Tessa’s 2017 career blog round-up – something for everyone!

career clipartWill you be pondering over your future career during the Christmas break?  If so, perhaps one of my blogs from 2017 will help to guide your thoughts.  I have provided all the links below (please excuse any inaccuracies with the publishing date– these became slightly muddled when I launched my new website in June!).

There is something for everyone –  whether you need help with your current job or would like to search for something new. Have a look…..

Stop waiting, take action! (Jan)

How to cope if you are put at risk of redundancy (Jan)

How to get a new job now – The three Ps! (Feb)

Four ways to feel happier at work (March)

Are you tired of being available 24/7? (April)

3 steps to turn your fear of rejection into career success (May)

How to make the first step towards finding a job that suits you (June)

How to stop stress preventing you from pursuing changes in your career (July)

Four focus points to help you make a good impression when starting a new job (July)

Who is the best person to tell you what job you should do (and it’s not me!)? (Sept)

Three steps to overcome your fear of being judged (Sept)

The importance of learning to say ‘no’ (Oct)   

Does looking at past events help you change career? (Nov)

Are you fed up of worrying about your career? (Dec)

Five ways to overcome setbacks (Oct – Life Coach Directory)

Is it time to stop feeling so stressed at work? (Dec – Life Coach Directory)

I look forward to being in touch again with more blogs in the New Year!  In the meantime, I wish you a very merry Christmas!

www.tessaarmstrong.co.uk

Are you fed up of worrying about your career?

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When looking back at 2017, were there things you were worried about in your job or career which you now realise were not worth the worry?

Perhaps you were worried about not being good enough for your new job.

Were you anxious about a work appraisal?

Perhaps your family and friends were telling you not to change career making you worried about it all going wrong if you went against their advice.

Were these things worth the worry? Did worrying make you feel happy and positive, driving you towards a fulfilling career, or did it make you feel stressed and tired?

Worrying can make you feel miserable.  It stems from negative attitudes and beliefs and can delay decision making and progression.  A common belief which causes worry is thinking you are not good enough.  This belief frequently stops people achieving what they want to achieve.

If you found 2017 to be a year of worry and would rather make 2018 a year of self-control and planning, then first have a think about your current beliefs about yourself and ensure you adopt an ‘I can’ attitude.

With this new positive attitude, you can then move forward with your career planning, using these questions to help focus your ideas:

  1. Do you still want to be in your current job in 2019? What can you do over the next year to develop within your current role?
  2. Do you want to progress within your organisation? What is your next role and what can you take on to enable you to progress?
  3. Do you want a career change? If so, what is your overall goal and what steps do you need to take to get there in 2018?

Leaving behind the worry and taking control of your thoughts will enable you to decide what you want in your career and have the confidence to achieve it!

www.tessaarmstrong.co.uk

Does looking at past events help you change career?

motivation-clipart-cliparti1_motivation-clipart_05“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” (Wayne Dyer)

An increased understanding of your response to past events, enables you to think more positively and develop greater self-confidence to act on the best career decisions for you.

When I first meet an individual for career coaching, I am often greeted with a look of surprise when I ask them to rate everything they have done from school to date by their motivation. I can understand their surprise, for they have come to me for help with their future career path and not their past. However, it is an invaluable exercise in identifying attitudes and beliefs which can hinder or help the career change process.

Our attitudes and beliefs are shaped through our response to experiences and events and dictate how we feel and behave. When our response to an experience forms a negative belief, we can feel miserable and our motivation for exploring new and exciting career possibilities is low. In contrast, when we have positive thoughts, our motivation is high, and we become far more willing to try new things.

In reviewing our motivation from past experiences, we can start to identify our positive and negative beliefs, and this can help us make future decisions. I will show you how through two examples:

1: Negative beliefs

I work with many solicitors who initially give their motivation at work a low rating. One common reason for this is the frequency of having to deal with telephone calls from unhappy clients. Dealing with these calls can make individuals feel anxious about speaking on the phone as they begin to mistakenly believe they are not good at dealing with people. Consequentially, they decide that their next career move must avoid this. When thinking of a career change, it is important to deal with negative beliefs such as this and learn to change them to avoid closing the door on possible opportunities too early in the career change process.

