Tackle procrastination with something so… SIMPLE
Simplifying life, goals, objectives and tasks is part of the solution to procrastination as simplicity purifies and clarifies the path ahead, making it more attractive to bear. Here are 6 suggested approaches to make things more… SIMPLE! This works best in reverse order!
S – STREAMLINE
Streamline any processes by designing a system of working that presents very little resistance to flow of intentionality, increasing productivity and efficiency of those less enjoyable tasks. One example of this: schedule a specific time to allow for distractions. Otherwise, 100% focus. Another example is to schedule timed bursts of productivity like the Pomodoro method.
I – IDENTIFY
Get to know and understand the root cause of the procrastination. Work with a coach to get clarity on the root of procrastination so that it can be addressed and overcome moving forward. This needs to be addressed in order to avoid ‘regular bouts’ of procrastination. Importantly, there could be deeper issues there making procrastination an outcome.
M – MILESTONES & MOOD
Set deadlines. Enter specific milestones into a diary (or a project planning software if the objective is big enough).
Sometimes a particular mood is required for optimal productivity. Mood regulation (aka emotional control) is a helpful self-mastery technique enabling fluidity & consistency of productiveness.
P – PRIORITISE
Using the Eisenhower Matrix is a great way to sort a task list out into 4 categories of priorities. When one knows the order of one’s life and activities, one can organise and plan accordingly. Do remember though: more often than not, time management is not the root cause of procrastination, and for long-term changes away from procrastination, the issue will have to be solved at the deepest level.
L – LESSEN
Procrastination presents a gap between intention and action. Lessening this gap could take all sorts of forms including giving a personal meaning to the task, rewarding oneself as an incentive to complete a task earlier than needed, trying different motivational methods that will work, and forgiving oneself from procrastinating and starting again with a fresh slate.
E – EASY
Yes. Make the tasks easier for yourself. If what has to be done is complex or large, break things down. Take baby steps if necessary, or go ahead and just ‘eat that frog’ (which isn’t that easy – but for those people whose core values include ‘challenge’, this might be the right way forward)! Try different things.
I’m Claz, a Professional Life, Career & Wellbeing Coach based in West London, accredited in the UK. I work with individuals as well as organisations providing high-end coaching. I also run affordable workshops that you can check out on my events page. Alternatively, you can contact me through my website www.touchofclarity.com.
7 steps to decision-making clarity
🤷♀️ Why do people get stuck when making a decision?
That’s a really good question, and there may be many answers to it! This is why I find it helpful to take a systematic and structured approach to the decision-making thought process. At every stage self-awareness is as necessary as the content that surfaces when thinking through a decision. Many obstacles and hindrances to decision-making often and subtly surface up into the light but can then be excused by the irrational self. In these moments, it can be a challenge to have clear perception.
Whether you are making a life-changing decision about your relationships, your career, your life goals yourself or your wellbeing, here is my 7 step personal decision-making approach for clarity. I hope it will save you time, stress and ultimately heartache, when trying think through your decision!
Step 1: Define your situation
This is where it begins!
The more self-knowledgeable you are, the faster you will pass through this stage. Here, you’ll get to weigh up the significance of this decision you’re making against who you are, what you stand for, where you’re heading, and decide whether this decision needs to be taken now.
If you are a person of faith, then you will also want to bring God into this entire journey.
Self-Coaching questions for step 1
What is/are… [aka Define]:
- the significance of this decision?
- your needs?
- your priorities?
- your wants?
- your vision, mission & values?
- the implications if you do not make a decision about this?
- the ideal decision?
- the timing of your decision?
Step 2: Clarify what you’re making a decision about
Clarifying what the driving and resisting forces of this decision are, what is influencing the decision and how much power those influences have over you and your decision, as well as gaining insight into your decision-making strengths and weaknesses will help clarify what your decision is really about.
Self-Coaching questions for step 2
- how does this decision align with your values?
- how does this decision align with your goals & vision?
- how does this decision align with your purpose & mission?
- what are your decision-making strengths and weaknesses?
- what are the driving forces in your decision?
- what are the resisting forces in your decision?
- what are the influencing factors in your decision?
