Unsure of where you want to take your career? Feeling lost, stuck? Patricia Tiernan, Accredited Career Coach outlines 4 helpful tips that will support you to identify suitable work as a Mum and become clearer on what kind of job is right for you.
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Many of my Career Coaching clients come to me because after many years ruminating they are still stuck on the question “What do I want to be when I grow up?” It’s a big question and most of us look in the wrong places for the answer.
We hope that we will wake up one morning and somehow everything will just point in one job direction. When we don’t get this eureka moment we blindly jump online and hope the right job will magically jump out instead. As a mum, our anxiety can grow even further as we debate the impact our choice may have on our family.
It’s important to acknowledge that life is different now that you are a mum, so it makes sense that what you want from work, or how you want to work may have also changed. So please be kind to yourself and take stock of what you want from your career by answering these four powerful questions to help you identify suitable work as a Mum:
#1. What does your ideal job look like?
I encourage you to drop the need to pinpoint a job title for a moment and allow yourself to explore what’s really important, that which lies beneath any job title. Without using a job title, write out what your ideal job would look like. While it is important to keep within the bounds of relative reasonableness, the purpose of this exercise is for you to describe everything you hope for in a successful and fulfilling job.
If you find it too difficult to capture in words, use old magazines and papers to cut out pictures and words, place on a large piece of paper representing your ideal job. Try and be as reflective, vivid and specific as possible and address such areas in your job description as:
- What kind of workplace is it?
- What are the working hours?
- Where is it geographically located?
- What are the work responsibilities?
- What skills are needed?
- What are the work conditions?
- What is your salary?
#2. What Are Your Core Values?
Relating your values to your work choices can help you determine what work you would find motivating and even your purpose. Our values serve as a compass pointing out what it means to be true to ourselves. When we honour our values on a regular and consistent basis, life feels good and fulfilling.
Examples of some work-related values are flexibility, honesty, meaningful work, autonomy. If you are finding it difficult to identify yours go to Work Values and complete the short questionnaire, this will help. What are your top three core values and what would honouring them at work look like?
#3. What are your strengths?
What have been your core achievements in work and life? What skills and strengths did you demonstrate during this time? What skills have others complemented or acknowledged that they see in you?
The skills we enjoy using most are often also our strengths. When was the last time you were so engrossed in what you were doing you lost track of time or had an immense sense of contentment? What skills give you, energy?
For example, were you helping someone, analysing information, leading a team, organising, writing, problem-solving etc. What are the top three skills you would like to use most in your next role?
#4. What areas of work do you want to research further?
Brainstorm ideas of jobs that connect to what you have described thus far, from the obvious to the ridiculous. Bounce ideas off people you can trust and see if they can think of any other roles that they feel would match your personality. Narrow down the ideas you are most interested in exploring further and research.
Speak to people who you may know connected to the industry, use LinkedIn to see how others have progressed into the field of work and use www.careersportal.ie to explore the skills and education that is required.
Once your research has been completed narrow down the career options that you feel are best for you and the small steps you can take towards achieving your goal. If you felt the questions were too difficult to answer alone invest in a Career Coach to support your thinking. If you need some help getting started with the job search, read my blog post Effective Ways To Kick Start Your Job Search.
Has this exercise helped you identify suitable work or your ideal job? Let us know in the comments box below.