One of the things that trips people up in their career journey is not being able to clearly articulate what they want to be doing next and why. I often find that candidates are unable to answer this question well during interviews, almost like they haven’t even thought through why they have applied for or want the job.
When I meet people and ask them what they do, they can struggle to explain their job in a meaningful way. Job titles are labels, they don’t always represent your value to a business. What you do day-to-day is a better indication of how you add value and is more interesting and important.
Where Are You Coming From?
Being able to explain your current role (where you are coming from) is an important step in recognising where you are going to. Being able to clearly articulate what you do and how you add value today is a skill you may need to master. Do you focus on business as usual, keeping processes going, or do you build capability for the future? Does what you do add directly or indirectly to the bottom line? What opportunity do you have to improve the way you are working? What shortcuts have you found to be more productive?
Where Are You Going To?
Being able to share your ideal future role (where you are going to) is also important as you go about your career journey. Each move you make should build on where you have already been. Are you clear on where you want to go next? Do you know what skills you will need to develop to become competent at the next level? Are you ready to make a move from an individual contributor to a people manager?
To Manage People or Not?
One thing I always encourage people to seriously consider is whether people management is for them. People management is the most difficult job you can ever take on. Businesses often make the mistake of promoting great performers into people management responsibilities without realising how different a skill set it requires.
I have many conversations with people managers asking them to share with me honestly if it is really what they want to be doing. It’s okay to not want to be a people manager. It’s not for everyone. So if you are applying for line management responsibilities, are you able to clearly share why that’s the next step in your journey? Do you know what reward managing others will bring you? What contribution are you looking to bring to others? Are you willing to acknowledge that there are different ways of getting the same results?
If some of these questions are tricky to answer, then I can work with you to help you become much clearer on where you are going to next. My premium programme “Ignite Your Career” is a 3-month 1:1 programme where we work on your very personalised journey through the next steps in your career.
If you want to find out more about working together, you can request a free 30 minute call with me here where we can chat, I’ll give you some career advice and we’ll see if we’re a good fit for working together.