How to Test Out a New Career and Make the Right Decision

Rochelle had been doing marketing for for-profit organisations for many years, before getting the opportunity to move into marketing for membership-based businesses.
 
With her natural ability for marketing and her wealth of experience, Rochelle continued to perform well and enjoyed her new role. Recently, Rochelle was offered a fantastic opportunity that she just couldn’t pass up. And so she stepped up into the role of CEO for a membership-based organisation.
 
Unfortunately, Rochelle is now in over her head. She goes to work every day feeling like an imposter. She feels stuck, empty and is wondering when those around her will start to notice her failings in this new career too.
 
Have you ever jumped into a new role, and despite your enthusiasm, found it wasn’t what you expected?
 

Always test the waters first

It’s not surprising if you have. After all, research shows we’re not well equipped to make good predictions about how we’ll feel when doing something new.
 
That proves especially true when you haven’t taken some key steps to understand a new role better and mitigate any potential surprises.
 
Luckily, there’s a solution. When you’re facing an opportunity for a new career, or are even just contemplating the idea of one, I always recommend testing the waters before making a decision.
 
That way you are the most informed you can be about the realities of a role, rather than just basing your decision on your own assumptions.
 
 One strategy for testing the waters is to have Prototype Conversations.
 

Have Prototype Conversations before deciding on a new career

According to Burnett and Evans, authors of Designing Your Life, talking to someone already living the life you want can be the best way to find out if what you believe is actually true.[1]
To have a Prototype Conversation, you should connect with people already working in the job or industry you’re interested in and ask them to share their story over a coffee.
 
It’s an opportunity to find out what they do and don’t like about the position, what surprised them about it when they started, and how they actually found themselves getting there. You should focus as much as possible on the factors you believe will make the job enriching for you, while also be aware of the clues they provide to those factors that could deplete your energy.
 
Ask as many questions as you can and try to limit talking about yourself. Your stake in the discussion is to gather as much useful information as possible.
 
There will always be something that surprises you about a new career.
 
Why not test the waters first?
 
For more strategies on how to test the waters of a new career, look out for my upcoming release: So You’re Career Confused! WTF is Next?
 
[1] “Designing Your Life” by B. Burnett & D. Evans. Published by Vintage Digital, 2016.
 
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Greg Weiss is Australia’s leading career coach. He is the author of “So You Got The Job! WTF Is Next?”. The book prescribes a proven, practical 7-step guideline for new employees so they succeed, rather than fail their probation periods and beyond. Find out more about the book at https://www.wtfisnext.wtf
He is the Founder and Director of Onboff an online training and coaching platform that helps HR specialists, coaches and recruiters to deliver exceptional onboarding and offboarding experiences for employees.
He also hosts The Keep: The Employee Experience podcast and runs CareerSupport365.

What is the Secret to Job Enrichment?

Rina did what she thought she was supposed to. She had the marks, she had parents with great jobs in the industry, and so she jumped headfirst into a career in health sciences.

But Rina was unhappy. Despite it all making sense on paper, Rina found that she didn’t fit with the people she worked with and Rina certainly didn’t fit the role she found herself in.

She dreaded each day and wondered if this was what the rest of her working life was going be like.

Have you ever made a career decision for the wrong reasons, like Rina?

Doing what you’re “supposed” to is a mistake

Without understanding the key components of an enriching career, it’s easy to look to the wrong things when making important decisions.

Outside pressure and expectations from others can make this even harder and cloud our judgement.

That’s why my model for pinpointing an enriching career requires one thing: self-reflection. When you understand yourself well, it’s easy to find where you naturally fit and thrive.

That model is strengths + love + importance + money (SLIM).

A model for finding job enrichment

An enriched career only comes when a job satisfies four components for you:

  1. Strengths: these are what you are good at and are indicated by your skills and accomplishments.
  2. Love: this is what you love to do and is informed by your interests.
  3. Importance: this is what is most important to you, based on your values, motivations and the type of working culture you fit with.
  4. Money: this means a career that is financially viable for you to do.

