Managing your Career in 2019

by Sonya Cooke

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”
Steve Jobs

Of the many niche areas of expertise for coaches, Career Coaching tends to begin with a very clear objective before they enter the session, which is to advance the career or job satisfaction of the client. Sonya Cooke is a Career Coach and offers some valuable advice for managing your career and what to look for in a coach.

Steve Jobs once said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”  This quote strongly resonates with me and I feel incredibly grateful that the work that I do adds value and purpose to other peoples lives.

The sense of satisfaction I get at the end of the day through either placing a candidate into their dream job or coaching a client who wants to transition their career to the next level is immeasurable. So, how can you experience more job satisfaction?

Firstly, understanding your motivation behind the job you are currently in or the job that you want may help increase job satisfaction. Secondly, if you are lacking satisfaction you can do something about it which may involve switching jobs or changing your approach to your current one. A successful career requires a process of deep self-analysis by asking those hard questions, “What do I really want?”, “Am I genuinely happy?”, “What I am willing to sacrifice now to get closer to my career goals?”.

For some these aren’t easy questions. They force you to look at the whole picture and how your career impacts on other areas of your life. The good news is if you choose to confront those answers with courage and confidence you can open yourself to a world of endless possibilities. Here I would like to share with you my top five tips for managing your career in 2019.

  1. FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU ACTUALLY WANT

Want to be in a job that you love in 2018?? Ask yourself these three important questions:

  • Who have I been to other people as opposed to what have I been?
  • Who do you want to work for? (Is the company culture in alignment with your values)
  • How do you work? There are four main types of people (community centered professionals, human centered professional, data driven people or structured driven individuals).
  1. STAY INFORMED

Staying on top of changes within your industry can help keep your career on track. Enroll in training sessions or workshops that will expose you to something new. Building new relationships provides an opportunity to network with like-minded people who may open new doors for you. Perhaps look at upskilling by attending a specific course that will bridge a gap in your knowledge.

  1. NETWORK NETWORK NETWORK

You may not realise it, but you are networking every day whether it be in the office, on a training course, college, out with friends or even online. The key to successful networking is not about WIFM (Whats In It For Me) but how you establish your value with others. Many studies have shown that both the quality and quantity of social connections have a serious impact on our health and longevity as well as psychological wellbeing. So, taking action to forge new connections or relationships is essential for our own happiness. Attending workshops or training courses in an area that you are interested in is a great starting point. Social Media (such as LinkedIn and Facebook when used professionally) can provide an effective way to reach out to people you know. Remember to keep your profiles up-to-date and current.

  1. VOLUNTEER

When was the last time you volunteered? We all lead busy lives, but have you ever thought of the benefits that comes with volunteering. Volunteering can open the door to learning new skills that you may not have thought you were capable of doing. For example, I started to volunteer as a Career Coach back in 2015 with my local employment offices. As a result of volunteering, I got offered a full-time job delivering career coaching workshops (with the ultimate aim of successfully assisting people back into employment). In addition, volunteering not only provides us with the opportunity to get involved with something that we are passionate about, but it also provides us with the chance to look beyond our own circumstances and appreciate what others are experiencing. In a competitive marketplace, prospective employers want to know what is your unique selling point and volunteering is a great way to stand out from the rest of the crowd. By demonstrating that you take part in activities in your spare time, you will show an employer that you are a well-rounded person who is open and adaptable to learning new skills.

  1. FOCUS ON SELF AWARENESS AND SELF MANAGEMENT

“The mind is everything. What you think you become.”

Learning how to manage your thoughts and emotions can be the greatest contribution or downfall to career success. Learning to control your emotions can be one of the best life skills you can develop. A common theme with some of my coaching clients is the negative self-talk, “I’m not good enough” or “I don’t have the skill-set to apply for that job”. Negative self-talk can lower your self-confidence and overall happiness keeping you away from accomplishing your goals. Instead of punishing yourself with negative thoughts train your mind to conduct positive self-talk instead. Have you ever tried journaling? Numerous studies have illustrated that personal/reflective writing can help people better cope with stress and anxiety.

How to choose the right Career Coach for you in 2019?

Thinking of working with a Career Coach to support you in your next Career move – Whether its advancing your Career, re-entering the workforce or developing job search strategies?

Here are my five top tips for 2019: 

Check Accreditation and Qualifications

Did you know that according to the National Post that “Coaching is the second fastest growing profession in the world; rivalled only by information technology…Coaching has evolved into a much more sophisticated profession based on knowledge from any other discipline”. With this huge industry growth many new coaches are arriving into the Irish marketplace and its important to note that not all career coaches are accredited. This is why you should look for a career coach that has experienced higher training and accreditation with a reputable training centre. By using a coach that has been trained in the skills necessary to foster excellence you will be able to trust that your coach is up to date with best practices and is also equipped with the right tools and techniques to facilitate substantial change, learning and action.

 Do your Research

Working with the right career coach has the potential to vastly improve your life. Finding a career coach who has an in-depth knowledge and a network in a particular industry sector can be an extra advantage. It is worth asking your coach about their type of experience, how many coaching hours they have completed and where they achieve their best results. Check LinkedIn profiles to view client recommendations.

 Finding the right personality match

Interview several coaches to see who is a good match for you. Chemistry and connection are key to this relationship. So, ask yourself “Is your Coach friendly, honest and accessible and most importantly an expert in their area?” Trust is a huge element in this relationship because coaching involves being continually supported and challenged on all levels.

 Test the Water

Most professional coaches will offer a short consultation free of charge to help you find out more about them and their coaching success stories. Ask as many questions as you possibly can. Remember if you are investing – invest wisely! It can also be a great idea to bring a specific challenge or goal to this session. Do you want support with practicalities like your CV/LinkedIn profile, interview techniques or advancing your career to the next level? Most importantly reflect on how you feel when you finish the consultation. Do you trust them, do you feel energised or a sense of connection?

 Results

Ultimately, you want a coach who can “walk the talk” and has a strong history of helping people achieve their end goals. Someone who will consistently challenge you, inspire you and hold you accountable. If your coach is doing his/her job effectively you will feel pushed out of your comfort zone and see real positive lasting results. Remember, a career change involves a process of reflection, assessment and research as well as hard work and patience.


Sonya Cooke

Sonya Cooke is an EMCC Accredited Career Coach and has a huge passion for creating real and sustainable change. If you would like to find our more about career coaching or book a confidential consultation contact [email protected]