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Accidental Career - How did I get here?

Accidental Career - How did I get here?

10 Dec by Deborah Wilson

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Asking yourself, ‘How did I get here?’ I hear you!

If working from home or being made redundant has you asking yourself this question, you’re certainly not alone. I speak with a lot of people about their careers and the majority of people I speak with admit they fell into their current line of work.

Most people don’t plot out their career course. They get to mid-life and almost inevitably, wake-up one day and start asking themselves - How did I get here? And of course, they find themselves asking these big questions when they are really tired, have just been made redundant, are frustrated or upset about something that hasn’t gone their way (think of a workplace restructure or a new manager)… the list goes on.

We all have dreams and ideas in our youth, and we start on a career journey but along the way life happens in different shapes and forms. Maybe you stayed or didn’t stay in a role or organisation for financial reasons, maybe you had a family and found you needed flexibility, maybe you were tapped on the shoulder and the flattery kept you in the same industry. Of course, we’re all human at the end of the day. Whatever the reason you are not alone.

If you think back, you can likely connect the dots that show exactly how you found yourself in your current situation. In my view, this is a far more important but rare question for people to ask themselves:

What do I really want to do next?

Put aside a fancy title. Put aside the ego boost. Put aside money.

What do YOU really want to do next?

When someone is headhunted or offered that ‘dream job,’ your employer knows exactly why they are pursuing you for the role. They know what they’re getting, and they know they can count on you to deliver.

So, the next time someone lays down a path in front of you, take the time to sit down and contemplate how this opportunity will impact your professional and personal life both now and the future. Is this really what you want to do? Or are you making decisions out of convenience or for other reasons like lacking the time, know-how and confidence to pursue what you’d really like to do? Think about:

•  Your ‘why’…your purpose for working

•  What will my contribution be and what will this offer me

•  What this opportunity involves

•  Who you really want to work for?

Self-awareness is the key to career content and success. Think about your interests and what truly motivates you. If you’re currently out of work, change your mindset and consider this your fresh start. Open up an Excel spreadsheet and start jotting down the names and contact details of people in your network who you can have meaningful conversations with. Relationship building and quality networking will mean whenever you find yourself in a tough situation career-wise, you’ll be able to reach out to your network for help.

Career planning and coaching are real. Invest in yourself and surround yourself with supportive people who will ensure you’ll never feel ‘stuck’ in a position ever again. And if you do, you’ll know you have options. 

If you want to rethink, refocus or restart your career for 2021, book a complimentary 15 minute discussion with either myself or one of the OnTalent Career Coaches to determine how we can help you live the career you want. 

Deborah Wilson is a Thought Leader and a Career Strategist. She takes a personalised approach to strategic career coaching and career transitions, mentoring and leadership development. Deborah provides expert guidance for individuals while supporting organisations through change and connecting people and purpose.

Call Deborah on +61 403 779 746.