Through her own self-reflection, Rina realised that social impact work would satisfy the components of the SLIM model for her. But to take things one step further and ensure that this would be a healthy career move for her, Rina did something smart. She tested the waters and took on a 6-month temporary position doing work overseas for a not-for-profit. And then everything fell into place. Rina went on to make a successful transition.

Would you like to cast off the expectations of others and find job enrichment, just like Rina?

My upcoming book shows you how! Subscribe/follow for updates and be one of the first to read it.

Keyword: job enrichment

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Greg Weiss is Australia’s leading career coach. He is the author of “So You Got The Job! WTF Is Next?”. The book prescribes a proven, practical 7-step guideline for new employees so they succeed, rather than fail their probation periods and beyond. Find out more about the book at https://www.wtfisnext.wtf
He is the Founder and Director of Onboff an online training and coaching platform that helps HR specialists, coaches and recruiters to deliver exceptional onboarding and offboarding experiences for employees.
He also hosts The Keep: The Employee Experience podcast and runs CareerSupport365.

The Ultimate Advice for Making a Career Decision

Robert has been his company‘s top salesperson for quite a while now. He thrives under pressure and connects with his clients is a way junior salespeople can only dream of.

So, when Robert gets the chance to become Sales Manager, he jumps at the promotion.

The problem is, Robert didn’t realise he would have to become so hands-off with clients in his new role.

As the weeks go by, Robert struggles. He’s losing confidence in himself and his ability in the sales world, so he starts contemplating a career move that would mean leaving the sales industry behind altogether.

Can you relate to Robert’s situation?

Have you ever made a career move that that threw you off-balance?

Drastic action isn’t your only recourse

When something happens in a person’s career to make them doubt themselves, the obvious solution might be to leave a job behind and look elsewhere. Somewhere for a fresh start perhaps, where they can get their mojo back.

But often, things aren’t really that wrong to begin with and making a career decision as drastic as relaunching into a new space could be an unnecessary upheaval.

Making a career decision: to relaunch or re-dedicate?

Sometimes subtle shifts are all that are required to get your career back on track and maximise the factors that enrich you most.

I call this career re-dedication. Often, you can do this while remaining with your current employer by re-negotiating elements of your job description. After all, smart employers know that utilising their employees’ strengths is paramount to a successful and smooth-running operation.

With the help of my career coaching services, Robert figured this out too. He realised that while being Sales Manager made sense on paper, it didn’t give him the outlet he needed to demonstrate his primary strength - building relationships with clients. So, Robert spoke to his employer about this very thing and negotiated to return to his previous role.

He’s the company’s top salesperson once more, is invaluable to the new Sales Manager because of his recent experience in that position and most importantly - is again enjoying an enriched career.

Want to be like Robert and figure out your next career move?

Follow or subscribe for updates on my upcoming book release, or reach out to me directly.

Keyword: making a career decision

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Greg Weiss is Australia’s leading career coach. He is the author of “So You Got The Job! WTF Is Next?”. The book prescribes a proven, practical 7-step guideline for new employees so they succeed, rather than fail their probation periods and beyond. Find out more about the book at https://www.wtfisnext.wtf
He is the Founder and Director of Onboff an online training and coaching platform that helps HR specialists, coaches and recruiters to deliver exceptional onboarding and offboarding experiences for employees.
He also hosts The Keep: The Employee Experience podcast and runs CareerSupport365.

Effective Onboarding and reducing the impacts of ‘Premature Evacuation’ – The Second S – Structure

In the previous article we touched on our central first S of Shared values and proven strategies for successful alignment, effective onboarding and reducing the impacts of ‘premature evacuation’.

Today we are looking at the Second S Structure. Mastering the formal and informal structures to ensure employees understand the formal reporting lines, as well as the hidden networks for tapping into information and influence.

Mastering the formal and informal structures

We can assist employees and candidates early in the onboarding process to learn much about the nature of an organisation, for what is not immediately apparent. Usually just 10% of the iceberg is visible above the water, with the rest (90%) hidden below. Structure demonstrates the placement of individuals, departments and leadership in relation to each other. But those are just the tip of the iceberg.

