Friday, June 5, 2015

The 5-Minute Conversation That Changed My Career

What company was the first place you ever considered "home"? For those of you who have worked for a few companies in your career, you know what I mean. Home is a settled feeling, knowing that you can shrug off the worry and hesitation about where you will go next, or when you will find a place where you can start to plant roots. The catalyst that helped me to make this decision was the fulfillment I found through connecting technology to business strategy.

If you are searching for the secret to career success, this is an individual process that has many factors, including your definition for "success". Even before defining your career aspirations, knowing who you are, your values, and the "why" for it all prior to creating a career plan may minimize disappointment later for your decisions. For some of us, it can take time before finding your path and place is apparent.

Several years ago, many of my peers were "jumping ship" to accept great offers at other companies. With opportunities appearing to be limited where I was during that time, the thought crossed my mind as well. At the very moment when my future appeared bleak, I encountered a career coach who asked me why I thought I had to leave my employer to find "my place". A five-minute conversation with her gave me a perspective that changed my approach. She simply asked:

  • What role was I interested in?

  • Could I obtain that job where I was employed?

  • What am I willing to invest to realize my goal?

At that moment, I understood the challenge was not where I was physically, but rather where I was mentally. I had to find my niche, understand the value I brought to my current role (not waiting for the "right" job to show value), and how to demonstrate and communicate my value. I concluded this was a formula specific to me, so gaining employment with another company wasn't going to solve my dilemma. I would have been in this mental prison wherever I went until these three simple questions liberated me. Thinking differently about what I was thinking about helped me to discover the answer that was there all along. So often employees are waiting for their ultimate role to show their value. The reality is, by demonstrating your value now (regardless of your title) and investing in yourself gives you the ability to move to where you are trying to go.

If You Are Challenged By Your Career:

1) First, know what you want and don't want in a career.

2) Determine if you can do it where you are.

3) Know your value, strengths, and areas for improvement.

4) Decide what investment you will make in yourself to achieve your goal.

5) Start now.

 For more career insights, check out my new book "50 Essential Tips To Getting & Keeping The 'Right' Job" or at