Whatever your career dream is, you must have a plan so you can achieve your goals. This post can be used as a tool to give you guidance and help you achieve your career dreams!
This post covers a 6 step process. This will look into specific areas:
What are your Dreams and Aspirations?
Where are you now?
Where do you want to go?
What steps do you need to take to get there?
Who and what can help?
1. What are your career dreams and aspirations?
Grab a pen and plain piece of paper – write, draw or scribble your dreams and aspirations.
2. Where are you now in your career?
This process starts with taking a good look at where you are currently.
What are your skills, talents and interests?
What are your values – do you like to lead, work with people or alone?
Do you like working face to face with people or prefer independent work?
What environment do you like? Inside or outside?
Thrive working to deadlines?
Which teams do you like working in, quiet or loud, small or large?
Further Questions to consider:
Where am I now in regards to my Career?
How do I feel about my current situation?
What does my experience to date look like?
What do I enjoy the most?
What are my skills?
What are my strengths and weaknesses?
What appeals to me in my current situation?
What are my values? (work/life)
Do I like to lead, work with people as a team or work alone (with data or text)?
Do I like working face to face with customers or back office work?
How do I feel when I think about my ideal job (excited, motivated, fear)?
Is there anything getting in my way of achieving what I want?
What feedback have I received? (try doing 360 feedback in your workplace).
3. Where do you want to go with your career?
What you’ll do next is:
Consider your career goals
Explore your career options.
Develop concise written statements related to your goals and add them to the table below.
Knowing where you want to go makes the next steps in determining your future career move much easier.
What does my ideal job/business look like?
If I could do any job in the world what might it be and why?
What are my short term goals?
What are my mid-long term goals?
What motivates me?
Where do I want to be in 5 years?
Are there any specific weaknesses I need to address?
How will I do this?
What do I want to see/get/do more of?
What do I want to see/get/do less of?
What is my preferred balance between work and my personal life?
Who else does this affect?
What normally gets in the way of achieving my goals?
What kind of work environment suits me best?
4. How might I get there?
By answering questions 1 & 2, you should now have a clearer idea of what you want & where you want to go. The next step is figuring out how you might get there. What do you need to do? Below are some questions you may consider in deciding what resources may be useful.
How can I prepare myself and my environment to achieve my goals?
What resources and tools/resources do I need?
What steps do I need to take to get from where I am now to where I want to be?
What new skills, knowledge do I need to possess?
What new skills do I want to learn?
What existing skills do I need to develop?
How can I commit to achieving my goals?
What barriers do I need to remove to make this happen?
How will I know I have been successful?
5. Who can help you and what resources can you use?
Knowing who can assist you and what resources you need to achieve your career goals can greatly assist you in staying focused on your goals.
What new relationships might I build help me attain my career goals?
Who do I know who can support me attain my career goals?
Who have I lost touch with who might be able to support me in my career goals?
What role can my friends and family take in encouraging me to stay focused?
What role can my unit head/manager play in supporting my career aspirations?
What communities of practice currently exist that I can tap into?
6. Career Time Frame
Selecting a time frame will keep you accountable. However you do this, always have a target date in mind.
Now you have done exercises that will help you write the clear and concise goals. We have a looked at who could help you, how long it might take you, how to measure the achievement and looked at what where you are now. It is really important to make sure they are specific statements to keep yourself accountable.
EXAMPLE: Perhaps you want to increase traffic to your blog?
Specific: I want to boost my blog’s traffic by increasing my weekly publishing frequency from 5 to 8 times a week. As a blogger this will increase my workload from writing 2 posts a week to 3 posts a week.
Measureable: An 8% increase is my goal.
Achievable: My blog traffic increased by 5% last month when I increased weekly publishing frequency from 3 to 5 times a week.
Realistic: By increasing blog traffic, I will be able to boost brand awareness and generate more leads, giving sales more opportunities to close.
Timeline: End of this month
Now let’s look at that as a smart goal – SMART Goal: At the end of this month, my blog will see an 8% lift in traffic by increasing my weekly publishing frequency from 5 posts per week to 8 post per week.
Urgh, not sure how? here is a SMART sentence you could use a a guide: My goal is to [thing you to achieve] by [timeframe or deadline]. [Resources] will help accomplish this goal by [what steps you’ll take to achieve the goal]. Accomplishing this goal will [result or benefit].
Career Coaching to build your goals
Build & Learn
With your aspirations in mind, we can explore and identify your blockers and develop new approaches to remove limiting beliefs. You will develop a growth mindset to enable you to progress and step up in your career. Your aspirations will turn into clear and concise career goals.
