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  • Cindy Lee

The invisible first step

We’re in the process of navigating your career situation with integrity – the job-searching approach I use to help clients find the right opportunities, which I introduced last week (take a look for a refresher on common pitfalls, etc.).

It’s an inside-out approach that gears the search towards honoring what you set as your values and priorities and matching your skills and preferences, rather than a “backwards” approach to making you simply fit what employers are looking for or what others think is good for you. Beyond job-searching, it's a helpful discipline to evaluate this ongoingly even when you're happily employed.

This is a paradigm shift for some, so the first action step is to organize your mind. It’s an active step because it takes intentional effort to do; this doesn’t just happen on its own.

When do you typically reflect on things in your day-to-day? Do you think back at the end of the day about the things you’ve experienced? Do you “debrief” the decisions made? In theory it’s not such a foreign concept to do so – the reaction I got from a client the other day (which is actually the more common response I get) is “Oh, wow, I can’t remember the last time I actually had time to think like that. Things are so busy, I usually just react. But, I should do it more. Yeah, I want to do it more.” Is that what you’d say, too?

This is important as it relates to your state of mind and perspective as you enter this process, so START TODAY! If the objective is to navigate a career transition in a way that honors you and your preferences, this expects that YOU will be making the investment of time in self-reflection and processing, and also taking action.

Some practical suggestions:

  1. Choose your attitude to be one that is open, honest, authentic, and reflective. If you take on a learner’s posture, you’ll be better able to see the big picture (and thus your role in it).

  2. Give yourself permission to explore. There may be a lot about yourself and the job market that you don’t know yet… for now, the point is to capture what you DO know and want, meanwhile identifying the gaps to determine what you still need to figure out. This takes time, so also give yourself permission to be patient!

  3. Set aside time to think. I require my clients to spend time DAILY to actively reflect on understanding who they are created to be. It’s difficult to get the clarity you need if you don’t make time to declutter your thoughts. I’ll be offering some structure as we go to guide you through this exploration time.

  4. Suspend your preconceived notions & judgments on roles and titles. Labels often limit our options and contaminate our view of possibilities. If we want the purest form of what would fit you best, let’s start with an untainted view. We’ll talk more about this later, but for now, expect that much of what you know to be out there is merely one possibility amidst several.

Which one(s) will you start working on today?

This was a less tangible step, but it’s a crucial one to have in place before we start tackling all the tangible ones. There will be plenty to “do” in the weeks ahead to fill your exploration/reflection time mentioned in #3 above.

We’ll be covering core values next. In preparation, start thinking through the types of values that you’d live for and die without.

* If you’ve done work before, either with me or elsewhere, around clarifying your core values and creating a mission/vision/purpose statement, you’ll definitely want to reference it as we’ll be building upon it. *

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