- what gaps are there in your knowledge, skills, competencies and experience re this decision?
- who is/are influencing this decision?
Step 3: Identify outcomes of your decision
This activity will help you to separate what are assumed, and what are certain outcomes of your decision. Broken down into short, medium and long term outcomes, this step will help you to reflect on your emotional and psychological commitment to those outcomes.
You’ll also gain some insight into your change readiness.
Self-Coaching questions for step 3
Identify the short, medium and long term outcomes with:
- what will this decisions’ impact be on your physical, spiritual, emotional, psychological health?
- how will it affect the people directly involved in your life?
- what it will mean for the regular routine you live by or your daily activities?
- what are the material considerations of your outcomes (e.g. possessions & value of them)?
- what are the financial considerations of your outcomes (e.g. regular income, savings, investments, retirement)?
- what are the career & job considerations of your outcomes?
Step 4: Consider the options, alternatives, consequences & opportunities of the decision
Here is where you identify all the risks in your decision, as well as the impact of this decision to your and others before actually committing to it.
Self-Coaching questions for step 4
- what are the pros and cons?
- what are the risks? How to mitigate them?
- what are the positive and negative impacts?
- where can opportunities be found?
- how will it cost you in time & personal resources?
- what sacrifices will be required?
- what would you ideal choice be if you had to choose?
Step 5: Understand any emotions behind your decision
Your heart is greatly influenced by your past experiences, your desires, your passions, your pains, your personality, and a myriad of other factors and qualities.
Here is an opportunity to check the balance between your emotions and your rationale, moving forward without looking back in regret.
Self-Coaching questions for step 4
- what pressures may this decision be feeding on?
- what needs may this decision be feeding on?
- how can I be more balanced (head vs heart)?
- what emotions are influencing here?
- what are my fears?
- where might I be experiencing limiting beliefs?
- how will my feelings change after this decision?
- how are my past experiences influencing my emotions & feelings?
- when am I likely to change my mind because of others’ feelings?
Step 6: Capture other viewpoints & objective opinions
There is GREAT VALUE in seeking counsel.
Seek the opinion of those:
- immediately involved in this decision
- indirectly involved in this decision
- experienced in this area
- whose wisdom you appreciate & respect
- in the ‘helping’ professions
Self-Coaching questions for step 6
- what do the people most involved in this decision have to say?
- what do people indirectly involved in this decision have to say?
- what do people with experience of this decision have to say?
- what do people whose wisdom you appreciate and respect have to say?
- what do professionals from the ‘helping’ professions have to say?
Step 7: Prepare & commit yourself to your decision
Often, limiting beliefs and self-sabotage about a decision happen before the very moment of committing to a decision. This is unlikely to happen if you’ve gone through the previous 6 steps to decision-making clarity. You will know what actions are needed to move forward confidently and courageously.
Self-Coaching questions for step 7
Prepare & Commit:
- what are my critical activities moving forward?
- what personal preferences do I have?
- how can I exercise greater freedom of heart?
- where do I need to exercise more resilience?
- where do I need to exercise more courage?
- what are my coping strategies?
- how often should I review my progress and approach?
- what does my task list look like?
Need an objective opinion to walk through the above with?
Depending on your situation (particularly the time limitation) and the gravity of the decision you have to make, you may be interested in an intensive breakthrough coaching session to get to decision-making clarity quickly, and for putting a sketch plan in place.
Intensive Breakthrough Coaching Session for decision-making clarity (2.5 hrs)
What is included in your session?
- Initial email outlining your preparation for the session
- Any relevant tools or materials required for activities in your session
- Face to face to face session in West London OR video meeting call (prices vary by location & added onto base price. Video meetings via Zoom are no extra cost.)
