My “schtick” has been that I’m good at helping you build a strategy for the job you want, but that I’m not good at helping you figure out the job you want.
Fierce & Focused is my side hustle and I do have a full-time job, that I truly love. An employee booked time with me, and wanted career guidance. She expressed that she doesn’t know if she wants to get more technical in her role, or become a people leader.
So, I leapt into career coach mode without missing a beat.
Getting in Flow
I find it’s easiest to begin with the things you lose track of time doing. List out 5-10 activities where you are so immersed in it, that you lose touch with reality. If you’ve never experienced something like this, there’s a chance you may need to try out more activities, or explore topics you love, and do them more frequently. Here’s a little bit of the psychology of “Flow.”
In the exercise with this employee in particular, we quickly had about 7 items written on the whiteboard in front of us. Then, I asked her to rate each one from 1-10, in terms of “interest in having that be a core part of your career.”
Even for myself, there are things that I lose track of time doing, like video editing, that I would likely never want to do for a full time job or spend a large chunk of time doing.
Key Components of Paths
For a next exercise, we discussed two or three “career paths” that she was considering. Under each path, we listed a few things that would likely be involved in those pathways. For instance, with being a manager of people, there would often be interpersonal conflicts to resolve, interviews to do, and 1:1s to hold.
I asked her to rank her enjoyment of those activities from 1-10.
Before we knew it, we had a whole map of activities and responsibilities that were ranked in the 8 to 10 range, which means that this employee really valued those things.
A solid majority of the people I work with tend to think within the confines of what currently exists. However, I’ve found tremendous success with creating job titles out of thin air.
You have unique skills. Companies often have unique needs. It’s not out of the question or impossible to pitch a company on creating a role for you, it just takes some extra effort.
All that being said, if you do the activity that I just described, and what shakes out is something that resembles a commonly known job position, go for it!
Once you have a job title or set of responsibilities narrowed down, head over to Linkedin.com and go to Me > View Profile. You should be able to find a section that says “Show recruiters you’re open to job opportunities” or “Edit Career Interests” and then you can list several job titles, locations, etc. and have the information that you’re “looking” for jobs be only shown to recruiters, not all LinkedIn members.
And, now that you’re getting all this career pathway advice, dig in to all my other resources and advice. Subscribe to the fierceness below.