Advice for knowing your next career step

In this month’s Open Conversation feature, we ask the the Yellow Eve community for advice in finding your next career step. Whether you’re looking for a drastic change, or some more subtle ‘fixes’ to where you are career-wise at the moment, the community have listed their top tips for figuring out that next move.

It can be difficult with lockdown to know how to make good decisions – or to have the motivation to even plan for them – but actually, a lot of these strategies and tips are really simple things. Deciding on a next step (and doing it well) involves a lot of introspection and reflection and arguably there is no better time to do those mental exercises than during a national lockdown when distractions are at an all time low.

See if any of the today’s advice resonates with you and how you can take action over the next month or so.

Catherine Miller, Business Development Director, Maji

Coffee meetings (or the Zoom equivalent!) are a great way to get to know about different industries and roles. Start with your immediate circle. Do you have any friends with a cool job you’d love to hear more about? Over a cup of tea or coffee, ask them how they got into it, what they like about their role, and how they see it evolving over the next few years. Then ask if they know anyone in an interesting field they could introduce you to. As you expand your network, you’ll be able to get the insider view of a range of roles that you might not otherwise have encountered!

Sofia Carroll, Data Protection Practitioner and Founder of Armchair Data Ltd

Follow your interests, exactly as they are right now.

I graduated in law, but decided that the strict path to qualification was not for me at the time. Over the years, I moved from role to role, each in a completely different industry from the other and not necessarily related to my degree. Today, I know I could not be doing what I am and love without having taken these steps, even though they looked like detours.

People may tell you this is bad planning, but only you know what excites you. When combined, these steps/roles will have taught you different skills and made you that much more confident. One day, you will find a position that ticks all the boxes for you, and you will be ready. You have to keep trying and discovering yourself, rather than follow someone else’s career plan, no matter how established.

Sally Inkster, Personal Branding Expert

Sally Inkster, Personal Branding Expert

To move forward with any part of your life you need self-awareness. We need to have insight into why we feel and behave in a particular way and focus the attention on ourselves rather than our environment. This takes a lot of reflection and introspection!

We all have goals, desires, and dreams but to get there you must take the first step and that first step is to understand yourself and what you offer to the workplace. We often find it difficult to push ourselves forward because of lack of confidence, lack of belief in our ability to solve problems and produce results. The more we understand ourselves, the more we become empowered to change and we can build on our strengths and even acknowledge, enhance, and embrace our weaknesses.

This all sounds great but what is all that and how can you do it? – well the Basis of Personal Brand is self-awareness having a Personal Brand allows us to …

  • Recognise what skills we need to improve
  • Recognise that aligning our ideas to our actions brings us higher levels of happiness
  • Become better leaders by understanding how others perceive us (external self-awareness)
  • Improve our relationships by recognising our differences.
  • Increase our motivation because we are aligned with something we’re passionate about
  • Reduce our stress levels!

Building your Personal Brand is massive but, in this environment today it is a sure fire way of becoming the person and employee you want to become.

Natasha Chatur, Work Happiness Coach

Natasha Chatur, Work Happiness Coach

When you’re not sure where to start with your next career step, here are four things you can think about:

Align your environment to your values

Values drive our actions and behaviour. Values also change over time, and it’s good to check in to where they are when you’re feeling at a crossroads.

Work to your strengths

Working to our strengths can catapult us to being happier, more productive, more engaged, more effective.

Make time to learn

Passion can come from application, so start to learn and do things that instinctively catch your attention, that build on your strengths, that align to your values, or that simply give you a sense of creativity and freedom.

Build relationships

Talk to people who you admire, who inspire you, motivate you, energise you, intrigue you. Ask them why they do what they do, how they got into it, what their advice is, is there an opportunity for you to learn more from what they do.

Lucy Grimwade, Professional Development Coach & IT Service Delivery Manager, Selfridges

Lucy Grimwade, Career Coach

To figure out your next move when it comes to your career, I cannot recommend coaching enough. Coaching is now recognised as one of the most effective professional development interventions. Career Coaching will provide you with the dedicated time, space and effort to sit with a ‘neutral’ someone to analyse where you are now and by working together, you can really define your career goals and create an action plan to help you achieve them. A coach is not your colleague, friend or mentor – they will support and help you to succeed and reach your desired goal. Coaching will hold you accountable and challenge you in ways that may feel uncomfortable at times. However, with their support you can grow, learn and succeed… And make that next career step.


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