- Follow up email with reflections from the session and suggested actions
My intensive breakthrough coaching session is great value at a base price of £325. For this amount you will gain:
- peace of mind and of heart that you have made the most informed and thought-through decision you could possibly have made
- clarity on 99.9% of elements, factors, influences and options worth considering
- an impeccably designed set of action points / plan to make any changes smoothly based on who you are and where you’re heading
- greater knowledge of your blindspots and choke points, with an increased desire to manage those
- confidence because you’ll have cleared mental and emotional obstacles preventing you from moving forward
- enhanced or maintained good quality relationships (personal or professional)
- holistic & well-balanced perspective, energy and momentum
- avoidance of more time and money spent down the line from a decision that ultimately cost you more than you could afford
- relief from stress and heartache that would have been an outcome of a poorly-made decision
Where is your stress coming from and what is the impact on you? A piece on systematic stress management
Stress is a really interesting topic to me as I consider the hugely challenging circumstances currently being experienced all over the world during the Covid-19 lockdown.
The aim of this blogpost isn’t to give you 10 top tips to short-term stress relief. As it’s mental health awareness week, you will find this kind of material in every other post you scroll through. Rather, the point of this post is to give you a deeper physiological understanding of stress, and to point you in the right direction in implementing long-term changes so that you are in a better position to manage stress for the long haul. I’m coming at this as someone who treats bodily stress through massage therapy, and as a life, career and wellbeing coach whose clients are coping with various stressors (more about what this is later). I would also really like to thank Jaromir Myslivecek from the Institute of Physiology of Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic for his research into this topic. His article The Basis of the Stress Reaction has provided the main scientific foundation for this blogpost.
What is stress, from a physiological point of view?
Understanding what stress is helps us to navigate it, deal with it, give it its right place in our lives. So what is stress? There are many definitions for stress, as Myslivecek alludes to. In his view, ‘stress is the body’s response to strain (inner or outer). This response is characterised by stress response elements that could have both positive/beneficial impact (eustress) or a negative/detrimental impact (distress) on the body’. I will pick up on this more because human beings (as with all living creatures) have been designed to cope with stress. Myslivecek describes stress as ‘the body’s response to strain (inner or outer). It is not a nervous tension, as it can occur in lower animals and even in plants, which have no nervous system. Stress is not a reaction to a specific thing. It should be considered a reaction that helps the organism cope with different situations and, therefore, stress cannot and should not be avoided.’
Let’s look briefly into human histology – bone ossification (growth) in particular, since it will explore Myslivecek’s point more. Our bones grow under enormous stress. Is it necessary? Yes, it is – as the pressure is part of the process of the strengthening of bone tissue. Our bones never stop growing since bone cells in the body continue to reproduce to replace those that die. Broken bones knit together and heal by growth. As we get older, our bones are still renewing, but the rate of deterioration of cells in the bone may be faster than the renewal process. This kind of stress is eustress.
So… our bodies were designed and built to handle eustress. From the moment we were conceived, our bodies have remained in some form of eustress – the stress of growing. They will continue to handle growth stresses until the moment we take our last breath. Where we are physically, emotionally, socially and psychologically distressed for prolonged periods of time – well, this is something that our bodies are not naturally designed or built for.
We can think about it this way: Eustress leads to positive outcomes and impacts, in so far as the end goal is not a negative one, or does not transform into a distress. Distress leads to negative outcomes and impacts. In BOTH of these, we will find: STRESS. This is enough overview with which to begin from. I welcome medical experts to comment or even correct me if needed.
Is it manageable?
Stress is an overused word these days, and I believe that is partly because of a genuine lack of understanding of the two different types of stresses, and how we ought to relate to them. Stress can also increase or decrease to different degrees as well. It’s very easy to believe that our stress is one thing, but it is actually another. There is quite a lot of chaos and confusion if the stress is distressful or if the stress is chronic (no longer manageable). Only eustress will recollect you, bring you some peace, order and direction in the context of stress itself. Stress is manageable, and even when you think you’ve lost all control, not all hope is lost.
To navigate through the stress, to put together your action plan for managing it, and to see the light at the end of the tunnel, two of the most important things to look at are the cause of the stresses, and the impact the stress is having on you.
How can the cause (aka the stressor) be identified?
‘Stressors can influence the organism acutely (acute/single stress) or chronically (chronic/repeated/long-lasting stress)’ says Myslivecek. ‘The repeated influence of a stressor can have great significance in the context of allostasis, which is defined as the ability to maintain stability through change’. As a change management practitioner, you can imagine my delight in the science of this statement… but that’s a topic for another day!