Under the surface are the informal structures, employees need to discover the hidden networks which facilitate the exchange of information and influence. As you can see, although the highly visible core of Structure is objective, it is a unique element within the McKinsey 7-S framework, for it has subjective factors too.

Benefits of understanding organisational structures

Grasping the way formal and informal structures work, acts to break down some of the barriers new employees may experience. In particular, it helps communicate effectively and confidently, and reduce voluntary separations within probation period.

My practical, proven strategies for successful alignment, effective onboarding and reducing the impacts of ‘premature evacuation’ is based on the famed McKinsey 7-S alignment framework.

In our next post we will be looking at some of the main points of the third S Style and in future posts we will be looking at the remaining S’s Skill, Strategy, Staff, Systems for effective onboarding and how you can reduce impact of ‘premature evacuation’.

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Greg Weiss is Australia’s leading career coach. He is the author of “So You Got The Job! WTF Is Next?”. The book prescribes a proven, practical 7-step guideline for new employees so they succeed, rather than fail their probation periods and beyond. Find out more about the book at https://www.wtfisnext.wtf
He is the Founder and Director of Onboff an online training and coaching platform that helps HR specialists, coaches and recruiters to deliver exceptional onboarding and offboarding experiences for employees.
He also hosts The Keep: The Employee Experience podcast and runs CareerSupport365.

Keyword: lifelong learner

Identify Your Strengths for a Career You Love

As an interior design graduate, Claire imagined her days would be filled with client consultations, where she would provide beautiful solutions to design dilemmas and ultimately, create spaces to be admired.

Instead, she finds herself categorising swatches. That’s her entire role. Categorising swatches every single day.

Claire yearns for client contact and the opportunity to showcase her talent but feels trapped in this backroom role that was poorly defined from the outset. She didn’t think it would be this way.

What’s worse is that Claire just received a very poor evaluation from her manager because her job dissatisfaction is starting to impact on her performance.

Now, she is questioning whether she even belongs in the interior design industry.

Can you relate to these feelings of self-doubt?

Do you ever feel like you made a wrong career turn and can’t see a way out of it?
A career that plays to your weakness is doomed to fail
When you’re in a job that doesn’t allow you to play to your strengths, it’s easy to feel underwhelmed, dissatisfied, and you might even have a constant worry that you’ll be fired. After all, when a role highlights your weaknesses, rather than the best parts of you, it’s not just you that notices, but everyone around you.

That’s why it’s essential to clearly understand where your strengths lie, and whether a future role will allow you to demonstrate them regularly.

How to identify your strengths
In a work context, your strengths can be found by looking at the skills and accomplishments you have accumulated throughout your life. Here’s one simple way to do that:

Choose your top three accomplishments (they can be work, personal, educational or volunteer-based) and identify the skills that were paramount to achieving them. You’ll likely have used some skills more than once, so tally how many times you used each of them.

Now, look at the three skills you have used most. These are your core skills, which your career needs allow you to utilise if you are to find fulfillment.

Once Claire stepped back and identified her core skills, she was able to clearly see that she wasn’t in the wrong industry, just the wrong role. She met with her manager who agreed to a temporary re-design of her position, so she could have the opportunity to prove herself and her strength with design.

Do you want to take the same steps Claire did to enjoy a more enriched career?

Stay tuned for the upcoming release of my book So You’re Career Confused! WTF is Next? I’ll help you delve into your skills and accomplishments more deeply to identify your strengths, and a career you love.

 

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Greg Weiss is Australia’s leading career coach. He is the author of “So You Got The Job! WTF Is Next?”. The book prescribes a proven, practical 7-step guideline for new employees so they succeed, rather than fail their probation periods and beyond. Find out more about the book at https://www.wtfisnext.wtf
He is the Founder and Director of Onboff an online training and coaching platform that helps HR specialists, coaches and recruiters to deliver exceptional onboarding and offboarding experiences for employees.
He also hosts The Keep: The Employee Experience podcast and runs CareerSupport365.

Keyword: identify your strengths