Originally published on Ellevatenetwork.com
Facing a career crossroads?
Let’s face it. This is going to be a most unusual fall. And for women currently working or looking to return to the paid workforce, it’s going to be downright challenging, given homeschooling and other family responsibilities in this pandemic.
In our work with women in career transition, we’re often asked for guidance on how to stay on track professionally and be ready for new opportunities. There’s a pervasive feeling of being overwhelmed and stuck.
Does this sound like you?
You've been sending resumes out into the ether and spending time on job sites without much luck. You’re frustrated and ready to throw in the towel.
You’ve had a career break and you want to get back in the game - even if it’s hard to see a clear path in this economic downturn.
You’ve been furloughed or laid off due to COVID-19 and are wondering if it’s time to make a change. And you’re questioning whether you have what it takes to be successful again.
We get it. These scenarios bring about feelings of self-doubt. Feel more confident by focusing on you first!
Self-discovery leads to getting clear in your career.
At Evolve, a professional development company for women, we know women don't spend enough time at the beginning of career transitions focusing on what they value and the mindsets, skills, and talents they have that are transferable to new opportunities.
And that’s key to arriving at a role that’s meaningful to you.
Self-discovery is the most powerful tool you have to boost your next steps.
Rather than saying, “I'm not ready” - which only blocks your progress - take action!
Here are three ways to hold the mirror up to yourself and explore the “future you.”
1) Develop your growth mindset muscle.
If you adopt a growth mindset, and believe you can learn and develop at any age and stage, the road ahead feels optimistic rather than troubled.
Rather than saying “I’m not good at ___” and ruling it out, a growth mindset encourages you to think about learning as a process and say “I’m not good at it yet.” This shifts your thinking to what’s possible.
A growth mindset also makes you better at receiving feedback. You become more resilient, a quality many women struggle with professionally. An Ellevate study shows resilience is the most important thing for women’s successful career transitions.
2) Put YOU back in focus.
In midlife, women want more from their work lives -- more meaning, more fulfillment, more challenge. How do you get there? Think about what drives you.
Take time out to respond to the five questions below:
What are the values that shape you now? Can you narrow them to five?
Think about your past interests. What activities do you love?
What current interests do you lose yourself in?
What “superpower” do people in your life look to you for help or advice?
What does success look like for you now?
3) Hello future you(s) 2.0!
What are your “superpowers” and which do you want to bring into the future you(s)? Try this:
Make a list of every job you’ve had. In one column, write down “things to keep” and the other side “things to let go of.” On the “things to keep” side, think about what you loved about each role and what skills you gained from the experience (both “hard” and “soft skills”). Research shows the skills you need most now are the "soft skills" such as creativity, problem solving, and emotional intelligence.
On the other side, write down everything you don’t want to carry forward. These could be skills, attitudes, and behaviors you want to leave behind.
Look at the two lists and write down three possible versions of who/what you’d like to become that elevates the best of the “keep” side and downplays the “let go of” side.
We’re better together.
Don’t go it alone! Without structure and support, you can spin your wheels for years. And it’s isolating (and confidence killing) trying to make change by yourself. Start your career journey with Evolve and find a group of like-minded women invested in your success!
Join us in October for the Evolve Reinvention Collective, a live 8-week, interactive virtual training program with a cohort of dynamic women in career transition.
We can’t wait to see what the “future you” will do!