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5 Steps To Get Clarity on Your Dream Career

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For over a decade, I stayed stuck in a job that didn’t bring me joy, didn’t honor my values, and didn’t spark any passion.

Why???

Simply put, because I had no idea how to figure out what my dream job actually looked like in the first place!

Luckily for me, one of my superpowers is reading and research.

Yes, I’m that girl with shelves and shelves of books (thanks Amazon!)  My favorite part of each morning is sitting in bed post-shower, dipping my muffins in my coffee and pouring through my non-fiction books (self-help, business, career coaching, etc) with highlighter in hand.

This trait served me well as I tried to figure out what the heck I was supposed to be doing with my life, 10 years into a corporate communications career.

I own every book under the sun on “finding your passion” and you better believe I’ve sunk my teeth into all of them.

This is exactly how I came to realize my calling was career coaching.

Now my other superpower is synthesizing information.  

This means I’ve taken dozens of books, thousands of pages and plucked out the most powerful stuff. I’ve streamlined this into 5 steps to help my clients move from an unfulfilling job to a dream career.

Since I get asked so often about what this process looks like, I’d love to take you behind the scenes today. Join me as I take you down the yellow brick road to finding your dream gig.

STEP 1:  UNPACKING YOUR STORY

I coach clients from the INSIDE…..OUT.  

What does that mean?

It means before we can move to the tangible/external stuff (resume/job hunting/ interviewing, etc) first we need to tackle what’s going on inside.

Why aren’t you currently in your dream job?

What has been holding you back?

It’s important that we tackle that first.

Otherwise, even if you DO identify your dream job, you might be still end up holding yourself back with a fear or limiting belief.  We need to move you into a headspace where once you do see that brass ring (the dream job), you have the courage to reach out and grab it.

GET UNSTUCK ASSESSMENT:

I like to start my clients with a “Get Unstuck” Assessment which will identify the #1 thing that is currently holding you back.  We are going to go deep into your mindset.  

I coach clients under the premise that…..

THOUGHTS lead to FEELINGS lead to ACTIONS which lead to RESULTS.

So guess what?  Don’t like the results you are seeing?  Change the thoughts triggering the chain reaction.

Not as easy as it sounds… I know!

HERE is an article diving deeper into the power of thought as it relates to career change.

ANALYZE YOUR JOB HISTORY:

OK, now it’s time to LEARN from your past.

I devote a full session to deep diving with my clients into their job history.

It’s important to understand…..

1) What did you LOVE about each job?  (Let’s replicate that.)

2) What are you no longer willing to tolerate about each job?  (Let’s avoid that.)

Your job history holds massive clues to your job future.

CONFRONT YOUR INNER-CRITIC:

Even the most successful women I work with tend to have an inner critic that tells them “You’re not good enough to achieve that dream job.”  Often it’s subconscious.  

This inner critic, also known as your inner saboteur or “gremlin” has been keeping you safe and small.   It’s time to confront that voice and work with it instead of against it.

HERE is an article I wrote on how to confront your inner critic.

STEP 2:  CLARIFY YOUR VISION

Alright, now we know what you DON’T want.  Let’s get clear on what you DO want.

LIFE PLAN:

It’s important that you examine not just what you want your career to look like…. But what you want your life to look like.

Why?

Because your career is simply a bridge to get you closer to living the life you want to create.

What do you want life to look like in 5 years?  Where are you living? What does your ideal day look like?  Who are you spending your time with?  

Draw it out as if you are painting on a blank canvas.

PERSONAL MISSION STATEMENT BUILDER:

Often times we sign on to these corporate jobs that tell us their mission statement.  So by default, we are signing on to their mission statement.

This needs to be the other way around.

You need to start with YOU.  What’s your personal mission statement?  What were you put on this earth to do?

Define your “why.”  

What’s that one thing that would get you excited to rip the sheets off on a Monday and get to work?  

CLICK HERE for an article I wrote on how to build your personal mission statement.

Once you have your personal mission statement, you then want to reverse engineer it as it pertains to your dream job.

In other words, seek out companies whose mission statement aligns with yours.

Seek out roles that would allow you to honor your personal mission statement every day.