2: Positive Attitudes

In reviewing past events, we can also identify experiences that made us respond with a positive attitude and feel really motivated. Perhaps you did some volunteering for a charity which made you feel good about yourself and wanting to do more. In reviewing these positive experiences, it is important to look at what specifically you were doing during the experience that made you respond in this way – these activities and skills will be relevant when deciding on a best fit career.

Evaluating past events helps you to understand your thoughts and beliefs. How you think will affect how you feel about your next career choice and the subsequent action you take. Positive thoughts and beliefs will enable you to make the best decision regarding your career.

www.tessaarmstrong.co.uk

The importance of learning to say ‘no’

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Learning to say no is about making a choice to focus on what is important to you, enabling you to reduce feelings of stress and freeing up time to focus on your personal goals and values.

How often do you check your emails each day? They are really distracting, aren’t they? I find that I must physically close my inbox to stop me looking at my emails, otherwise I am too easily distracted by those unread new arrivals in bold that are shouting at me to respond ‘NOW’.

Responding to emails is a great example of a daily task that prevents you from being effective and is often the cause of time management issues. Let me explain its true impact by relating it to Stephen Covey’s 3rd habit, ‘Put First Things First’.

In his book, ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’, Covey describes a time management matrix dividing how we spend time in to one of four ways, defined by the importance of the task (does it provide results?) and the urgency (visible tasks):

  1. Urgent and Important tasks – immediate and important deadlines (often a crisis or problem) Focusing on this area can cause a lot of stress.
  2. Not urgent and important – to develop effective personal management – activities that will move you forward in your career.
  3. Urgent and not important – Time pressured distractions such as email. These are not really important but someone wants it now.
  4. Not urgent and not important – Activities that have little value but can be relief from other work.    

Checking emails most frequently falls within category 3. However, we often mistakenly think they are category 1 tasks which explains the distractive nature of emails. This misunderstanding usually arises from the expectations of others rather than the email itself being THAT important.

The problem of being consumed by category 3 means that little time is left for the not urgent and important jobs in category 2. Category 2 tasks help personal development, the discovery of new opportunities and provide solutions to resolving problems in category 1. Failing to spend time on this category can lead to neglecting important areas of your life and career.

One way to resolve the heavy focus on category 3, is to learn to say no. Identify your priorities and manage the expectations of others by identifying those emails that can wait. This can relate to any category 3 task.   Even if you are asked to do something good, if it keeps you from what you really want to be doing then learn to say no in a respectful and pleasant manner. Keeping a focus on category 2 can make a huge positive difference to the effectiveness of your working and non-working life.

Remember: Every time you say yes to someone else’s priorities, you are saying no to your own priorities.  

www.tessaarmstrong.co.uk

Three steps to overcome your fear of being judged

Good-bye-Comfort-Zone

Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone. (Robert Allen, author/speaker)

I have recently been busy updating my social media accounts, an activity many would find easy as it simply involves updating profiles and sharing useful messages and articles. However, for me, it is not so easy. It takes me right out of my comfort zone and, when I wonder why, I think this is because part of me fears being judged through social media’s power to amplify public opinion.

What will other people think of me? What happens if a negative comment is posted on my LinkedIn or Facebook page for all to see? What happens if someone disagrees with me?

In the end I sometimes find myself procrastinating over the perfect wording to avoid judgments being made. Perhaps that is the lawyer in me requiring 100% accuracy and perfection! However, is perfection possible? Can I really control other people’s reactions in this way? No, of course I can’t, and the immediate and public nature of social media does not allow for this. To be noticed you need to step out of the norm (despite the risk of attracting diverse attention). There is also no time for procrastination when you have a business to run!

As well as procrastination being a risk factor, the fear of being judged can be really debilitating for some people. It can quickly lead to a loss of self-esteem as it causes individuals to become anxious or easily embarrassed. Not many people want to look silly and this can lead to individuals keeping quiet rather than doing what they want to do.

Does this fear sound like something that is affecting you from confidently moving forward with your ideas?  If so, use these three steps to help you to challenge your fear.

  1. Be decisive – do you want your fear of being judged to hold you back?  Your fear affects your feelings and these feelings affect your behaviour, preventing you from achieving what you want to achieve. Don’t let the opinions of others become more valuable than your own individuality, allowing others to hold you back. You may miss the career opportunity you have always hoped for.
  2. Be curious – think of something more useful to believe.  It is your thought patterns around fear which need to change first to enable you to change your behaviour. Instead of holding a fear of judgement, replace your thoughts with curiosity. You may learn new things that help you move forward with your plans and strive towards your goals.
  3. Take action….    

