Career Coaching is often done from an ‘outside-in’ approach, meaning people are tested, then look outside themselves at job boards, Craig’s List, etc. to find their next position. Given the transitional times we are currently experiencing regarding the whole area of jobs, careers and work, and the deluge of resumes employers receive when they open a position, that is no longer the best way to approach the area, and in fact, may never have been! The times we are in call for clarity on what makes a candidate unique, and the ability to speak about that to everyone who will listen.
A friend came to me recently who I’ve known for years. She is currently working part time, vaguely or not so vaguely dissatisfied with that work, and doesn’t know how to find the next satisfying place to work. She needs to have income, and she needs purpose. Now what? In our conversation what got revealed is that she has no idea what makes her unique. She knows she is unique, (she has always been creative and insightful), yet culturally she has never had a community of people who support her to finally be able to understand and speak about this intrinsic design or gift that came with her when she was born. Her friends are worried about her (You can’t leave that job. How are you going to support yourself?) or (Go back to school. A higher degree will be the answer.) or my favorite, (Just take a job that pays well. You’ll learn to like it).
When our Career Design clients finally hear their design in a respectful and powerful way, and are open to seeing it as the foundation of their life’s work, a deep sense of peace often descends upon them. There is a period of adjustment (What am I supposed to do with that?) followed shortly by clarity that all their lives they have longed to have the chance to explore this area more fully, to teach and lead this conversation, and to be with people who they can collaborate with. Then true Career Coaching can begin.
Too many times people are in a rush to just find the next thing. In that rush we continually lose ourselves, and end up searching from desperation. Design does slow us down as we become more aware of what to choose and what to say no to. However, as we slow down and make wise choices, we become more effective. That sense of knowing you really are different from everyone else, and that is by design, is something we never lose track of again. As we begin to deepen our understanding of what makes us unique, we finally let go of having to convince other people to see things our way, or to do things our way. Rather, what happens is, we relax, and get curious. If we came into life knowing this much about a specific area, now how do we show people more and more about that area so that their lives can be better? What work, industry, or job will support me doing that? Who is the ‘tribe’ I feel most at home with? And what is the most powerful way to speak about this career design, taking into account the trends, interests and mission of the people and organizations around me?
That’s Inside-out career coaching. That heals people, and begins to heal the world. Work done from design is inspiring, attractive, healing and effective, causing people to stay in their jobs longer, be better staff members, and be much more creative. It also seems to be more lucrative. The bottom line is people hire who they are attracted to. Knowing your design, and being able to speak from there, is the most attractive thing you can offer. Welcome to inside-out career coaching!