To determine the cause of the stress (the stressor / the stimulus / the trigger), I run a wellbeing self-assessment with my clients. This report is an analysis of the eight wellbeing keys to the right. I help my clients come to crystal clarity on what their stressors are, so that the root can either be nourished or dug up. Nourished when the stressor leads to eustress. Dug up (I’m sorry, this is usually quite a painful process) when the stressor leads to distress. Although Myslivecek says that ‘in humans, the majority of stressors are psychological and social’, the other areas of wellbeing could be greatly impacted. So I offer this assessment as part of a wellbeing coaching package, OR people are welcome to simply complete a questionnaire then purchase their unique report from me for only £19.95 to see their results.
You can take your wellbeing self-assessment here: http://bit.ly/ToC-WSA.
You could also complete this explorative task on your own and without any aid. All you need to do is look at each wellbeing key, and write down what is discomforting, not quite at right balance, stress-invoking or is unsatisfactory to you in your life.
Here’s an example exploring the social key: a) Tension in the relationship between my boss and myself. b) My kids are complaining that I am not spending enough time with them. c) At the moment I feel like I have so few friends. d) Business networking gives me the sweats. Which ones are distressful? Which ones are a form of eustress? Which ones are acute and which ones are chronic? What degree of importance on a scale of 1-10 do you give them (1 being low and 10 being high)?
Then repeat this process for the other 7 wellbeing keys, and see what comes up for you.
How can the impact of that stress be measured? Indeed, what is the impact of all that stress?
Taking the wellbeing self-assessment is only part one of this stress-identification journey. The second part of the journey is nailing down the exact impact the stress is having on you. For example, you may be distressed by your next door neighbour who is repeatedly playing their music on full blast until 5am keeping you awake. Not only is the outcome of physical tiredness going to have an impact on you, but you could also be greatly impacted by short-temperedness in your family relationships, or an unkept living environment, or poor performance in your workplace. To help clients determine this, I give my clients a Stress Impact Assessment (again, based on the above wellbeing keys) to complete.
A comprehensive Stress Impact Assessment is a part of my wellbeing coaching package, OR people are welcome to attend one of my Radical Self-Care Workshops to go through a mini version (4 wellbeing keys) of this Stress Impact Assessment. You’ll find all my upcoming workshops on Radical Self-Care on my Eventbrite channel.
If you wanted to assess the impacts of your stress without my aid, you could draw a 3 columned table. The first column contains your stressor. The second column contains at least 1 (but likely to be multiple) outcomes of the stressor. The third column contains the impact. This is a very important piece of work, because this will actually help you determine which stresses need addressing.
Once you understand your stressors and the impacts of that stress, you can really begin to map out a plan for stress management. Otherwise, you’re just trialling and erring without really understanding your fight-fright-flight capacities. You could be throwing away a lot of money for something that you stumble onto by accident. Approaching your stress management systematically will help combat the chaos that comes with negative stress.
Why work with a Wellbeing Coach
Wellbeing coaches who have a good overall knowledge of the body (I would recommend level 3 qualifications in bodywork as a minimum since they show some level of competency in the hormonal and nervous systems). They will also have a greater understanding of healthy eating, psychology, in fact – a good holistic understanding of all 8 wellbeing keys altogether. Such a coach would be in a good position to support you in managing your stress. They can also help you in your stress prevention strategy. They:
- Take into account your physical wellbeing, through understanding and analysis of symptoms showing up as outcomes resulting from chronic stress or distress.
- Will help you look at your life as a whole, as no one area of your life can be isolated unto itself.
- Work with you to implement stress management strategy – forming action plans to prevention systems.
- Look at your dietary intake, and can recommend dietary plans (but not subscribe vitamins or supplements unless they are a registered nutritionist).
- Go through, in overview style, your financial as well as your environmental and occupational situations.
- Recommend physical exercises and signpost you to helpful resources.
- Think outside the box to help you with your career progression and development, without losing or selling your soul!