It was hard a decision to make. but once I had decided it was time to go from a job & Company that I fell for, to follow my own path that was more suitable for me and my career aspirations – I felt lighter, happier and energised.
The truth is, how you leave a company is just, actually, if not more important than how you enter the organisation. Yes, first impressions count but what about that lasting impression.
When you watch a film or TV programme you are gripped to how the story ended. Not necessarily how it began. Crappy endings mean bad reviews, no season renewals, no sequel and worst of all, placed in the crap pile! By the show of hands: Who wants to be in the crap pile? – that’s right, NO ONE!
My Partner, who is self-employed, has a bit of a motto: “You are only as good as your last job” and it is something that is not only quite fitting for this post, but actually rather a nice mantra to live by.
Here I tell my story of what I did in my final working days. If you are currently working your notice period, I hope this can help shape your exit strategy.
My last few weeks were tough, my brain had started to empty, I had even started to forget people’s names (OK, in my defence, they themselves had already left and I hadn’t seen them for a good few months) and I was getting excited about my new adventure…
The plan was simple. Align expectations with my line manager, deliver on the items that were deemed critical and although tough, DO NOT get involved with the office politics!
I kept my line manager in the loop, offered any assistance with reviewing CVs or being part of the recruitment process (which wasn’t accepted or in fact really my place, but the offer was there) and made sure I was available for any handovers. The management role I held, meant that I was a resource on multiple projects that were at all different stages within a project life-cycle. Knowing this I did the following:
Two group drop-in sessions for Project Managers to come along to ensure that they had the up to date version of the process and had an opportunity to bring up any critical actions
1-2-1 sessions with the individual Project Managers which gave them the opportunity to go into more specific detail and complete any relevant documentation
And finally, on this point – Each session was followed up with an email, copying in my team, my line manager and the managers of Project Managers.
Aside from the project work I was responsible for, I also had ownership with processes and some general administration. I made sure all artefacts I created were accessible and followed this up with an email. I also produced a basic handover document, which could be used as a base for a new starter – the document included the repository location, reporting details and conference ID. Although it seems simple, not everyone uses their initiative or bothers to spend the time.
As my last few days sailed by, I made sure the I’s are dotted and the T’s crossed. I made sure I swapped contact details with colleagues that I built great relationship with. I wasn’t very forthcoming with my next steps after I leave; some people like to announce their success however, it is also just fine to keep your cards close to your chest.
Departure day arrived, I sent a few emails then cleared my laptop down. After a farewell lunch, I did my rounds of goodbye, wishing people luck and success. I handed my equipment and building pass back to a trustworthy individual (my manager wasn’t in).
I gracefully stepped out the front door, where it only felt like the day before where the excitement all began.
The truth is, writing a CV is an art form. It can take many, many, many attempts before you have a coherent document, that recruiters run through a system to pick out key words before passing it on to the hiring manager.
But once you have mastered your CV, wow! The sense of achievement feels fantastic! And this document (your CV) will get you through the rest of your career.
It is always difficult to know where to start, but first, you need to know the No-Go Zones.
There are certain things that should not show up on a CV . In this piece I call out 10 areas that should never appear or be used in your CV:
1: Private and personal data. That is: your date of birth/age, gender, religious belief, national insurance number or sexual orientation. By including such information, you are opening yourself up to discrimination. And… never include your martial status. In fact, it’s now illegal to discuss a candidate’s marital status under the Equality Act in the UK.
2: Inappropriate contact information, with this I mean your email. If your email is email@example.com (or something far more unsavoury, and you know what I mean), which is fine to use to set up your social media, BUT not so fine for applying for a job. Get onto google and create a new FREE email: firstname.lastname@example.org – ✔ done.
3: Social media handles. Other than LinkedIn, there really is no need to include the others.
4: Every-single-damn-grade from any and every exam you have ever taken. After a few years your school grades become irrelevant. Especially if you’ve moved onto further education or have professional qualifications. The best way to include grades is to cover your most recent education first, such as professional qualifications. Then, move backwards including fewer details as you go.
5: Colours and funky formats. Now, this is really depends on the job you apply for. In a creative world, sure – Why don’t you stand out but putting your CV in a different format. For example, if you are applying to Innocent Smoothies, turn your CV into a label on virtual 3D bottle! Not only will you stand out but you are also showing off your skills. But make sure you attach the PDF/Word document as well. However, when I was talking to a recruitment friend of mine, she said how she wished that all candidates followed the black and white standard format, which makes it is easy for her (as recruitment consultant) to read. So don’t get rejected because you made your CV bright green.
