Book Review: Conscious Career Planning

2014 Conscious Career Planningsm

By Sharon Graham.

Book Review: Conscious Career Planning (Paperback/PDF Book and Audio Program)

Conscious Career Planning | Lotte Struwing | Copyright © 2014 Lasting Solutions

The process for achieving ongoing career success has changed dramatically over the years. However, trying to maintain your career in an ever-changing world does not need to be overwhelming. Conscious Career Planning, developed and delivered by Lotte Struwing, provides straightforward and applicable tactics to guide and control your own future. This program is ideal for self-motivated professionals living and working in a fast-paced world.

2014 Conscious Career PlanningConscious Career Planning is an interactive workbook for anyone who needs clarity in career planning. Lotte methodically introduces each chapter of the workbook through brief audio clips aligned with the subject matter. The workbook then guides readers through exercises, building understanding from one concept to the next. This format provides an overview of the topic and encourages the participant to dive right into the workbook and exercises.

The Conscious Career Planning Program is designed primarily as a learning tool with practical exercises. Throughout the program, Lotte provides personal insight, making the material “real” for program participants. The workbook provides over 90 pages of career planning information and tools to guide participants in finding clarity in career direction and creating a career path that is in harmony with the individual’s own values.

Sometimes people put their own career development “on the back burner.” This program creates urgency, clarity, and direction through six chapters, each of which deals with a specific segment of the Conscious Career Planning process. The workbook progresses sequentially, but each chapter works as a “stand alone” tutorial. The reader can select and work through any (or all) of the chapters at their convenience. Throughout, inspirational quotes help the reader to pause, consider, and reflect on the exercise.

Success – What’s In It for Me? (WIIFM)

The first chapter of Conscious Career Planning makes the connection between values, priorities, and goal setting. This chapter helps participants to hone in on their values. Thoughtful coaching questions allow the reader to reflect and consider if they are living in harmony with their values, and if conflicts exist where they can make changes. By building a precise picture of what is important to him or herself, the reader can then identify career priorities. Exercises help uncover challenges and barriers that might hold a person back. By establishing incremental goals, readers can put their career development plan into effect. To benefit from this chapter, the reader must take time to complete the reflective questions. These help the reader to make connections between their values and employer’s needs.

What Makes You Tick?

Emotional intelligence is an important factor in career development, but a difficult topic for many. Chapter 2 focuses on helping the reader to get a stronger self-understanding of how a person’s behaviour relates to emotional intelligence. An interactive behaviour trait assessment chart is followed up with challenging coaching questions. If the reader takes the time to complete the self-assessment and follow-up exercises, the concept of emotional intelligence is demystified. The reader will gain the personal insight required to manage behavioural traits and communicate with others more effectively.

Giving Yourself Credit

The exercises in Chapter 3 help the reader to identify skills, inventory strengths, and recognise areas for improvement. By creating accomplishment statements using the popular Situation, Action Result (SAR) format, the reader gains confidence. Realistic examples and a list of past-tense action verbs show the participant how to use the SAR formula to configure accomplishment statements in a resume. The chapter closes with a strong set of coaching questions to help the reader develop and maintain authenticity in articulating personal accomplishments.

A World of Possibilities

Chapter 4 emphasizes career lattices rather than career ladders as a track for career development. This philosophy effectively addresses shifting demographics, leaner organizations, and career mobility required in the current world of work. Examples of real-life situations serve as a reminder that it is best to keep career options open. Various options for ongoing mentoring and support are also discussed. Exercises include a chart to assess self-employment as an option. A form helps the reader to evaluate potential career changes such as job, role, and/or industry.

Putting Yourself Out There

Chapter 5 opens with a discussion on the meaning and purpose for social networking as a method for job search. The text allays typical fears about the process of developing a network. The chapter deals effectively with four areas – everyone has a network; you can network without feeling artificial; you are not too busy to network; and you don’t need to be scared to network. A template is included to help readers build and manage their network of contacts.

Bridging the Gap

The last chapter of the workbook effectively pulls everything together, enabling the reader to identify and prioritize career options. By conducting a formal Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis, the reader is able to prioritize possible alternatives and determine the likelihood of successful outcomes for each. This process also allows the reader to break down big goals into smaller, actionable parts. The chapter closes by reminding the reader that career development is a life-long process where adjustments to the plan should be made on a regular and ongoing basis.

Conscious Career Planning is an ideal program for anyone who might be interested in ongoing personal career development. The audio and workbook combination is an ideal format for those who have busy careers and lives. Participants can guide and control their own future throughout the lifespan of their career. While employed or in career transition, a sense of achievement can come from planning actions, setting professional goals, tracking progress, and celebrating results. Through this program, Lotte Struwing gives participants the key to realizing their own potential and taking control of their own career development.

Sharon Graham is CANADA’S CAREER STRATEGIST and author of the top-selling BEST CANADIAN RESUMES SERIES. Founder and executive director of CAREER PROFESSIONALS OF CANADA, Sharon is committed to setting the standard for excellence in the industry. A leading authority on resume, interview, employment and career transition, Sharon provides career practitioners with tools and resources to enable them to provide exemplary services to Canadians.



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