Just this past week when I was in the midst of several sessions with new career coaching clients, I realized there is a distinct theme I observe with people who come to me for career navigation. I find that often, people are in a position where they are just coasting along, not feeling fulfilled. My very first question before starting with a new career coaching client is, “Are you really ready to make the most of your life and career?”
That question may sound simple. Or obvious. And of course, most people reply, “Well, yes!”
But you might be surprised. The truth is, most people have never considered what it means or what it will take to get there.
If your goal is to make the most of your life and career, how will you know when you succeed?
Success is measured by a sense of fulfillment.
Think about it for a minute. It’s not the fact that you made $100,000 that indicates success. It’s whether reaching that level of income provides a sense of fulfillment. It’s not that you made it across the finish line with a record time that indicate success. It’s the fulfillment you FEEL.
All you need to do to test this theory is look to the people who are never satisfied no matter how much money they make or how many races they win. That finish line or that target keeps moving and they never feel fulfilled.
So, what will it take to make the most of your life and career?
What I have found in my work with clients struggling in their lives and careers is that a lot of people end up doing the same job for years, even if it offers them no real personal fulfilment whatsoever. Or they end up staying stuck in the same behaviors and allowing their relationships to remain in a rut without taking action to go in a new direction.
There are a lot of reasons why this might happen, whether it’s because you just need something to pay the bills, distractions in your life get in the way, or because you simply settle for what’s familiar (even if it’s uncomfortable) instead of reaching for something more fulfilling.
But there is good news. If you really want to make the most of your life and career, there are steps you can take. You will need to ENVISION and EMBODY what your deepest desires for your life and career are. Then, you must be ready to go after what you really want.
There are TWO important first things you need to consider to get you started.
Find something you really love. What’s most important to you?
Of course, one of the most important things you need to do is to figure out what it is that you would be happy doing. Does your ideal job need to be creatively fulfilling? Do you need to be able to have time with your family? Do you prefer routine or doing something new every day? These kinds of questions are essential if you’re going to break out of your funk and find something that really excites you.
The very first exercise I give to my career and life coaching clients is one that helps them SEE and SENSE how they want their life to look and feel through an envisioning and embodying process. When you are able to identify how you want your everyday life, your environs, your relationships to look, sound, and feel, you will be able to craft a very clear focus as to what you’re striving for. Then you can develop your map for how you’ll get there.
Strike out on your own. Live your own life. Be your own boss.
This is relevant to both your personal and your professional life because while we all need other people in our lives, we are wired to feel empowered and fulfilled when we know we are achieving tasks and goals with a sense of ownership.
In your personal life, this doesn’t necessarily mean leaving a relationship but it does mean you might conside where you are overly dependent on others. Do you have your own voice in your relationships? Do you follow your own passions and interests in your spare time?
One of the most significant ways in which a lot of people’s careers end up not being especially fulfilling is that they struggle to really feel the impact of the work they’re doing. After all, if your job only really exists to make your employer money, it’s going to be hard to feel as though there’s much point to it.
So why not try and strike out on your own? In your personal life, carve out time for a new hobby. Practice speaking up about your personal views and opinions. In your professional life, why not build your own business? Develop your own private practice. Become your own boss.
Creating your own business is easier today than ever before. Career coaching with someone who has done what you want to do successfully and knows the ins and outs of your business concept can be a way of learning all the steps you need to take. You can start small and rely on your skills, abilities and relationships you already have to spread the word you’re setting up shop.
There are so many more things for you to consider in the process of creating a life and career that provides a sense of fulfillment and therefore a marker of success. The above two steps will definitely get you going on the right path.
As a Jack Canfield certified success coach and trainer, I base a lot of my career coaching on those tried and true principles along with a number of others I’ve accumulated and tested. And I’m on a mission to help therapists and other helping professionals create fulfilling careers and lives. Contact me personally and let’s discuss how career coaching can help you make the most of your life and career.
I’m a new therapist and I love being a therapist. Helping people that are not able to advocate for themselves is very significant to me.