it’s never too late!
W@W: How will a person know if they have found the right job for them?
DINA: When they have a strong and clear line of connection from what they are doing in their job to what their goals and vision are. It’s difficult to stay committed to a job or career when the person doesn’t know why they’re doing it or there isn’t a strong enough reason that they care about. The vision is what keeps us going and the goals are how we’re going to get there.
Sign up for Dina and Valerie’s workshop series beginning May 16th:
Get Unstuck: Activate Your Career
Acquire the Tools and Mindset to Pivot to your Dream Career
Saturday’s from 3pm to 5pm
May 16th to June 6th