In early 2019, I felt stuck in my career and took this as an opportunity to reflect on my situation and career prospects. Here, I’m sharing the framework that emerged from this period. I’ve removed personal content so you can directly apply it to your own career.
The framework helps you work through a complex career decision. It guides each critical step along the way, including setting goals for the process, making an assessment of your current situation, getting clear on what a great career looks like for you, coming up with lots of options, collecting data to inform your choice, and making and executing a plan.
That doesn’t mean that the process will be easy. Career choice is cognitively complex and emotionally charged. The problem is ill-defined and resistant to resolution. There’s a good chance that you’ll experience difficult emotions along the way, feel stuck and overwhelmed, under pressure and uninspired.
That’s why having a robust framework is vital. In addition, starting with the right mindset can make a big difference. Here are some suggestions:
- Get curious: This is an excellent opportunity to learn new things about yourself and the world. Your career is never done or solved. It’s a constant iteration.
- Have a bias to action: Build your way forward. Accept the situation you’re in right now and find something that’s actionable. Try things until you find what works.
- Reframe problems: Identify dysfunctional beliefs that keep you stuck, and find more productive re-framings that help you get unstuck and open up new solution spaces.
- Know it’s a process: Finding your way will take time and involve setbacks. Let go of the end goal and focus on the process and see what happens next.
- Ask for help: Get support from your social network. The resources are there. People are willing to help you. You just need to ask. 🙂
With that in mind, let’s get started.