"The best place to finding a helping hand is at the end of your own arm." --Swedish Proverb
The last eight months have been quite the career whirlwind.
I took a high school counseling position in August. I was ready for a switch after seven years as an elementary school counselor. I was ready to get back to working with high school students.
After only two months, I figured out it wasn't the right fit. I finished the semester and was granted an early release from my contract.
In January, I jumped into the retail world. I'd had two previous experiences in retail and enjoyed both even though they were part-time. But this was full-time, this was working every other weekend, this was a heavier emphasis on sales...and this wasn't me. At the end of March, I will be unemployed again.
Eight months and two jobs. This isn't like me. Previously, I had three jobs in education over a span of 25 years.
So, yeah, the last eight months have been pretty eye-opening. You would think I would be anxious about my situation and there is a little bit of me that is. I'm 51 and looking to start over new...again. However, it's also an exciting time too.
"Opportunities don't happen, you create them." --Chris Grosser
That's right. You create opportunities by taking control over what you want out of your career and there are constructive ways to do this.
5 Steps to Finding the Right Career for You by Ashley Stahl in Forbes (9/27/18) outlines how one can systematically go about finding the right career, whether you're looking for your first opportunity or are seasoned and searching for some clarity. The five steps include taking career assessments, listing your options, looking for overlap, networking, and asking a mentor.
When it comes to career assessments, there are a lot of free ones out there that take anywhere from 10-30 minutes to complete. While you may have a good idea as to how the assessment will come out, take a couple of them anyway. Your ideas will either be reinforced or you might find a surprise or two.
While listing your options is necessary, so is making a list of your pros and cons. I didn't do that when I applied for my retail job. If I had done so, I probably wouldn't have completed my application. While I liked the idea of being with a company where I could work with people, I quickly discovered that commissions, evening hours, and working weekends made it heavy on the cons list. Now I know.
Looking for overlap made the shift from education to retail a potential fit. I still got to work with people, educating them about products, and was in a social environment. Sometimes we need to view overlaps with a problem-solving lens. What's a problem you see in a company that you have the ability to solve?
I've always had a narrow minded view when it comes to networking and asking a mentor. I felt like they had to be face-to-face situations. While those are an options, there are others. One can be in Facebook groups for networking and learn via professional development books, videos, and podcasts for mentoring. A virtual mentor is anyone from whom you can learn. Check out some of the books I've read recently and a snippet of what I've learned from these mentors here.
The big takeaway here is to look outside the box when it comes to your job search. Gone are the traditional days of finding a job. Think creatively and go after what you want boldly!
I know I am!
I'm a lover of life, an eternal optimist, and I have an intense desire to add value through simple living and positive vibes.