Of course, there is so much more that could be said about this topic, even from a physiological perspective – but I hope I have achieved what I set out to according to the second paragraph. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about the above material, or would like to embark on a bespoke 3 month wellbeing coaching programme with me. I offer a free 30 minute consultation call.
I’m preparing to open up a 1 year Career & Wellbeing programme to 6 keen hi-potential job hunters or career chasers to escalate their performance as individuals, and to work as a team to achieve their unique life & career visions. Do you want to be someone who receives unlimited access and support from me, who will be championing you throughout your journey of growth and self-actualisation?
Tips for CV L-Writers… according to your learning style
It can be assumed that I’m writing this blogpost for teens or recent graduates looking for their first job. You are mistaken.
I believe there will be a lot of people out there, who are writing their CVs for the first time, who are beyond this category of CV Learner Writers (I’ve nicknamed them CV L-Writers for ease, hence the title!). I have one client, for example, who has set up and ran businesses, who is super bright and super loving, who loves learning, but has never written a CV in her life. She’s never had to. Having come into the family business soon after O-levels and then being in the business world until she became a mother to two amazing children has meant that she has never had to apply for a job. Now, however, this is something that she is exploring, and I’m here to offer her career coaching help.
Of course, one of the first objectives was to get a CV together. An entirely new concept for my client! There were indeed blockages there when trying to put this CV together, and it became a task that for weeks hadn’t been completed. After coaching the issue out, and understanding the bigger picture, it appeared that my client needed to complete the task in a way that many might not understand. You see, she is a Reflector-Pragmatist blend of learner, and this would make her task of CV writing difficult – especially in lockdown!
So what are learning styles and why are they important for career coaches to understand? I guess I learned the hard way. Our careers are a journey that we are always learning from. Based on the work of Kolb (…), Peter Honey and Alan Mumford identified four preferential learning styles. You can research into their work yourself if you are more interested, but here’s my take on it here:
Which one are you? Or in fact, which blend are you?
My client as a Reflector-Pragmatist first needs to watch someone explaining what they are doing as they create their CV. She’ll take a billion and one notes about it. And then she will apply past life experiences to having a go, but needs to be assisted whilst on the task by a respected practitioner. This had not dawned on me until most recently. It has inspired the content for this post, since others may also be needing some helpful tips on learning how to write their CV bearing in mind their learning styles.
For the purposes of not drowning this post, I simply post up the tips, but don’t point to any particular sources. Notice that NONE of these learners would ever revert to a CV writing service. They will learn their way, and not fob of the task onto someone else.
Tips for ACTIVISTS
My friend… you’ve probably already started on the task and are ready to share your first draft with your coach! But if you’re not quite there yet, here’s a few tips especially for you with love from Claz!
- Get cracking way before your set deadlines so that you can produce multiple drafts if need-be.
- Research your ideal model CV using the various means and methods you have at your disposal.
- Consider taking up a career coach to keep you on track and to give you the feedback that you will be wanting after your drafts.
- Don’t rush the process. Activist learners have a tendency to move on too quickly from one experience to the next. In doing so, they block their own abilities to learn effectively.
Tips for REFLECTORS
My cautious and careful friend, I understand the risks you are imagining in your mind as you begin your CV writing task. But don’t you worry! This practical experience is going to be of great worth to you once you have landed the job that you’re going to be happy excelling in. My tips for you:
- Start. Just start. Once you’re started, don’t stop. Build up your courage to keep going. Creating something badly is better than not creating it at all, if that’s what you’re worried about.
- Hear/Watch others’ stories and ask your network of friends, family, acquaintances to share with you how they went about putting their CV together.
- Watch YouTube tutorials.
- Ask your career coach if he/she has anybody who is currently writing their CV whether you might be able to Zoom call or meet with the CV L-writer to observe how they do it.
- Try to engage sufficiently with others in the process, but not become dependent on them to do the task. E.g. you might want to pay a CV writer to sit with you as you produce your CV (note: you must not have the CV writer do the task for you though!).
Tips for THEORISTS
I love the simplicity of your approach, dear friend. There are many websites out there with clear instructions for you to follow. Many career services will also offer CV-writing support in a logical and theoretical way.