…..I am now going to be bold and take action by inviting you to follow me on LinkedIn or to Like my Facebook page. Please also share anything that you believe would be useful to others. I share lots of information to help those wishing to change career, develop their career or improve performance.

I am also thinking about making and sharing short video clips with helpful career tips…watch this space!

Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone. (Robert Allen, author/speaker)

http://www.tessaarmstrong.co.uk

Have you experienced the two year itch in your career or job?

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When will I be able to change jobs? How will my career develop? Do I want a career change? If these questions sound familiar to you, what do you do to find the answers?

It is really common for individuals to start reviewing their career having been in a job or role for two years or more.

We start a new job with such enthusiasm and motivation, jumping out of bed on a Monday morning keen to ensure we get ahead in our careers. We want to perform well and develop a fantastic and fulfilling career, until that well known ‘Monday morning feeling’ gradually creeps in. As time has moved on, we have settled into our new job and are familiar with our day to day role. We become restless and start wondering where our career is going.

If you have got to this point, how can you now restore the motivation and enthusiasm you once had when you started your new job? How can you prevent your 2 year itch developing for the next 2, 3 or even 4 years? It all comes down to two main options:

  1. Stay in your current job

Often it is much easier to simply stay put than find a new job. If you decide this is the right career path for you, then finding techniques to improve your motivation should be the first item on your to-do list. Perhaps take this opportunity to review where you are in your career, what you have achieved and what you want to achieve next. Start planning your career path, set yourself challenges at work and establish ways to achieve your ambitions. Make sure you tell people at work about your career ideas and plans. This will give you the best opportunity of achieving your ambitions and restoring a good Monday morning feeling.

  1. Change Job/Change Career

If you decide changing career or job is the best career choice for you, take time to evaluate your career options, working out what you want and exploring possibilities and opportunities. Talk to people to find out more about specific roles, jobs and careers. This is the best way to discover the best job move or career choice for you.

For further help, click here for my free career resources.

Remember, the more consideration you give to your career development, the better your decisions are going to be.  

http://www.tessaarmstrong.co.uk/

Who is the best person to tell you what job you should do (and it’s not me!)?

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We all want someone to tell us what job we should do, to make the decision on our behalf so we can simply focus on enjoying our career.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? I know that’s what I wanted when I was pursuing a career change. The decision-making process was hard work and I just wanted someone to tell me what to do. When I was advised that the best decision would be the one I made for myself, I realised I needed to take responsibility and do some serious thinking!

What did I discover? I found that I was frequently being given advice on what I should or should not do and I didn’t know which advice to follow. I soon realised I would be far more committed to a decision I had made personally, rather than a decision someone had made for me or advised me to make, and what I really needed to do was develop a thorough understanding of my skills, passions and aspirations to enable me to make that decision.

Still not convinced? Let me give you another example….

Do you remember the career advice you received at school?

I have a very distinct memory sitting in the school careers room completing a personality questionnaire and subsequently being advised, amongst other things, that I should be a probation officer. It was as simple as that…the answer to my future career was found by completing a 10-minute test. Was this the right answer? Well, I did not become a probation officer!

There can be limitations in being pigeon holed into a specific career before you are ready to make that decision. It can lead to career paths being pursed but not enjoyed and an individual’s confidence being knocked. Many people need time to build their self- awareness and once they really understand what they want from their career, they will then be in the best place to move forward. Many of my clients say they regret following early career advice for this reason. They wish they had spent more time thinking about and discussing their personality and aspirations before taking the next step.

Have I just talked myself out of a job?!

No, because the best thing about all of this is that, although it may be up to you to make the decision, you do not have to go through the process alone. I become part of the process when individuals become stuck and need some help and guidance in moving forward. I help individuals build self-awareness to enable them to discover and explore different career possibilities and find the best career choice for them. I also help individuals to eliminate issues of procrastination, fear and anxiety to enable them to believe that they can achieve a fulfilling career. Career advisers can also help with the decision-making process.

It is all about you and how your career is going to fit in with your life. You may need a bit of guidance and assistance in getting there but….

…the best career decisions are those that you make and discover yourself.

www.tessaarmstrong.co.uk

www.careerchange.blog