Self-Reflection and Self-Discovery in a Career Practice
By Donna Norcott.
I don’t know if this is something unique to me, but even though I don’t have children, I love the back-to-school season! The colourful binders, notebooks, and new pens and pencils inspire my creativity and I look forward to “sweater weather” as being an ideal time to reflect, reorganize, and turn a fresh, new page for a season of setting (and re-setting) goals!
This is the time of year when I conduct a holistic assessment of myself, my career path, and my private practice. I take a hard look at both to determine what is working and what is not.
We all grow and learn from our career development roles. We encounter different personalities and clientele who challenge our perspectives; we are each driven by different motivators, life factors, and passions. We encourage and support change for our clients and I believe we must invite it into our own lives, too. In fact, as I write, I am in the midst of a big change in my own business, Kaleidoscope Careers. (Help! Lol)
As time went on in my practice, I began to notice patterns in how I approached my work. I would tackle the tasks I enjoyed the most first, with enthusiasm and energy, and I was procrastinating about other parts of my work that I had previously determined were priorities in my business model. The thing I hadn’t figured out – yet – was that I was getting far less professional and personal satisfaction from the work I was pushing aside in favour of the tasks I liked. Seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it? But, it did take some serious evaluation and self-reflection to admit this to myself.
As a result of this revelation, I have decided to change my business model and focus more on client interview preparation and coaching, which I get immense joy and a sense of accomplishment from. To assist me with that goal, I will be enrolling in CPC’s Employment Interview Coaching course the next time it’s offered. Once I earn the CIS designation, I would like to offer workshops at local high schools and in some of our remote communities where career services are just not available. I also plan to get my Certified Employment Strategist designation (CES) in 2020 to further broaden my skill base.
I’m very excited about this new direction and that feels great! I realized that although I enjoy résumé writing, the current labour market in Newfoundland and Labrador just doesn’t make it an economically feasible primary line of business. And, also, if I’m being honest with myself, the formatting and technical design aspects required to create a great résumé was where my energy faded. It is just not my forte! I am getting much better results interviewing clients one-on-one and helping guide them through the interview process. I’ve learned that this is where my passion lies. I also plan to add various assessment tools to my practice in order to offer packages tailored to the needs of my clients.
I also realized I needed help. That’s a huge part of the path to self-discovery: reaching out, asking questions, benefitting from our networks.
I need help with my business model. I need help with my social media presence. I need help with my bookkeeping. It all began to feel overwhelming, but then I remembered our super-helpful CPC Facebook Group and I felt supported and more confident. To paraphrase something I read in a recent post about The Future of CPC, I feel stronger knowing that my professional association has “got my back.”
Our journeys, as career professionals, must flex and accommodate a rapidly changing world of work. We owe it to our clients to regularly check in with ourselves and ensure we are offering our best skills in the best way possible.
Ask yourself these questions: Am I happy with the work I’m doing? Are my clients happy with the service I’m providing? What needs to change? What do I need to learn? Where can I get help? Where do I start?
And then, once the answers to those questions are clear, and as we instruct our clients to do, we develop new SMART goals and set action plans in motion.
All we can know with certainty is this: change is inevitable, and success is tied to our ability to embrace and adapt to that fact. My goals are not quite the same as they were five years ago. Are yours? Where are you on your path to success?
Donna Lynn Norcott is the founder and principal career strategist of Kaleidoscope Careers, based in Conception Bay South, Newfoundland. Donna’s tagline is “Love your ever-changing life!”, which is a philosophy she personally follows while encouraging her clients to do the same. Leading with empathy, she enjoys building rapport with her clients, helping them navigate change, and shining a light on their best attributes. Donna believes that self-awareness and self confidence are keys to career satisfaction.