When Sinisha ventured on his career clarity exploration and hired me as his career coach, he was frustrated that at 55 he was still wondering what the heck to be “when I grow up.” He felt lost. Stuck in a dead end job, he needed help navigating his way out of grid lock and into a more constructive direction.
Sinisha had lost a prestigious job with the city when he turned fifty. This loss had taken a toll on his confidence. He found himself competing with 20-year-olds for jobs for which he was overqualified. While Sinisha had spend most of his career in the hotel industry, he found it challenging to get re-established.
He worked for a couple of different hotel resorts on the west coast of Vancouver Island. These jobs were okay but didn’t feel like dream jobs. Eventually Sinisha took on a job on a cruise ship. He loved the experience of working on a cruise ship, the challenge, the learning and the adventure. However, Sinisha didn’t want to commit long-term to a career that took him away from his family.
After his stint in the cruise ship industry, he went on an intense job search. When a position in the financial sector was offered to Sinisha, he jumped at the opportunity. The promise of this position was alluring to Sinisha. He was going to be his own boss, earn good money and get a chance to try something completely different. The alternative of going back to work in sales and marketing for hotels did not seem that inviting. Despite his love for learning new things and his eagerness to meet challenges of working in a new to him industry, Sinisha concluded after two years as a financial advisor, that this simply wasn’t for him. That’s when he hired me as his coach on his quest for career clarity. He wanted to figure out what he truly wanted to do professionally at this stage of his life.
Before you read any further, take a quick inventory. Ask yourself: “What do I truly want to do professionally at this stage of my life? What do I want to be when I grow up?”
1st Key to Career Clarity: Be Honest With Yourself
When asked what was most important for him on his career clarity journey, Sinisha said “I needed to drop all preconceived notions and be honest with myself. I had to let go of the ‘corporate Sinisha role’ I had created for myself over the years of working in prestigious hotels and climbing the corporate ladder. Over the years, I had hypnotized myself into striving for the demanding, upper managerial positions. Through coaching, I realized that I, the true Sinisha, am much more comfortable and effective in a less rigid, less corporate and hierarchical environment. I had a lot of ‘internal house cleaning’ to do to get rid of ‘the totems I was bound to’, that were not truly mine.”
Before you continue reading, ask yourself: “What shoulds/ preconceived notions/ resentments/expectations do I need to let go of in order to move forward?”
2nd Key to Career Clarity: Get to the Heart of What YOU Really Want
On this self-discovery journey to career clarity, Sinisha most appreciated that he felt a genuine connection with me as his coach. He felt connected knowing that I would also support his quest for the larger meaning in life. He appreciated my candid questions that he likened to a poker that gets the ambers to glow.
When he had dropped all preconceived notions of himself and was ready to let his financial job go, a job that seemed to be custom-tailored to his strengths and values literally dropped into his lap. Sinisha believes strongly that it was his readiness that brought this opportunity to him.
I have witnessed this ‘magic’ in so many of my career coaching clients. When you reach a state of clarity inside about what you truly want, the perfect opportunities present themselves to you. Career clarity happens from the inside out. Before you continue reading, ask yourself: “What do I truly want?” You may not have the perfect answer yet. However, take note of any hunches you may have and keep contemplating this question.
3rd Key to Career Clarity: Show up Authentically
Sinisha now has a job that truly fulfils him. As the general manager of a mid-tier hotel in Victoria, he gets to use his strengths everyday. The true, genuine Sinisha shows up at work every day. Each day he finishes work with a sense of accomplishment and gratitude and the hollow feeling that accompanied him home each night when he left the financial office is gone. He feels trusted and free to make decisions. He welcomes new challenges, such as dealing with contractors as the hotel is undergoing major renovations. He is excited to be growing and learning every day. Working in a smaller hotel, he truly feels the positive impact of his contribution on a daily basis. His approach with his team is to share the bigger picture and really get to know each individual. He enjoys seeing each team member contribute with their unique strengths.
His new-found happiness, confidence and freedom at work rub off positively on his family and social life. “Being more me, I don’t have to pretend any more. It’s a huge relief!”
I asked Sinisha what he would recommend to others who find themselves in a similar position to the one he experienced a few years ago, having just lost a prestigious corporate job and looking for career clarity.
Sinisha responded that “it’s all nice and dandy to build the ‘ideal career’, chasing the corporate success. However, you may end up losing yourself on this chase. Trying to push yourself back into the same corporate place you were just downsized from isn’t going to work. It’s important to stop and re-evaluate your values. Take an honest look at yourself, your strengths, the things that energize you and also admit to yourself the ways in which you have become an imposter.” Career clarity truly arises from the inside out. Sinisha suggests to “strip away the hardened corporate shell and look at the person that’s hiding in there. Just like me, you will find a much more genuine approach to your career choices when you look for opportunities from that vantage point.”
Just like Sinisha, most of us need support on our journey to career clarity. So if you find yourself in a similar pinch, request your free career clarity consultation today.
Julia James is a certified life coach and award-winning author of the book, The Mini-Retreat Solution. With over ten years experience coaching people through positive career transformations, Julia is passionate about helping people connect with their true calling.