- Get in touch with your local University or Higher-Education College Career Service and make yourself known to them.
- Understand the ideas and the intended concept of what you are reading. Remember that after this process is over, every step lead to an outcome. That’s what you’re aiming for! The outcome being a ready-to-distribue CV!
- It may be worth thinking outside the box about who you might want to work with here. Yes, career coaches can be of invaluable help, as can CV writers. But people who write job descriptions, interview candidates and sit on shortlisting panels could also teach you a thing or two about what would be valuable in a CV.
- Try not to ignore your intuitions and creativity or you may miss out on learning something new.
Tips for PRAGMATISTS
Your openness to new techniques and ideas is a result of your realistic and practical approach to problem-solving, my friend. You also very much appreciate respected practitioner coaches to give you feedback on your tasks.
- You are so capable of completing the task, so continue in perseverance until it’s completed. Don’t become complacent.
- Keep reminding yourself of the ‘why’ you are doing this task, so as not to reject or ignore ideas supporting your task and completing it.
- On the very rare occasion, you will have to learn to do things that might not make sense to you, or that you can’t see the bigger ‘why’. I know it’s not as natural for you, but don’t let this prevent you from your learning opportunities. Life is full of learning, and worth learning even these lessons, that may appear to be insignificant or not of value to you. Don’t lose out. Your opportunity to learn is a gift.
So there we are. I hope that you will find some of this information helpful for you. Feel free to share it on to others whom you feel could benefit! You could also get in touch with questions 🙂
I’m Claz, a Professional Career Coach based in West London, accredited in the UK. I am also a Life & Wellbeing Coach, working with individuals as well as organisations. You can contact me through my website www.touchofclarity.com.
5 things you need to know when exploring career options & development
Exploring career options often brings up the question ‘Where do I begin?’. It can be quite a challenging practical reality for many people under normal circumstances, but in these times, the pressure might be felt more.
It’s tough out there right now. I know. Don’t lose heart, and make sure you have your bases and foundations with which to build on firmly established.
If you’re someone exploring your career options, these 5 things are going to really help you get started. Together they form something called your CAREER PERSONALITY, and is pretty much just your ‘Career-oriented Self-Awareness‘.
Why do you need to know these 5 things?
Well, your career personality is essentially the picture of yourself that will not only guide your decision-making, but is also a major part of the ‘package’ (that is you as the unique and wonderful human being that you are) that your prospective employers, colleagues, co-workers will be receiving into their workplace and work lives. It is a holistic picture, that only you can paint, since it is borne out of your own self-awareness and self-knowledge.
1. Your Career Interests
Knowing your Career Interests can serve multiple functions. It can help you to:
- Know which industries and/or sectors would be best suited to you
- Get a feel for which occupations you might be a good fit for
- Prioritise where and how you focus your job search
- Differentiate you from potential competition
- Explore out-of-the-box ideas
- Foster hope and happiness in you
There are various ways that this can be explored. My clients receive my Career Discovery workbook. There are also a few career interests inventories out there – the Strong Interests inventory being one of the most powerful. One of the most fun inventories that I have found is the free app Game of Choices. I can’t really vouch for its accuracy, but some of my clients have enjoyed the fun of it, which can reduce the intensity of career exploration.
2. Your Career Personality Traits
It’s fairly common knowledge that in the workplace, we can adapt to behaving completely differently from how we normally do outside of work. Various factors influence this – particularly if you are in management & leadership positions. Knowing understanding, and embracing your core personality is fundamental as it allows you to manage your attitude and behaviour so as not to stray too far from your core. If you are in management or leadership, then the more you can align your management/leadership personality with your core personality, the more fulfilled you are going to be in these roles. For anyone not in these positions, it will be vital for your sense of wellbeing to turn up for work the best version of yourself.
If a recruiter has recruited WELL, then they will want you to flourish in the organisation and in the role itself, enabling you to be yourself and to reach a point of self-actualisation. There is really more to say on this point about recruitment, which I believe is sadly focused more on tasks than it is on people. A huge amount of cultural change is needed here, in my opinion.
