9 Out of 10 times a person’s need for change is so big, they will make the wrong career choice. Because they haven’t thought it through or are not equipped with the right information. This is an alarming thought when you take into consideration the financial and emotional consequences that this entails. How many times have you heard about an individual who moved positions but after a few months they realised it was the wrong move? The reasons can be endless - the business culture doesn’t suit their style of working, they don’t get along with their direct manager or team, the company was too unstructured, the role wasn’t creative enough, they feel exhausted at the end of every day…
An article by Claire Hewitson, Head of Career Services, MBA Programmes, Copenhagen Business School and Founder at Claire Hewitson Career Coaching.
I’ve personally seen this need for change with the hundreds of MBA students I’ve coached at leading business schools across Europe and I’m always amazed at how many enroll in the MBA because they know they want a change but don’t have a particular goal in mind. It’s been a way for them to make a change quickly and hope that they can find their direction on the way. I always use the analogy to my students that this is like getting into the car and starting to drive without knowing the end destination. It’s not very effective or efficient.
Whether people are starting out their careers or are having a mid-career crisis, many of the tools I use are similar. What I spend the most time on is to help the individual really understand themselves – their talents, values, motivations and skills. This gives an excellent foundation to not only brainstorm what potential opportunities could be but also to evaluate opportunities when they arise. When I have a client coming to me who is looking to make a career change, I get them to do a series of exercises prior to the session which are based around the client’s core elements. Many clients I work with will say they already know this but when asked, they actually struggle to articulate it. It is also rare that we take a step back and take the time to really reflect on these core elements that make us unique and ensure the career decisions we are making are conscious and aligned to our true selves.
Three exercises that I will often get clients to do are:
1. Journaling what their ideal work day looks like from the moment they get up to the time they go to bed and everything in between. I get them not only to focus on the types of tasks they would like the day to include but also feelings they would like to have, the environment they would like to be in. My number one instruction is not to hold back. This is their time to dream, it can create excitement and hope for the possibilities of the future and you can get lots of gold insights from this type of exercise. It’s one of my favourites and I recommend everyone to do this exercise at least once a year to see if they are in sync with their current situation and ensuring they are in not only a job that they love but a life they love.
2. I use the TMA Talent Analysis, which is one aspect of the TMA method to understand a client’s natural talents and drives. I always enjoy doing the validation with clients. It’s extremely rewarding to see the client recognize themselves in the output and it’s an excellent starting point for a good conversation about the areas that come naturally to the client, which will in turn ensure that they will both enjoy and excel in what they do.
3. A more practical exercise that I get them to do is to write an inventory list of all the tasks and projects they have done in all of their jobs. It can be a long process for an experienced person but it is the foundation to help them understand what they could do next and also to achieve it. This list will help identify skills, help them write a targeted CV and even help prepare them for interview. Once they have a complete list, we can identify the tasks that they have enjoyed and excelled in.
All of this information is the foundation to being able to make well informed and conscious career decisions. Imagine being able to match every decision you make next to the information you have about what is truly important to you. The risk of making the wrong choice will most definitely diminish, costs associated with this will be eliminated, emotional stress decreased and everyone will be doing the work they love to do.
For career, leadership and development coaches who are curious to hear a bit more about how I have integrated the TMA Method into my coaching business, I’ll be giving a full demonstration on 11th May 2021 at 12pm CEST time. If you have your own business and would like to easily scale or you’re thinking of venturing out on your own, like I have - this is a must. Not only will you find out exactly how I use this system, we will also be offering a free TMA Analysis and validation for yourself after the workshop. You can explore how the system works and get more information on your own talents, which can be extremely valuable when running your own business and knowing which things you would be best to outsource! Register here for the workshop.