Career change: Find a fulfilling path that fits you like a glove

It can be daunting to think about a career change. We know we want something different from what we have now, but where do we start?

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The fear of the unknown; uncertainty about which direction to take; losing sight of what motivates and drives us; lack of clarity on our strengths and skills. These can all hold us back from making a shift. We put it off, nothing changes, we stay well and truly stuck where we are. 

If you're going round in circles feeling unfulfilled and unsatisfied with your current role, is doing nothing the best choice for you?

Whether you’re thinking of a change in role and industry, or reshaping your existing role to something more fulfilling. Understanding yourself can help break down the barriers that hold you back from making a change. 

  • The things that make you tick and buzz.
  • Your true nature and passions.
  • Your innate strengths and favourite skills.
  • Your deeply-held values.

When we have a job or career that aligns with the very essence of who we are, we are generally happier, more fulfilled, more content and more successful (within our OWN definition of success!).


Thinking about the following areas can help you build self-awareness and find a career or job that really aligns with you:

Values

What are the things that are most important to you in life? The things that are true to you, that you hold as paramount in your life?

Skills, knowledge and interests

What are your favourite skills - the things you enjoy doing? When you are most in 'flow' what are you doing? What are the topics you most like learning about? (this may be from childhood, school, further education, spare time topics studies or self-taught)

Strengths and achievements

What are the key strengths you display both at work and in your personal life? What are you most good at? This includes inherent character strengths that you may take for granted but that don’t come naturally to everyone. What do others say you are good at? What do you get positive feedback about? What are you most proud of achieving in your work and personal life?

Career motivators and drivers 

What drives you in your career? What do you most like about your current role? What would you like to be different? 

Which of the following peak your interest?

  • Technical or functional competence: Do you like being a guru in your technical area of expertise? A go-to person? Do you enjoy imparting your knowledge to others?
  • Pure challenge: Do you love to be challenged and use your skills to meet the challenge? Do you feel a need to continuously seek new challenges? Are you stimulated by solving difficult problems?
  • Managerial competence:  Do you thrive off responsibility and managing and developing others?
  • Autonomy and independence: Do you work best when left to your own devices, without needing too much direction or confirmation? Do you tend to avoid standards and procedures in favour of doing things your way?
  • Creative entrepreneurial: Do you enjoy being creative, brainstorming and inventing new things? Does the idea of running your own business excite you? Do you get bored easily and seek monetary gain, seeing wealth as a sign of success?
  • Service or dedication to a cause: Are you driven by helping others or achieving value and impact? Maybe more so than by using your talents and areas of competence.

Lifestyle, security and stability

How do you want your work to interact with your personal life? Do you want your career to be entwined in your lifestyle - integrating work into your overall pattern of living - or kept well and truly separate with clear boundaries?

Do you like to travel for work? Or work from home? Is a hybrid working style right for you?Is security and stability important to you? Do you tend to take more predictable, low risk roles with the intention to stay in them for a long time? Would you consider fixed term and temporary work if it provided the right experience?

Exploring these areas can help you build a set of criteria and red lines for you to look for when considering your next career move. 


Building a deep and meaningful understanding of who YOU are can be the key to finding a career and lifestyle that fits you like a glove.

The concept of career motivators is derived from Edgar Schein’s “Career Anchors”. Schein was a psychologist specialising in career and organisational development. Career Anchors look at our motivations and measures of success in a career. They can change over time as we gain skills, experience, and knowledge and as we become more competent in our role.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London, SE4
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Written by Ali McNab, Career & Executive Coach (Dip. Transformational Coaching)
London, SE4

Ali McNab is a Transformative Coach working with people who want to make positive change in their lives or career. Ali will help you build self-awareness, self-understanding and self-belief to enable you to move forward with purpose, clarity and confidence.

Ali works with individuals and with organisations supporting staff well-being and growth.

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