VISIONING EXERCISES:

I love to give my clients guided audio visualizing exercises where they meet a version of their future self.

Often times your future self has words of wisdom for you.

You need to experience all five senses.  What does life look like and feel like once you are living this extraordinary new life? And in this extraordinary new career?

STEP 3:  GATHER YOUR CLUES

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This is probably the “meatiest” part of the process.

Here is where we explore what really makes you tick.

Essentially we are gathering clues about you.

I provide my clients a series of assessments and exercises including:

  • Business Career Assessment: 20 page customized report and debrief that cross references your interests, motivators, and skills to provide career and industry recommendations and culture fit
  • Self Directed Study Assessment & 12 page interactive report.  You’ll receive career suggestions based on aspirations, activities, competencies, and interests
  • Values Assessment
  • Job Functions Assessment
  • Talent Assessment
  • Personality Assessment (& corresponding advanced case studies on your type)
  • Career Question Exercise:  Contains over 150 intensive questions designed to help you figure out what career will bring you the most bliss (things you may have never considered)

STEP 4:  NARROW IT DOWN

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OK, I think this is typically the part where if you were not working with a career coach, you may feel very overwhelmed.

“What do I do with all these assessment results?  What does it all mean? How does it correlate with my dream career?”

Fear not.

As a career coach, I am here to guide my clients through this process.

NICE TO HAVES VS NON-NEGOTIABLES

At this point we review your responses from Steps One through Three.

We are going to separate your answers into either 

  1. The “Nice to Haves” OR
  2. The “Non-Negotiables” (dealbreakers)  

The question you need to ask yourself here is…. “If I had everything EXCEPT for that one thing in my next role… would I be happy?” If the answer is no, then you have yourself a non-negotiable.

DREAM CAREER SCORECARD

OK, this is really the pinnacle of the whole process. 

I’m going to provide you a dream career scorecard. You’re going to cross reference your career ideas (coming out of assessment results in Step 3) and your non-negotiables.

This is the fun part, because you are going to rank out to what degree each career fullfills each of your non-negotiables.  

RESEARCH

Don’t know how to rank some of the non-negotiable/career combinations on your scorecard?  No worries. This is where we develop a customized research plan for you to learn more about each career you are considering and how closely it aligns with your non-negotiables.

We’ll cover all the ways you can gain this intel including: informational interviews, specialized social media forums, your network, articles, etc.

CHOOSE YOUR CHOICE

OK, now you’ve done the research and you are officially able to rank out your Dream Career Scorecard.  An obvious winner will emerge as the career that ranks the highest with your non-negotiables.  

This is that light bulb moment where you will “choose your choice” and identify the dream role that is right for YOU.

STEP 5:  MAKE THE TRANSITION

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Now that you know what your dream career is….. we have to GET you there!

Choose your own adventure!  Now we identify which of these transition tracks is the best fit for you:

  • Industry Change
  • Role Change
  • Company Change
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Starting a Coaching Business

For my career changers, some of the key areas we focus on include:

  • Personal Brand Revolution:  We need to rebrand your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn in order to target the new role you are going after.  I also have some incredible resume writers and LinkedIn specialists in my network whom I often refer clients to.
  • Secrets to getting your foot in the doorCLICK HERE for an article I wrote on how to change jobs without any experience
  • Networking Strategies
  • Acing the Interview
  • Fierce Negotiation Tactics

SO THERE YOU HAVE IT….

Alright, my friend, I hope this helps you see the path to move you from a job you loathe to a career you love.  

This is SO do-able!!! As your career coach, I’m here to hold your hand through the entire process.

HAVE I LIT A FIRE UNDERNEATH YOU YET?

Start the discovery process to uncover what your dream career truly is.

CLICK HERE to download your Free Surefire Guide to Finding Your Passion.   

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***BONUS*** You will ALSO receive a coupon code for $100 off the Get Unstuck Assessment when you download your Guide.

Let’s do this.

Betty Kempa, CPC, ELI-MP, is an executive career coach helping mid to senior-level corporate women transition out of unfulfilling jobs and into their dream careers. 

Visit:   bettykempa.com

Contact:  coachbetty@bettykempa.com

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