Careers 30 September 2019

Where to Next?

Where do you want to go next in your career? It’s a very good question and a big topic of conversation at this point in the year.

Perhaps you have been in your current role for a while, and you are ready for a new challenge (but aren’t sure what that should be). Should you pursue the safe and predictable route, or do you long for something more adventurous? You might even be wondering if you should stay right where you are.

Career choices can become even more tricky for some when trying to find a balance with family needs. Managing your career means making tough decisions. After all, the choices you make will not only impact you but also the lives of those you love. We like the sound of these steps to help chart your next career move.

Try ‘the cabin exercise.’
Imagine your life many years from now. You are retired and reflecting on your long and satisfying career, ask yourself the following questions:

  • “Looking back on the entirety of my career, what I am most proud of is …”
  • “If I had to do it all over again, the one or two things I would do differently are …”
  • “If I could go back and counsel my younger self, what I would tell myself is …”

Write down what you hope your answers would be. Be honest.

Determine what energizes you now.
Draw three columns on a piece of paper, each with the label “energisers,” “neutral” or “drainers.” Think about everything you do that is related to your current job, and place these tasks into the corresponding column.

Read the tea leaves.
Once you’re finished filling in these columns, review your responses by answering these questions:

  • What are your overall impressions as you scan all three columns? Are there any surprises?
  • Which column has the most items? Which has the least?
  • Out of all of the items in the energiser column, are there any that energise you more than the others?
  • Are there one or two items in the “drainers” column that significantly drain your energy?
  • Think big. What type of jobs or roles going forward might maximise the activities that energise you and minimise what drains you?

Pull it together.
Review your notes and highlight what stands out most. Next, write down themes that emerge from both exercises. Then, summarise in three sentences or less your conclusions about what the exercises are telling you about your next potential career move.

At this point, it’s time that you move from introspection to action.

Decide, and don’t look back.
You’ve put in the work to make a well-informed choice that fits your goals and the needs of those around you. It’s time to make a confident decision — without regrets.

The ACE 2020 course books will be out in a few short weeks and there are loads of new possibilities and combinations. Check back soon.

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