Here at the-Coaching Blog-run by Gerard O’Donovan, our aim is to constantly bring value to those seeking to improve their lives. Therefore we have a policy of publishing articles and materials by guest authors whom we value and appreciate. Today’s guest author is Emma Ford (UK).

There are many books and articles to help you think about your future, all giving good advice and process for example What Colour is your Parachute by Richard Bolles. But there is often a tension between goals and aspirations and the reality of needing to have a job and earn a living, perhaps you can have both with a little thought and structure.

We firmly believe that self-awareness, structure, and a simple plan offer flexibility when delivering your aspirations and earning a living, it allows you to be proactive with your future rather than reactive to a situation.  If you understand what you want your life to look and feel like in the future, both professionally and personally and what you might need to compromise on and when, you can create a sense of purpose in what you do.

Start with what you really want from your life, what’s your criteria and what is important to you, define what these things mean to you, for example your work life balance may be different to someone else.  Think about what you have to offer, your strengths and behaviours, do you have evidence of what you have achieved? When you have this information, you can explore the market: occupations; employers; lifestyle. You are then able to make some choices and start to network and create your marketing information (CV, interview preparation, LinkedIn profile) and seek out the roles you want. You may need to gain more experience in your chosen area you can volunteer to improve your skills or job shadow to add more value to what you offer.

One crucial area is compromised, there may be things that you must have: collecting your children from school; a certain salary; flexibility because you are a carer, be clear what you can and will compromise on. When exploring the market start to find out which organisations can support you, look at websites, talk to employees get a sense and feel of what an organisation is like and this will help you make your choices.

This isn’t a quick process, take the time to manage your future, your career could last another 5, 10, 20 years, so time spent now may reap the rewards you want in the future.

At Coaching4Careers we use our personal and career management cycle as the starting point for our conversations. It gives our clients an easy process to follow when planning and reflecting on their future development.  Each area allows clients to build their understanding of what they want; can offer; and need to do in order to achieve their goals and aspirations.

Cycle of Life future

‘I and my colleagues were blown away by the helpful advice, thought-provoking discussions and amazing personally-tailored help we each received from Emma. She is kind, thoughtful and extremely astute at perceiving where a person can grow and how they can make positive changes to achieve their goals. I am indebted to her for empowering me to follow my chosen career, and I would recommend her and the Coaching4Careers team to anyone who wants to find themselves on a career path that will lead them to satisfaction and happiness.’

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