Sometimes we think our next career step has to be drastic. We tend to think that one decision could change our whole life. Lindsay Boccardo, generational consultant and millennial career coach explains how to incrementally design your career as you go.
1. Stoplight exercise:
We need to get clear about what we are unhappy about (specifically) so we can fix the right thing.
Make a stop light list of everything you are doing right now:
Green: What you love doing that is part of your job description and you are good at it.
Yellow: What you are able to do, it’s a little outside your job description, and you’re not great at it, it drains you.
Red: It’s not part of your job description, it’s exhausting to do and you aren’t good at it naturally.
Your Manager likely doesn’t know how unhappy you are. They can’t read your mind and they don’t know how to make it better for you. Basically, they aren’t your fairy god mother. Once you get clear on what’s not working for you, a good manager will work with you to get clear on your responsibilities.
2. Shift your attitude
It’s a lot easier to look at our boss and our coworkers and think that THEY are the problem. But we are all creating the culture we have to live in. If you want to change career paths you’re going to want your boss on your side and you’ll want to be seen as a helpful contributor. Just shifting your attitude and relationships at work can make a huge difference with your satisfaction.
- Tell your coworker something they are doing well
- Show gratitude
- Enter your meetings prepared with an agenda
3. Follow Your Curiosity
Instead of looking at job openings, look at career paths. What do you enjoy learning about? Who can you shadow that is doing something you find intriguing? It’s much harder to genuinely explore when you are out of work and in survivor mode. The best time to be curious is when you are still gainfully employed. One thing that works well is googling “A Day In The Life of a ____”. This will give you a concrete example of what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes. I had a client who wanted to be an air traffic controller because they make good money, well, once he watched “A Day In The Life of an Air Traffic Controller”, he was no longer interested.
Overall, the best way we can prepare for the future is to keep growing. At any point, you should be able to articulate a few areas you are actively growing in. It’s easier to direct your career path incrementally if you are always growing, learning and adapting.
For more from Lindsay, visit her website.