There are several ways you can get to know your personality traits. The first is by really observing yourself in an objective manner, and learning about yourself from others’ honest and non-biased observations (really tricky, that one!). There are then psychometric testing that could reveal to you your traits. Professionally, I use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, but there are many others out there and there are other blogs that specialise in this information. I like to use Schein’s Career Orientiations Inventory with my clients, as it reveals to me certain career personality traits together with intentional direction – great meat to chew on with my clients in our coaching sessions!
3. Your Career Values
Firstly I need to tell you that Career Values are not the same as your Personal Core Values. These two are of different levels of importance. Core Values are of secondary importance whereas Career Values are of tertiary importance. This hierarchy of importance is where a lot of people go wrong.
Your worth and dignity is beyond any value – it is infinite. It is constant and never changes. Nothing material (such as money) can ever ransom or exchange your intrinsic and human worth. Please, please remember this for the rest of your life!! Whatever salary you are paid does not equal your immeasurable worth… ok??
Secondly, let’s establish the hierarchy of values. Your Personal Core Values are fundamental interior lights that find an expression for your unique worth. They are both borne out of, and feed back into, your beliefs, attitude and behaviours, your tendencies, attractions and then the faculty of your will. Personal Core Values are of secondary importance in understanding oneself. The tertiary importance of Career Values is simply based on the fact that they ought to be borne out of personal core values, and not the other way around.
When someone places their sense of worth on their career, or what they can do, they strip themselves of their inherent dignity and value. This is level III-I (three to one) disorder. Level III-II (three to two) disorder can be found when, in a similar manner, someone’s personal values are uprooted, and re-rooted in the third hierarchy – that of the career. In other words, someone’s core values are aligned with career values, rather than the other way around. This is, in my opinion, disorder, pure and simple. Is it any wonder why people climb career ladders, achieving all their career goals, and yet experience this emptiness or dissatisfaction in life!?
When I’m career coaching, I use a variety of methods to identify clients’ career values, but I stress the distinction between these values and core values. One of the most fundamental pieces I work on with life coaching clients is personal core values identification. Sometimes, I work on both – but it depends on the client. There’s a myriad of content out there about values, and on this one, I encourage you to do some research (taking into account all I’ve just said) 🙂
4. Your Skills and Competencies
This is usually the most obvious approach someone takes when beginning their career exploration or development. I think this is because when it comes down to recruitment, one of the major shortlisting factors is skills and competencies.
There’s a multitude of ways you can determine or get clarity on your skills and competencies. One task I might give my clients is a workbook based on the European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations classifications, which I call the Skills to Occupations Inventory. I might also give my clients a personal SWOT style analysis. As mentioned, there are a myriad of options out there. This skills matcher is a helpful one, I have found.
5. Your Differentiator
Finally, knowing what makes you different will give you that added boost of confidence at both application and interview stage. This is really an amalgamation of the previous 4 steps, plus your own conviction and character.
During this time, we’re going to see huge organisational changes, and the way we work is also going to change. The Covid-19 / Coronavirus pandemic is going to loosen tightened hearts. Soft-skills like empathy, compassion, understanding are skills that will be very much needed – skills, that we aren’t often needed or appreciated in the majority of corporate roles. Resilience and adversity – where does that sit with you? Where do you sit with them in yourself?
The power of career coaching really shines through when it comes to differentiation work. Here, working with a coach will nail down the clarity on what makes you different from the rest, and how to really bring that message into your application and interviews. This is because your career coach will be looking for the absolute best in you as well as the blind spots in you too. Your answers to their requests for information (whether the method is application, testing or interview), if holistic yet honest will make you really stand out.
Taking this further
You could, of course, work through the above on your own. That would be fantastic, and a lot cheaper for you! However, if assistance in developing your career personality is needed then, of course, I’m going to recommend that you get yourself a career coach.
A good career coach wants you to know as much about yourself as possible, wants you to be convinced by the worth of who you are and the added value of what you can offer the world, and wants you to succeed for your very own sake, and not for what they would benefit from being your coach. As great as that sounds, however, it will require you to do your homework. This sort of stuff doesn’t always appear in a dream 😉 If you are furloughed at the moment, this might be a good time to do this work.