6: Made up job titles. Another area my recruitment consultant friend mentioned, was how frustrating it can be when candidates make up their job roles, then when interviewing they realise, the candidate has not done the job before, or even have the skills and it wastes a lot of time.
7: Fake skills. Don’t get caught out on this one.
8: Your photo: I know in some countries its standard practice to include an up-to-date photograph of yourself on your CV/resume. However, in the UK, it’s one of a few personal details that you’re better off removing. not only does it take up valuable space and doesn’t add anything to show how well you perform. It can also open the recruiter up to unconscious bias.
9: Poor language, spelling and grammar. This immediately shows laziness and can make you look incompetent. A way around this, is by creating your CV in MS Word: go to Review > Read Aloud. Utter game changer.
10: Hobbies and Interests. Unless you do something remarkable as a hobby then don’t bother including any. We all like to read, go the gym and cook. These hobbies are not going to make you standout.
Now you know what not to do, why don’t you come and checkout the CV Surgery to learn what to do.
You can opt in for either a group session or 1-2-1 coaching session, it really depends what you need! To find out more, email me email@example.com
With the call for self-isolation (back in March 2020) and social distancing sweeping the nation (and the entire world) due to Coronavirus/Covid-19, corporations invoke a work from home policy to ensure business as (un)usual can carry on.
But what about the self-employed, entrepreneurial communities?
From Coaches (like me) to Personal Trainers, Gardeners to Builders – the working from home concept is not always a viable option.
Let’s be real – Some businesses are ‘hands on’ with the need of physical contact/interaction with others, outside of the home to ‘get the job done’ – now with the ask of social distancing and isolation it has proved that there is a significant impact to such business models.
As someone who has family, friends and a partner, who are in the self-employed world: I have explored, researched and produced as many options and ideas as possible for the self-employed squad to adapt their businesses with the aspiration to generate an income as well as build contacts and create new, enhanced offerings.
I know this is a slight off-brand article. I don’t like to show up empty handed. And if they can help you, then I have fulfilled my mission.
We are incredibly lucky that technology is so easily accessible which allows individuals to turn brands into online content.
Let’s look at the options…
Your occupation is say, a Career Coach, Personal Stylist or Personal Trainer start to think about what services you can transition as an online offerings? What could that look like? How would you make your prices competitive? Can you offer something for free to start to build your network?
Let’s look at some examples:
A Personal Trainer could look to schedule virtual classes or 1-2-1 PT sessions allowing their clients to still workout from home!
A Life/Career Coach can easily change their face to face 1-2-1 coaching sessions to a Zoom or Skype call which would reduce cancellations.
A Personal Stylist could restructure their content to do virtual online shopping experiences. Physical shops might be shut, but online isn’t.
Perhaps you are a retailer that has a physical store or a pop-up shop. Start to think about how you could drive traffic to your website? Do you need to spend more time on creating content? Is it accessible? And most importantly is it user friendly?
And if you don’t have a website, this is your opportunity to create one!
Other avenues to consider are: Creating a clothing subscription model. Start to think about what other additional services you could offer like a wardrobe review which you can do remotely via a Zoom or Skype call. What about creating and offering vouchers for people to use at a later date.
However, what if you are in a job where you need to be outside, “hands-on” and socially interacting with others? Perhaps you don’t have any services to transform or reconstruct into a virtual offering?
This is where changing your mindset is key and is the time for you to apply some flex to your approach and start to adapt your business.
Ok, so you’re a Gardener and your customers have requested that you do not come round as they are self-isolating. Could this now be the time you create how-to videos on planting the perfect bulb to create the perfect garden? Perhaps you wanted to branch out (excuse the pun) to re-brand as a Landscape Gardener, designing, drawing and executing plans. Do you need to up-skill? Are there any courses you could start to educate yourself with? Maybe you can develop a service where potential customers send you photos of their Gardens with measurements and you could send over a few designs then schedule the work virtually by FaceTiming the client when you are onsite?
Perhaps you are a Builder, a Painter and Decorator or perhaps you have job which means you work in yard. Could this be an opportunity to create online content in the form of an online course? Perhaps you have a niche skill that you could train others in?
Maybe, You have the best job in the world (ok, perhaps I’m bias) and you are Dog Walker, Dog Groomer or Dog Socialiser. As more and more people are now working from home, your regular four legged customers are now being walked by their two legged owners. Could this now be the time to modify what you do by creating an online course for new pet owners? Could you write an e-book and sell it on Amazon? Could you do virtual puppy training classes? What about setting up a website, ready to take on new customers once we are back to a level of normality?
Virtual opportunities are there and I hope some of the examples have sparked some ideas on how you could digitalise your business. I don’t want to just leave it there, so I have also provided below your starter tool box, additional tips and law/government resources.
