Springtime brings renewal and rebirth of plants, green grass, the boys of summer (baseball) and hope. After a seemingly difficult and long winter for most of the US, it’s a good time to reflect and consider a renewal of your career.
The word “renew,” as a verb, means to “recommence” or “begin again.” However, instead of doing the same thing over again, perhaps it’s a good time to consider your career path. Are you on the path you wanted to be? Do you enjoy what you do? Do you have a career, or “just a job”? Do you want to begin again, with a different aspiration?
Many of us start the year with new resolutions or goals. Often though, these keep us on the same path. For some of us, that’s great, because we love what we do, and we receive fair compensation. For others of us, if you are feeling some angst or some longing to do something else, take the time to re-create or renew your path.
I’m working with several clients right now trying to determine their next steps. One is shifting to a new career, three are considering how to leverage their education adequately, and another is trying to advance within her current company.
If you find yourself in any of these situations, consider the following steps:
1. Assess Your Values
We have an exercise that lists 50+ values and challenges you to narrow to your Top Ten and then your Top Five. Harder than you may think. Your Top 5 listed values are in truth, your Core Values, with your Top 10 being significant. Assess how your current situation aligns, and if not strongly aligned, use these as criteria to identify your new path.
2. Understand Your Strengths
If you haven’t taken the Strengthsfinder assessment, do so. It will determine your Top Five strengths. Again, use this as criteria to investigate new careers. What jobs would better align with your expertise?
3. Develop Your Professional Brand Statement
With the two steps above done, ask others who know you well to describe you with verbs and nouns. Describe yourself. Using this, build your brand statement of who you are. As you begin informational interviews, it is beneficial if you can describe yourself succinctly by doing this brand exercise.
4. Determine Your Aspiration or Dreams – broader than goals.
If considering a new career, talk to people in those roles. Find out what they enjoy and dislike about their profession. What does a typical day or week look like? What characteristics are essential for success? What significant challenges should you expect in this career? Get a good picture by talking to multiple people.
5. Identify the Path that Supports all the Above
Get off the hamster wheel and commit to a change. On a scale of 1 to 10, with one being you will do everything possible to make the change(s), and ten being totally unwilling, rate yourself on your commitment. Be honest with yourself given your life situation. If above a 4, then go for it! If lower than that, if not now, then when? Commit to a date to review again.
6. Detail and start to take steps to get there – take action!
Write down the next several steps with due dates and tell someone else to help hold yourself accountable. Move forward, don’t just let your career happen, year after year after year.
Create a notebook for this information, to help keep you focused and take the time to reflect on these questions. Whether you are in traffic, in line to pick up the kids, working out, walking, or having a drink on the patio – take advantage of these quiet moments to think longer term, not just about today or tomorrow’s to-do lists. And then, TAKE ACTION!
Often, these are difficult answers to hammer out. It may help to work with a trusted advisor or coach to “renew” your career. If you need assistance, please contact Joni Lindquist at jlindquist@AspyreWealth.com or (913) 345-1881.
Joni Lindquist, CFP®, MBA, is a Principal at Aspyre Wealth Partners. When not walking or hanging out with her golden retriever Quincy, she is a career/executive coach and financial planner, helping clients reach for their aspirations. Aspyre helps clients Master What’s Next®, no matter what phase of life they are in.