In the last two years since the pandemic began, more of you are reaching out for guidance on your career paths. To stay or to go. To retire and take a different route altogether. To change industries. To look for a more challenging, or differently-challenging, role. To go out on your own. To find greater meaning in accomplishment. To fulfill dreams that have been deferred. To be better compensated with greater flexibility. To have more joy and excitement in work.
There are three distinct phases of answering the ‘What’s next’ question.
The first is the exploration phase, identifying if it’s a tweak, course-correction, or reinvention, and zeroing in on what it is that you really want. This can be an exciting phase but also feel daunting or overwhelming because it can take a little time and courage to reconnect with what is true for you. And if it’s a reinvention, a blank canvas can feel simultaneously liberating and terrifying. Financial and family obligations are factored in during this phase, as well. And identifying not only your strengths but your passions is key as we match them to market need.
The second phase is dedicated to mapping and strategically planning and treating this as you would any other vital project. We dive into the tactical and practical: where to begin, what conversations to have, with whom, what experiences to seek out, timelines, numbers, milestones, deadlines. We create a unique roadmap to your future and write your resume to sparkle. The map often iterates and expands as you gather momentum and information, but you’ve got a plan to work from.
The third phase is execution. Getting meetings on calendars, following up, networking, negotiating — and often choosing among – offers. This might seem like the easiest of the three phases when you consider executives, but it’s here where unexpected hurdles can arise, where finding the time in the midst of an already-packed schedule can be challenging, and where we often come face to face with our fears around worth, esteem, and thinking that we’re imposters. Like any strategic plan, it’s in the doing, the execution, that moves the ball down the field and where clients find makes the difference between stalling or answering the ‘What’s next’ question.
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