So you want to start creating content for your socials, your website and perhaps enhance your marketing. Take a look at Canva.
Canva is a graphic design platform that allows and enables you to create social media graphics, presentations, posters and other visual content. It is available on web and on mobile as an app, and integrates millions of images, fonts, templates and illustrations.
So you have all your content. Great. But how do you get it out there. Use Hootsuite – to schedule your posts. It is easy to set up and integrates with all the main social media platforms.
You want to explore your creativity and start to write a book! Great, I have found 3 great websites for you to check out which will help get you started:
Don’t risk losing your work! Back. it. up! Try using dropbox to keep your work safe! Dropbox is a cloud based filing system for storing docs. Yes, really is as simple as that.
Plan, plan, plan. Get yourself a pen and paper to mind map your ideas.
Set yourself a timeline, what is realistic?
Could you be holding webinars? Perhaps an Insta Live stream. Although you will not make money from this, it will help with establishing your business to a virtual community.
What about a community virtual workshop?
Build relationships and build your contact base. Don’t be afraid to slide into someone’s DMs as the old saying goes, nothing ventured, nothing gained, you really never know if something could come out of a just a conversation.
Also, focus on your community, reconnect with previous clients – is there something you can offer? – The truth is, people are going to remember what you did, what you said and offered for free during this turmoil!
Have a think about who could you collaborate with? Who could help you transform your business model?
Government and professional support
Just by googling ‘self-employed benefits covid 19 uk’ I was presented with pages of guidance. Below I have listed out supportive information that is revelant as per date of posting. I recommend checking approved and known sources such as gov.uk and BBC.
Information (updated on 26/03/2020)
Self-employed people will be able to apply for a grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month.
You should be getting a letter/contact from your accountant or the HMRC who can help you further.
I’m here to Career Coach and support you in your next steps of your career journey. I will be your biggest fan, accountability partner and sounding board. We will work together to overcome any limiting beliefs. Tackle the imposter syndrome dragon. Build your career confidence. Learn ways to amplify your voice. Shift your fixed mindset into a growth mindset. In addition, we will cultivate your personal brand.
I have been in the corporate world for over 10 years. Working in IT, specifically Service Delivery Management; within Retail (head office) and Financial Services. I started my career as a Junior Service Desk Analyst. Then, worked my way to (almost) the top. I have managed strategies, global teams and budgets. I have been the only female in the room. The pink dress, in the ocean of grey suits. Presented to large and global groups, without prior notice.
So, you see, I know what it is like to grow and progress, along with, overcoming obstacles as you build your career. I also know how it feels to aspire to step up to the next level but not also not being too sure on how to put one foot, in front of the other.
Want to work with me on your career? Send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
It doesn’t matter if you take home £100 a week or £100 a day – saving money, although hard, is necessary as well as an enabler for you and your future.
As a disclaimer, I am not a financial adviser or have a qualification in such areas. But I am savvy, so wanted to write a post which might help you!
4 Money Saving Tips
1 – Do you know how much money you spend a week/month? If you have answered yes, then great, but if it is a no – this is a great place to start:
Download your banking app and make it a habit to check it weekly. What do you notice? Any trends?
Could your Starbucks coffee every morning causing havoc with your finance?
Let’s say, your coffee is £3.50 a day.
So let’s look at that: £3.50 X 5days a week = £17.50… £17.50 a week X 4 weeks (a month) = £70! … That is £70 a month on a 1 Coffee a day! So how can you still get your morning caffeine hit and save money? Easy! Either invest in a coffee machine at home paired with purchasing a lovely thermos flask (hello, also saving on plastics and paper). Or get yourself some instant coffee. Now repeat for all your other expenditures. Could it be time you start making your lunches?
Open up excel and capture your ins and outs! These are you regular payments that you are committed to each month. But hold on, what is that regular payment there £7.99 for NOWTV but you never use it? Time to cancel? And why is your phone bill so high? Can you get a better deal?
Although this is basic and perhaps time consuming you could end up saving money which could be hundreds of pounds a month but changing your spending habits.
2 – Saving for the future is about setting up your nest egg whether this is an ISA or just a plain old savings account?
Find out the best one for here but researching! Good places to start are with these:
3 – Do you have a huge credit card bill and money to pay it off, yet you just pay the minimum each month? We all do it! No shame, but if you have the money, pay it off NOW. Credit cards, in my opinion are for emergencies – now when I say emergencies, I mean a new boiler not a pair of Jimmy Choos!
4 – Do you know your credit score? There are so many free online tools which can help you find this out and are able to provide an in depth review on credit history.