What do you want in your career?

I think this question is applicable whether you are in your 20’s, as a new successful graduate, or in your 50’s, when things can look very different after a successful career. I can vaguely remember in my 20’s when I was guided by my Dad into a career in insurance at Royal Insurance’s head office and branch; a good choice at the time. There were many choices and directions to go into when I began to discover what I wanted to do. It could have been more difficult in my 50’s when I was effectively removed from my job.

I have coached many people who have either not had a clue, or only had an inkling of what they want to do next. There is a danger of being influenced too strongly by a parent or partner who obviously have their interests at heart, but may be too involved in the process. About 5 years ago I was coaching an accountant in his 40’s who was only an accountant because his parents wanted him to be one. By the time we had finished the coaching process, he was still an accountant but in a more exciting sector of mergers and acquisitions.

As part of the process we look at blue sky thinking but we also challenge, to see if any ideas have a real chance of coming off. What do you have to offer to get you a chance of an interview? This is where the CV comes in; is it strong enough to get you an interview? Does your LinkedIn profile grab the attention of recruiters/companies and does it reflect your CV too? The CV/LinkedIn profile is only there to get you the interview.

When you get the interview, does it include a presentation, how many people are going to interview you and are you fully rehearsed on how you are going to be interviewed which might be your first, or the first time after maybe 30 years! Practice makes perfect and by the time coachees have been through this process with me they find the real interview relatively easy. It is very important to realise that the interview is a 2-way process. What questions do you have to ensure the role is the right one for you and whether the culture of the company fits your personal profile?

One of the problems of looking for a new job in your fifties is age discrimination (no matter what the law says) and the fact that your own personal values are likely to be stronger than they were in your 20’s. You will have seen so much of the corporate world’s traits and activities that you could be a bit bored. Lack of stamina may be a factor too. When I got to my fifties, I built a portfolio career using my sales skills 3 days a week whilst I built up my coaching career 2 days a week. What do you want your future career to look like?

I suppose the crux of the matter is what do you enjoy doing. What does your personal profile (see www.prismbrainmapping.com ) look like? Do you have the right behavioural strengths to suit the role in which you are interested. As my wife regularly reminds me, we are only here once, so we might as well enjoy ourselves at the same time. I love coaching, so if I can be of help to you or somebody close to you please get in touch neil@nvwsolutions.co.uk

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