Does ‘assessing your career plan’ sound boring, or like you’re back in ninth grade? Maybe you already know exactly what it is you want in your next job, the kind of work, the kind of company, where in the world you want to be. If you are, pass on this first step.
If you really aren’t sure, though, this is not boring, and if you use the tools available today, it’s more of an adventure now than it might have been in ninth grade. One other initial consideration: you can be 16 or 60, and need a career planning assessment. I talked to a woman this week who has had a good job with a company for a few years, doesn’t like the direction of the company, wants to do ‘something different.’ She has children in their 30’s, and she’s assessing her career plan.
The ‘tools’ are experiential books that cleverly ask you questions, lots of questions. Here’s an example of a question I remember answering in the ‘What Color is Your Parachute?‘ Richard Bolles book (see Book Recommendations: http://jobinterviewcoaching.org/2010/08/28/recommended-resources-from-amazon-com/).
‘Have you ever thought about situations where you really felt great doing a role?’
One of my favorite things was being the captain of a church league softball team. We were 15 fairly dysfunctional single guys. Most of the church teams, it seemed, were built around talent. Ours was built around inclusiveness, everybody played, supporting one another, we cheered the loudest when our worst players did something right, and camaraderie. We always finished the night, win or lose, at Tim’s Tavern where we had the best beer in town, or at least we thought so.
Now a leadership role committed to inclusiveness, supporting one another, and camaraderie? Well those are elements of Team-Building, a key competency for an HR professional, which is what I am, and which the Bolles book showed me via that one question that I would enjoy (and be good at) doing.
The Bolles book or any other experience-based assessment book is a LOT of work, yet identifying the skills involved in what you really love doing and care about is great stuff, and helps you build your story as you pursue a job search.