There are few things worse than being in a place where you feel stuck, complacent, stagnant; like you could be getting somewhere much better, much farther in your career, so much faster. And while some employers do invest in professional development and growth for employees, these opportunities can often feel too slow—a small improvement on your existing skill set by going to an afternoon conference, getting a mentor or an online P.D course. There’s nothing wrong with growing as you go. But if you’re ready to grow big, then I think it’s time to be proactive, to no longer rely on your boss to push you forward but to invest in growing a ‘set’ yourself. The good news? Coaching won’t interfere with your 9-to-7 job, and can have a big impact. Here are four common reasons you tend to feel stuck right? In each case, consider how you are levelling up your skills to get out of a rut.
You’re Not Doing the Work You’re Meant to Do? This is an all-too-common feeling today: You know you’re unhappy with your current job, but you aren’t really sure what you want to be doing instead. While there are many ways to find your passions, diving deeper into little curiosities by can open up your mind to possibilities and hopefully give you more clarity about what you do and don’t enjoy. Example: I have a client in Kuwait who is a big data scientist but he’s been at it for a long time but what really jazzes him is when he gets out of work and goes diving at the coral reef near his condo. What we determined together was how to map out a bridge between his passion / fun time and his skill and toolbox to locate a job combining both. He has job joy and mostly he’s grateful that together we crafted a way out of his current job and into a better fit related to analysis of global oceanic research data. With coaching and mapping out your steps: you may find that your passion will lead to an entirely new job which generates a self directed career—or you may become very clear that you shouldn’t go down a path you were curious about. Engaging your brain in a new way could even help invigorate or pivot the work you’re currently doing. Explore topics that light you up, and see where it takes you.
You’re in your 40’s and Not Moving Up Quickly Enough Right? If you love your job, you want to rise up through the ranks, and you need to show your boss what you’re capable of. Taking a course in a relevant subject matter is a great way to show off not just your additional skills, but also your dedication to your work. Of course, you should be strategic about your class choices and how you communicate it. Consider what is required of the role you want to move into and focus your learning there. Will you need to learn more about data and analytics? There’s a course for that. Will you be speaking in front of bigger audiences? There’s one on one coaching for that. Whether you need expertise in broad topics like management or communication or niche fields like user design and project management, there are myriad of choices that can help you develop the necessary skills for the role you want. If you’re not sure what, exactly, you should focus on get to the next level, reach out to your network ask for advice and be curious of how others got promoted / celebrate them and tell them you admire them –be gracious. One client in Ottawa worked with me on how to ask for advice: we agreed that it would be best to survey monkey poll people who have jobs one to two steps ahead of his (at your company or elsewhere) about what they’ve done to get ahead, then invited them to have a sit-down and learn more and bring this insight with you to your boss about your findings and your plan. At some companies, you may even be able to get your professional development and coaching services paid for! Either way, share key leanings as you progress through your coaching or classes and advice seeking and look for ways to demonstrate your new skills at every opportunity. You’re working hard to learn more—make sure to show it off!
Ugh! You’re Not Landing the Jobs You Wanted Much like with getting a promotion, landing a brand-new job often means adding to the skills currently listed on your resume. Whether you’re trying to transition to an entirely new field or simply want a refresher on a topic you know and love, it’s worth looking at volunteering on a board or taking internships or shadow days to help you build the skills you need to land the role of your dreams. Take a good look at the requirements of the job you want. Those bullet-pointed on the actual listing are helpful to review, but think outside of the box, too. What would be necessary to be exceptional in this role? What would you need to learn? What would help advance the goals of the company? What magic can you prove you did that you would deliver if hired? Maybe you’re a marketer who knows your lack of data analysis is holding you back, or a graphic designer who wants to learn web design and code to start applying for different types of holistic roles. If you’re having trouble figuring out what you need to get from your role to where you want to be, consider talking to a career / skills coach who may be able to see the gaps that you can’t. Together you’ll find the steps that will help you grow in that specific skill set this new job requires, do your best work possible, and find the right ways to use your newfound abilities to make your next year’s application shine. For example, you could create a portfolio or ‘dashboard’ / spreadsheet to show off the work you did volunteering or put your snazzy abilities into practice by doing a pre-interview project for them.
Yup! You Just Need a Little Inspiration Pushing yourself to learn something new doesn’t always have to be tied to a specific professional goal. Given that coaching can range from public speaking to poetry, learning about something that’s interesting to you can help you grow not just as a professional, but as a person, too. “I’ve been wanting to take an improv class for 10 years, but had never found a three-hour intro class where I could get my feet wet,” says Carrie Wright, a digital asset photo organizer who signed up for a coaching program with me last year. “Coaching, really changed how I interact with people and start conversations. It’s one of the most impactful things I have ever done to become more comfortable socially.” No matter why you’re feeling held back in your career, it’s worth taking steps to invest in your professional development. Start considering coaching either online or in person to see if together we can spark your curiosity and drive your own career.
Start with a program of 2 -3 months and set aside this as a priority or opt for a 1 day intensive program and consider it: a birthday gift to yourself. Start; take your transformation seriously. Or, if you can make a case that coaching will help your work, ask your company to pay for it. Enroll in a program that includes pre and post homework and support -we’ll make the changes together firstname.lastname@example.org 613.355.8596