I’m going to give you a glimpse into my world. Chief is going to be retiring soon, which he deserves for decades of dedicated service. We have discovered through the COVID-19 experience, that he will be embarking on something new.
Truth be told, it’s more of me telling him “you’re going to have to find something to do that is not in this house full time.” I’m cool if he decides to be a professional bass tournament guy. Can’t fish in the house….
To get back on track, my point is he’s trying to figure out what to do next (besides the fishing thing).
I’m sharing this, not to find commiserating pals of the pains of shared work space all…the…time…. I’m sharing because I have a feeling many people get stuck where he is – figuring out what’s next.
We get stuck before we get started. The culprit is the question he, and most people, ask first:
what am I qualified for?
I’m not a fan of starting with this question. It has an undercurrent of negativity and can go downhill. Fast. Here’s an inside your head conversation – you know, with that little voice…
What am I qualified for?
Lots of things, I can pretty much do anything!
Great, like what?
I donno, how about talking to people – I’m really good at that!
Yeah, and what job has the title “Talking to People”? None!
Okay, but I can use that skill…
Uh huh, that’s not a real thing, prove that you’re good at it, you can’t measure it, you don’t fit any of these jobs’ criteria….
And so on. That little voice can get pretty nasty, judgy, and snarky. We don’t like that mean little voice.
Why did it get so mean? Because in your head “what am I qualified for” gets turned around into “what am I good at?”
And that friends, is why I am in business.
Because we are all terrible at talking nice about ourselves. We don’t want to sound like we’re bragging. It’s uncomfortable. We don’t know how to explain what we do without feeling like we’re saying we are all that and the bag of chips.
We allow our little voice in our head to sabotage any positive thoughts.
Let’s shut that little voice up, shall we?
It begins with taking a new perspective, one that the little voice can’t turn around into a negative. Here’s the question I want you to start with:
What do I like to do?
There is no judgement here! The voice can’t say you’re not good at it because we’re not asking that. We’re asking what you like. Not a prove you’re good at it. You like to do something or you don’t to varying degrees.
Alrighty then – what do you like? Make a list. Tasks, projects, responsibilities, learning, tools, systems, teams – think of anything and everything.
Next question: why? Why do you like these things? Why do you like working on those kinds of projects, doing those tasks, working with those tools?
Again, no judgement, just why you like it.
Next question: when you do those things, does it make someone’s life easier? If you’re a whiz at reports, does that make your Manager’s life easier being able to find exactly numbers at a moment’s notice?
Again, this isn’t about you – it’s about everything outside of you that what you do touches. Maybe it improves a process, cuts time, increases revenues, clarifies instructions, avoids a risk…
If you go back and look at your answers, you are going to find a pattern. You can then summarize your thoughts into key words. Project management, reporting, process improvement, change management, operations, finance, budgeting….
What’s emerging is a list to compare against the market. A list that highlights what you’re good at, where your value lies. This is your starting point. Find positions that line up under your criteria instead of trying to figure out how you fit under theirs.
The extra bonus of this approach is it takes the stress off of not wanting to do something you are good at doing. Let’s say you are amazing at something – let’s use forecasting as a random example. Absolutely spot-on with your forecasts. No one does it better, faster than you. You’re a forecasting beast. The only problem is – you hate it.
If you started with “what am I qualified for?” the voice jumps to forecasting. Then you get discouraged because you don’t want to do forecasting. The voice in your head will then tell you to stick with what you’re good at because you don’t qualify for anything else.
We really hate that little voice, don’t we?
Don’t give it the power by asking it to monitor you. Start with a simple question – what do you like to do – and see where it leads you. You might be pleasantly surprised at all the avenues available to you.
P.S. I love putting that little voice in your head in its place – if you need some help, get in touch!
As an award winning, published, triple certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Coach & Digital Brand Analyst I do what I love – help amazing professionals get career happy.
Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more.
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