Jonny was given some careers advice from a friend “you would love being a plumber, you get to work alone as there’s no direct boss, the money is good and its practical work and I know how you like to work with your hands.” The talk was inspiring and motivational and before long the excited Jonny had signed up to an intense plumbing course. Within a couple of weeks of passing his course, Jonny was lucky enough to secure a position in the company his friend (the one who gave him the advice) worked at. Within a couple of months Jonny came to the frustrating realisation that after several months of a costly training and even though he enjoyed practical work, plumbing was not the occupation for him.
The difference between careers advice and career guidance is career retention. When we guide and coach a client we rarely give careers advice (as part of a careers coaching session we will discuss the potential future of the job market), rather we question, guide and challenge clients to make their own informed decisions.
Guidance tools are used so a client wont just take any job that they will potentially regret in 6-12 month, as the wrong choice can lead to a waste in time and money (the cost of re-training) This doesn’t mean you always have to stick to one career. On average career professionals will job hop between professions at least 3 times over the span of their career. Due to rapid changes in technology and consumer demand, some career sectors and job positions are on the decline, while others are on the increase.
As an experience careers advisor and coach, I will often utilise NLP techniques to support client to make their best choice. NLP offers a range of tools to help the client make a realistic choice that will keep them motivated and excited in their job, this often leads to an increase output in effort which can lead to promotions and career success.
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The 3 Step Career Coaching Technique using NLP
Step 1 Eliciting Values
First I want you to write two list. List one will comprise of everything you ideally want in your perfect career, this list can include the distance to work, ideal salary, duties, working indoors or outdoors, variety or routine, you can include the type of manager you excel under and the type of colleagues you would prefer to work with. This is your list and you can record anything you deem important, the list can be as long or short as required. The average is around 8-10 criteria.
The second list will comprise of your career dislikes; the things you don’t want in your ideal job. Past clients have recorded working out of 9-5, working in teams or alone, short term contracts, micromanagement, no company pension, monotonous work, distance to the office. Record anything you would hate in your perfect job.
Take your first list and put it in order of importance, so your criteria are number between 1-10. Take the first two criteria and ask which criteria would I preference over the other, do this all the way down your list until you have your likes in order of value.
Take your second list (career dislikes) and ask yourself “If I had a job offer with my top 5 Likes, would I accept it if it had X dislike?” Ask this question for all your dislikes. The answers will show your flexibility or lack of for each of your dislikes. Remember there is no right or wrong answer, as these are your choices and your criteria.
Step 2 Discover Your Strengths, Discover Your Options
I want you to think about your strengths, your natural abilities and your personality preferences. What is it that you are naturally good at? Do you always take the lead? Are you creative? Do you excel in teams? Are you all about the detail? Are you a people’s person, analytical, innovative, humorous, technical? What are you naturally gifted at? What are your passions; Fashion? History? Wine? Computer Games, Art, Space?
Think about past experience when you were at your best, when you had the best of times, think about all the times you excelled. Record on paper the place you were at, who you were with and the role you took in each situation. Complete this task for around 5-10 different situations (at various ages and stages throughout your life)
Next re-read your 10 key experiences and circle all of the commonalities through these past successful events. What connects these experiences, what stands out, why did these particular experiences stand out for you?
Take your strengths and career criteria and start to match these to job profiles. At first you will find sectors that match your needs and strengths, from these you can chunk down and find particular roles in these sectors and companies that meet your criteria (this part takes a little research – the idea here is to cross out job roles you definitely will not undertake and research more the roles you would consider until you come down to 3-4 options)
Once you find 3-4 career options ask yourself:
- Ask would you retrain for this career?
- Would you relocate for this position? (Some careers are mainly regionally based)
Once you find the perfect career, the job profile will tell you the entry route, salary and duties. I would also recommend reading job adverts for the desired position as this will give you a real insight to what current employers currently require.
Step 3 Future Pace for Career Motivation
Imagine yourself in the future and everything has gone brilliant – this is you at your best. See your timeline in front of you; see yourself retraining, writing out your CV, applying for positions, winning job offers from job interviews, imagine yourself at work doing really well, see yourself becoming more knowledgeable and see yourself in the future achieving promotions. Remember this is you at your best, set your goals high and imagine being as successful as you want to be.
Now go forward and imagine stepping into each image, and see it from your own eyes; notice what you can see, hear the voices and noises around you, taste the taste and smell the smells, imagine that you are there now. As you imagine living out this positive experience notice how you feel and take these positive feelings to the next image on your timeline.
Once you reach the end of your career timeline, you will see the world from the knowledgeable, highly successful and confident you. Imagine turning around and seeing the you now, the you reading this article. What advice would this older wiser you, give the you now?
Chris Delaney is an experience Life Coach and Career Advisor and the author of The 72 Rules for Influencing the Interview using Psychology, NLP and Hypnotic Persuasion Techniques
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