A couple of days ago, I stumbled across yet another media coverage about expat spouses and the fact that those well-educated women are throwing away their career ambitions to follow their husband abroad. Interestingly enough, the comments below the post have been even more prejudiced than the article itself. I wonder why it is so hard to change the image of the expat spouse and what we can do to become recognized as what we are: amazing, brave, solution-oriented globe trotters with a lot of understanding for global issues?
How to create a career vision that inspires you
How to create a career vision that inspires you
Many people dream of radical career changes, but only a few follow through. A move abroad often forces us to take the leap and jump. Whether this is because you are not able to continue your former career abroad or because moving overseas finally empowered you to take the risk. In this blog post I will introduce you to some career shaping techniques that I learned from fellow career coaches along my journey. So great that you are interested in this topic and want to know more. Share with us in the comments where you are struggling right now and what decision you are going to make.
Also check out the free download at the bottom of this article to work on your very own vision for your career change.
Brainstorming about your career vision using Journaling
The first step of each change process is always getting aware of where you are now and defining the scenarios that are wandering around in your head. Journaling can be a great tool to get rid of all the thoughts in your head and get them in order. There are no rules for journaling. All you need is a sheet of paper and a pen and some time. I personally prefer to have a small notebook just dedicated to the topic of career planning. In the beginning, the blank page might be intimidating. Remind yourself that it is not a handwriting contest nor does it has to look like a fancy bullet journal in the end. The first pages are just to get rid of thoughts, and if you are fancy for some more structure, you can use the following pages to establish some order or use my free template (link in the bottom).
Helpful questions to trigger your process of creating a career vision
In the world of coaching, we always talk about powerful questions that will start a particular thought process. So without being in the coaching context, you can still use some questions to get your thinking going in different directions. Here are some examples for potential questions. Choose the one that speak to you:
– What do you like about your current job/ your former job?
– What do you entirely dislike about your current job / former job?
– Take an average day of the week (not a Monday or a Friday but maybe a Tuesday or Wednesday). Now imagine you are on your way to work. What would this day ahead look like? What tasks would there be to do, what kind of phone calls, what would be the team structure? Imagine a Tuesday you would feel comfortable with, and that would make you look forward to work. List all the small things that come to your mind.
– What skills do you currently have and love?
– What skills would you like to add? What was a skill you not only always admired but that you also would love to incorporate in your daily work?
Write down all the thoughts you have and before moving on, take your time and reflect on what that means for your ideal work.
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Get ideas for job titles and do a reality check on your career vision
Many Career Coaches recommend making a reality check. In my opinion, there is one step missing before deciding on what career path would be realistic to pursue, and that is the brainstorming phase of the potential career paths itself.
A simple yet effective approach is to scroll through LinkedIn and browse through the profile of friends and friends of friends to get an idea of different professions. Look at their education to understand how much time and effort is needed for certain careers. The LinkedIn search bar gets more functional every day, and it works excellent with different keywords about potential careers. With all this knowledge write down your different career ideas and test it against requirements, skills, and your perfect Tuesday you worked out before.
Who would be your perfect colleagues?
This is a great way to make your thought process less abstract. The type of people you want to surround yourself tells a lot about the career path you are searching for. Do you like to work with fast-paced, entrepreneurial people? Or do you prefer to have the first-hand contact with people from very diverse cultural backgrounds? Are you more looking for traditionalists or thought-provoking people? Be honest to yourself and don’t just state “fast-paces” because it sounds good – maybe fast-paces is exactly what you don’t want.
Also, think about in what setting you would like to work? Are you ok with working alone or do you prefer larger teams? Would you prefer working from home, from the office or maybe even a mix of everything? What kind of environment fosters your creativity or efficiency? Think about your personal preferences and write down what comes to your mind.
Writing down your career vision
So now, put together all the writing you have done so far.
As an example, I would like to share my current career vision with you. With everything that I am putting out on my blog I try to be as authentic and genuine, I can be. Therefore, I not only put together all the useful information I have found on the internet and from talks with recruiters and other career coaches, but I always test the exercises myself. In that way, I can work along one of my core values of being genuine and enabling to others. I hope reading my vision might help you with yours and you will be inspired by.
In case you don’t like a blank paper I designed a couple of pages for you to write down your thoughts. It contains all the steps we discussed in this article and you can download it for free by clicking on this button. I wish you all the best for your career planning and hope you found this exercise useful. Let me know in the comments below or shoot me a direct message with feedback or questions. Love to hear from you!
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