The Great Career Selfie

The Career Selfie 

We are all familiar with the ‘Selfie’ a picture of yourself, taken by yourself to share on social media. But here’s a new take on the selfie, try a ‘career selfie.’

No filter, no angles, no second takes instead make this selfie matter. The idea of a career selfie is simple

  • To help you figure out exactly where you are in your career and  
  • Use this information to help you build a strategy for your future professional self. 

Bear in mind that this is not easy but trust me it is worthwhile. Use this time to take a long hard look at where you are now, figure out where you want to go and then move from through to action.

If you are serious about owning your career in the 21st-century workplace start by taking 'A Career Selfie.'

Get Prepared

  1. Buy a notebook. One that you makes you smile when you look at it. The pages of this notebook act a single location for you to bring all of your thoughts together. 
  2. Set aside 60 seconds every day for the next seven days to work on your Career Selfie. 
  3. Anchor your 60 seconds to an existing routine and add it to it. For example, 'Before I get up to make my morning coffee I will spend 60 seconds on my career selfie' or 'After I brush my teeth at night and before I get into bed I will spend 60 seconds on my Career Selfie'. Make sure that you set a time that works for you and that you are likely to do it. 

Remember you are not alone

With over 12,000 job categories to choose from and the half-life of a skill sitting at five years, it is expected that you will have 8 to 10 different jobs before aged 42 and change career six times before retirement. Not to mention 65% of school children aged six today will be doing jobs that have not yet been created. Jobs, in fact, you are likely to be involved in creating.

Thinking about a career change, job transition or different professional options in this context is far from a sign of failure rather it is a natural reaction to the reality of the 21st-century workplace. Not alone this the dynamic world of work that you live in operates in a fundamentally different way to the suited and booted hierarchical world of work we are taught about in school. We all know this, and recent research by LinkedIn shows that 71.3% of 25-33-year-old professionals feel pressure unhappy in their jobs and experience pressure to succeed financially, professionally and in their relationships. 

Be Honest with yourself

Often the hardest thing to do is to 'own' really own how you are feeling about your career. A Career Selfie involves an amount of self-reflection and self-honesty that can be uncomfortable to deal with.

Try to keep in mind as you go through this process that you feel anxious, stressed or upset because you care about your career. These feelings are your physical response to something that you care about. By acknowledging it and then facing up to it, you take the first step towards controlling your career rather than the other way around…

Where are you now?

Without judging yourself and without pointing the finger of blame elsewhere ask yourself

  1. Am I where I thought I would be at this stage in my career? If so what got me here? If not what are the pattern of decisions that led me here. 
  2. What are the three most enjoyable parts of my current role? 
  3. What are the three least enjoyable parts of my current role?
  4. Do I like the function of what I do? E.g., What are the core functions of your role that you enjoy? 
  5. Do I like the environment that I do my job in? E.g., the people I work with, the values of the company and the culture of where I work?
  6. Am I happy with my commute? 
  7. Do I have time to enjoy life outside of work? Have I time and energy for friends, family, and hobbies? 
  8. How do I sleep and eat? 

Where would you like to be?

This is the exploration piece, the piece of your career selfie that gives you permission to consider the possibility and potential in yourself. Dream big here and do NOT be held back by practicalities there is plenty of time for that later. 

Ask yourself

  1. Ideally, where would I like to be in my career at this point in my life? 
  2. What exactly would this look like for you - be really descriptive here?
    • What skills and expertise would you like to be exercising? 
    • Would you like to work remotely, have flexible working hours or to travel more? 
    • How much money would you like to make?
    • What type of work-life blend would you like?
    • How long would your commute be?
    • Where would you live? 

Identify Gaps 

This is the piece that you might need some professional help with. Identify any skills lacunas, roadblocks or other potential stumbles that you might face.

While you are in your current role begin to fill the voids and plan for the problems that you might face. Reskill, upskill or retrain in a risk-free way and if possible on a part-time basis. Consider if there are training opportunities or funding available within your current workplace that might help you make the change or transition you want. 

Begin to actively search out stretch opportunities, networking options or cross-functional projects in your current workplace that might help you make the change or transition in roles. 

Remeber if you don't design your own version of success somebody else will and you may not like their version.

Start the process off by taking a career selfie and see where it will take you. Move to working on your non-negotiables and then your momentous moments. 

Best of Luck

 

For more insight listen back to my podcast with Conall O’Morain on Today FM’s Sunday Business Show Changing Career in 2017