Career Alignment Road Map Step One: Get to Know Yourself

"I don't have a clue about what I want to do."  

So often I hear this refrain from individuals dissatisfied with their current job, feeling stuck in their career, or on the heels of a downsizing.  Gently, because I have been here myself, and knowingly, because I understand the importance of this first step to career alignment, I suggest that the  existential, whopper of a question, "Who do you want to be?" might be a better way to go at it.

Now, here's another mind-blowing idea, who you want to be has a lot to do with who you have been.  Our life histories are packed full with stories that point to our unique values, strengths and skills. The decisions we have made, and the paths we have tread, point us directly to what we most care about in work and life, as well as to the capabilities we have developed over time to attend to our most basic needs for security, safety, and relationship.

Yesterday I met with a client to wrap up her intensive SHIFT-IT program.  These are sacred moments for me -- to be witness to an individual's journey as they take on the big questions, and to celebrate their plans and successes.  She shared with me that one of the steps of her 2018 action plan is to craft a pie chart that melds the "be" and the "do" into a simple image that reflects an integrated life.  One that honors family, community, and the unique and valuable talents & gifts she has to offer others.  A brilliant & simple resume that may change by degrees over time, but keeps what's core and real at the center.

Mary McGuinness, M.Ed., PCC is a career transition and shift-it coach based in Chicago, IL USA.
Mary uses visual coaching and design-thinking techniques and practices to accompany her clients on a journey of self-discovery that results in creative solutions, faster results, and happier, more fulfilling careers.  



Mary McGuinness