With the children settled back at school, the start of the new academic year is a time when parents are most likely to think about a fresh start of their own. Returning to work can be a confusing and challenging time without a recession. Dana Mellor, founder of the coaching organisation Bumpy Business, has put together a few top tips.
Top Tip No 1: What would you do if……..
Think about what you really want. There’s plenty of time for being realistic and making compromises further down the line, so it’s important to at least start with your best possible outcome in mind. We’re naturally wired to think about what we don’t want rather than what we do, and this is evident when I ask new clients what they want. ‘Well, I know what I don’t want……..’ is often the answer
If we want to move forwards, we have to think forwards (towards the future) and if we focus on what we want to move away from, that is exactly what we’ll end up with.
Top Tip No 2 : Think WHAT rather than HOW
WHAT you want is much more important at the outset than HOW you’re going to find it. Our logical mind tends to look at what is out there first. We may browse the online jobs sites or local papers and then get demoralised week after week when nothing jumps out at us. Alternatively, we can look inwards instead of outwards and start with ourselves. If you could do anything, what would you do? If all jobs were paid the same, what would you do? If there was a job out there just waiting for you to apply, what would it be?
I can already hear the objections, ‘it's OK for you to say that…….how on earth………. yes but….….……if only…………’
Top Tip No 3: Define your Purpose
If we were all here to make a personal contribution, what would yours be? What difference would you make, if given the opportunity? Once we name this, we begin to align ourselves with the skills we want to use, develop or learn. We become aware of what really matters to us at work and we allow the right opportunities to materialise.
Top Tip No 4: Make the journey visible.
Focus on where you want to be and make the journey between here (the present) and there (the future) visible. Keep a journal or create a picture board to track your progress. You could start by writing your own career goal, maybe a job description including hours and remuneration, created entirely by you for you. Draw, paint or collect pictures or symbols to clarify your goal. Cut out images which resonate with you from magazines or online libraries. Profile the company you would like to work for and clarify the difference you would like to make. Note the small everyday things which inspire you, the micro-idea which briefly comes to mind when you’re least expecting it, the insight triggered by that everyday conversation.
I’ve been making my poster 'journey' look beautiful! and it's a great process. So simple but so significant. I think everyone should do one……..
J Higgs, Bradford on Avon
Top Tip no 5: Choose Your Response Carefully.
An economic recession gives us all a point of choice. We can choose to focus on the wider generic effects of the recession and allow those issues to jeopardise our job search, or we can focus on what we really want and be at the front of the queue for job opportunities, once the economy starts to recover. Time and time again in my fifteen years as a career coach, I’ve seen career progress determined not so much by the employment record of my clients but by how they respond to the challenges in the present.
As Stephen Lundin, Harry Paul and John Christiansen say in their book Fish! A Remarkable Way To Boost Morale and Improve Results: "The past is history, the future is a mystery and the present is a gift."
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