New Year, New Goals

With a new year come new goals and fresh starts.
Goals & Fresh Starts
Part of being involved in career development involves¬†helping people clarify their goals, and find ways to realize them, if possible. Some people are facing changes brought on by the global economic downturn — they might have to search for more work, or do a complete career change depending on the market and their training. Revisiting with a client their goals, interests, and skills can help provide direction and possibilities. Perhaps some long lost interest or aspect of self will be cultivated.
Reviewing interests with a client will provide a narrowing of fields to explore. It may also prove illuminating for a client to take time to answer questions (e.g. from A level or B level interest surveys and assessment tools) which then gives them feed back about themselves and potential careers that could be fulfilling, least of all relevant to moving forward. It is also a great way to screen for definite non-interests. The key, as that graffiti found on a wall in ancient Greece once stated, is to “know one’s self”… and also to know one’s options (considering all realistic possibilities at first) … and then make a decision with awareness. This process is greatly empowering!
Skills & Education
Interests are wonderful — but what if those interests exceed available skills? Part of re-assessing skills and career possibilities can include the consideration of new training and/or education. It can also serve to exclude possibilities, and again, this process is done with awareness and realism (which should help to reduce unrealistic dreams, disappointments, and regrets). It can also make things much more possible than before. Perhaps specific training is all that is needed to pursue an ideal job; perhaps financing options come to light to make that training happen. In times of recession, many people choose to or are faced to re-train. Doing this well and with choice and awareness (as much as possible) can prove to be quite empowering.
Identifying values and priorities will help in many respects — it will help sort through the interests, skills, and options in a meaningful way. It will also help position the job or training within an individual’s life context (family, finances, ability to move, social connections, etc.). Identifying values can also help an individual choose appropriate compromises in order to better meet the goals of their larger life scenario. If staying in a particular town is priority 1, then job choice is reduced substantially. If moving is a possibility, then broader options can be considered.
A key in all of this is awareness — of self, of situation, of possibilities, of realistic options, of dreams. With awareness come choices – sometimes not ideal ones, but better than blind guessing and frustrated non-awareness. Being able to take a moment to step back and get a better, more objective view of things can help an individual immensely when they are faced with unknowns and fearful uncertainty of job loss. This is part of sustainability and the reinvention sometimes required therein.
Originally posted January 14, 2009 by Joanne Elliott

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