Are you feeling overworked, stuck in a rut, confused about where you are headed or looking for that elusive work-life balance? If your answer is a resounding YES then it is probably due to “The Career Itch,” which is what I called the inner restlessness I experienced about my own career.
So, what can you do about it? Here is my tried and tested four step approach.
1. Identity: Knowing who you are
If you don’t know who you are, then you won’t know what you want. You’ll need to know your true personality, identify your talents, determine your transferable skills and name the values that motivate you. Together they represent what you have to offer existing or potential employers.
2. Thinking: Clarifying what you do next
What may be subconsciously holding you back? Beliefs such as “I never have time to do what I really want” or “my career can wait” are common and may unwittingly sabotage your efforts and business aspirations. Once you have taken care of any inner gremlins and replaced them with empowering beliefs, you can focus on turning your dreams into a reality!
3. Change: Making a successful transition
Most people resist change. You may become fearful, feel paralysed or even demotivated, but these feelings are normal and designed to protect you; they are not an indication that you are off track. When you have made the decision to move you may want things to happen quickly, but it is essential to plan ahead whether it is learning new skills, networking or developing new business.
4. Habit: Achieving a balanced lifestyle
When you have found the best next step on your career path, look at your working habits and put your career and work into the context of your whole life. This is about self-care, spending quality time with others and possibly involvement in worthwhile causes. Do this to sustain your career and ensure it will remain a source of positive fulfilment.
You are likely to experience The Career Itch several times in your working life, but you can use this four-step process to move forward. I can say without reservation that my experiences of The Career Itch have helped to shape my identity and been a catalyst for positive transformation in every area of my life. It continues to guide me in my work and life.
If you feel overwhelmed and don’t know which way to go or which choice to make, remember that you don’t need to find the answer to your entire career right now – you only need to take the first step.
Post by Grace Owen
Grace Owen is a leadership development consultant who specializes in career transition and the author of The Career Itch: 4 Steps for Taking Control of What You Do Next, featured in our list of 29 books to elevate your career in 2016. Click here to enter our giveaway to win your very own copy.