Self-Knowledge / Self-Awareness in career work is often known as Career Personality. Whilst a career coach can help you with the other parts of the process of getting a job and also continued professional development, for me personally, the starting point must be your self-knowledge. It is absolutely fundamental to your preparations for your next move. Your development or progress may be misdirected if you ultimately don’t know the end goal for yourself, and your decision-making may not be truly aligned with your core values otherwise. No coach would ever want you to make decisions that will lead to unhappiness.
Your journey of self-discovery will be a beautiful one, I promise. And oh, how excited I am for you if you’re about to embark on it!
I’m Claz, a Professional Career Coach based in West London, accredited in the UK. I am also a Life & Wellbeing Coach, working with individuals as well as organisations. You can contact me through my website www.touchofclarity.com.
How I’d love to write a PhD on human behaviour right now…
I don’t consider myself an #academic… but I’m just so fascinated by #human #behaviour at the moment!
I agree with the UK Government’s current standpoint on the Coronavirus. Why? Well… because they have taken into serious consideration human behaviour.
In my 30+ years of life, I have observed how much we as human beings have changed in terms of our behaviour. I’m sure that many of you who are older, will see an even starker contrast in human behaviour from when you were younger, to today. We have become more impatient. We need things to be done faster and better. And, we have become so much more focused on ourselves (this is an iCulture, remember) and insular. We no longer connect with the dimension of time – and it’s going to hit us BIG TIME.
I’m not a scientist, nor am I a medical expert. I’m not a human behaviour expert neither. However, I do care very much about people. I care very much about the vulnerable in society – the disadvantaged, the marginalised, the isolated. I do this out of choice – not just because it’s inspired by my faith but also because it’s an intrinsic part of who I am. I was very pleased to have been able to watch the entire press briefing on BBC News on Thursday 12th March and I really have to say that it made entire sense to me.
If we go into lockdown too soon, people will become frustrated and lonely (depending how active or dependent you are on others). Perhaps I would never have heard myself saying this in the past, but it seems that on this occasion, the British Government appear to understand its peoples’ blind spots and weaknesses better than we do. Around a few months ago, I remember standing in a queue. I was only in the queue for around 10 minutes but the woman behind me spent 5 minutes constantly complaining at the fact that she’s in a queue. I mean, when we can’t even queue for 15 minutes without complaining, how are we conceivably going to remain on lockdown for an extended period of time? I know that not everyone behaves like this, but the truth is, the vast majority of us are extremely active – in our mindsets, our communications, our work, our lifestyles, etc.
Today, I was watching the movie ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ (LOVE that movie!) and every single time Brooks narrates the line “the world got itself in a big hurry”, I always think that this is even more true of today, than it was back then. Our human behaviour has changed from allowing things time to take its course, to wanting immediate results. I’m a coach – for sure this is something that I even experience in my line of work. It’s one of the reasons why I love the elderly, and spending time with them. They really teach me the value of patience and self-control, in ways that can’t be explained in textbooks.
It’s too late to kill the virus, so therefore we need to let it continue to run its course, whilst of course doing all we possibly can to develop immunity to it. The situation is going to get worse, and it makes most sense if the peak of impact was delayed, and risk mitigated as much as is possible. The Government’s recommendations are on-point if you think that what they’re asking people to do is to remain indoors for a week should symptoms of the virus make an appearance. This is to prevent the spread. It’s very sensible advice. Eventually, the lockdowns will have to happen… but they shouldn’t happen before their time.
In terms of my business, I’m here to be of service, not to be of risk! Unfortunately, I’m someone who is currently showing symptoms of the virus although I don’t know if I actually have it or not. I’m stopping all my volunteering activities and I’ve also cancelled my Career Strategy workshop that was due to take place on Thursday 19th March, for the reason that it will be my 7th day of self-isolation.
What I’d be most interested in now is having a good conversation with experts in the arena of human behaviour during times of panic such as the time we are experiencing now. If there is anyone out there who reads this and who can point me in the right direction, or connect me, I’d be delighted to speak to them and learn more. So much to learn… always! I’m so glad that I have a love of learning.
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