School is back, the visitors have left the local beaches and, whilst the sun is beaming down as I write this, there has been a noticeable coolness for my early morning cycle ride. Summer days are ending, and autumn is on her way.
At this time of year, as nature hovers on the brink of seasonal transition, it feels appropriate to take a moment for ourselves, to reflect and take stock.
Where am I going?
Do I want to go where I seem to be headed?
What else is out there, waiting for me?
How can I best use my knowledge and skills in a meaningful way?
All of us follow a cycle where we move from seeking novelty to mastery in our work. This cycle takes on average 7 years – shifting from seeking change, to doing or learning something new, to then acquiring the expertise and mastery all humans look for (hence the ‘7 year itch’). This time frame does depend on the individual. To understand your cycle, just look back on your career and write down the rough dates of when you changed jobs, or saw a significant shift in your role and responsibilities. What time frames can you spot? Is there a pattern you can discern? For some people, they move from novelty to mastery in 2 years – for others it’s closer to 12 years.
On top of this natural cycle, for change makers everywhere, we can overlay the sense of urgency around the challenges we face, adjusting to and mitigating climate change, reducing our waste and resource overconsumption, innovating new technologies and solutions and so on. This adds significant weight for many, that they need to be applying their talents and skills in the best ways possible, so they can really make a difference.
To be as insightful as possible, reviewing where you are in your career needs a structure. So over the next four weeks, I’ll be sharing a simple yet powerful process I use with my private clients (as a coach I specialise in career transition) in a series of articles here in the WINS Blog, with accompanying resources for you to download and apply your own situation.
You need at least 30 minutes uninterrupted time for part one of this review. So, shut the door, switch off your alerts, grab a coffee/ tea and let’s dive in!
Career Review Part One: How Satisfied Are You?
The first vital step for any career review is to think about the most important aspects of you at work and then to reflect on your current levels of satisfaction around how you are experiencing those core areas.
Download the first tool for you to use in this career review here
To help you do that effectively, I’ve identified eight core areas that pretty much always come up for people. In the table in the download, reflect on each category and note down (key words/ phrases are fine) your thoughts.
Once you’ve gone through all eight categories, go back through and score out of 10 how satisfied you are for that category (where 10 is the highest level of satisfaction).
If you feel something is missing, simply add that category in and review/ score as before.
Often seeing things visually can help us identify important patterns and deepen our insights, so follow the instructions on page two to create your visual tool. Before you then dive into the series of prompts I’ve offered you, look at the pattern you’ve created in the wheel and ask yourself ‘What does this tell me? Then select the questions that resonate the most and further your self-awareness and insight.
I’ll be taking you deeper into this process next week when we look at what we simply MUST experience in our working lives to feel fulfilled and happy – i.e. your values.
If you get stuck or feel you might need more professional support, drop me an email here.
Rhian Sherrington, FRSA, MSC, ACC,