4 strategies to reset your Career box
How would you change your energy and time investment if you thought of your life mapped over 9 neat boxes?
Each box denotes a different aspect of our lives – financial, career, partner, spirituality, personal growth etc and we tend to under/over fill them in varying degrees.
We attach deep connections and meaning to the different box labels. The most popular boxes I see with my coaching clients for high energy and time investment are career, family and finances.
We know our ‘career’ box is going well when we feel energised about the work we do. We see our contribution towards our team and our company. We play to our strengths each day. This energised feeling translates into extra time and effort put into projects – irrespective of your role as leader, driver or implementer.
As we only have 24 hours in a day, you rationalise the reduced time and energy for your other boxes to be worthwhile as the reward of growing and sense of fulfilment balances it out.
In time, change comes along.
They may outside of your control – a management change, the project you thought you were getting didn’t materialise, budget cuts, a new team member changes the dynamics.
They may be a shift inside – you’ve spent too long in your current box, you don’t feel fully utilised, you’ve stagnated or you’re bored and long to be challenged again.
As you look to regain the sense of energised fulfilment in your career box, it provides a perfect opportunity to review this box alongside the other eight. Whilst it’s easy to ‘do more of the same’ – by consciously looking inwards, gaining clarity on what we want – the steps we choose to take next are more significant, no matter how small they are.
Here are 4 strategies you can use to help you review and get your boxes re-aligned:
1. Visualise your boxes:
Take a piece of paper and draw a bar chart for your 9 boxes. You can label them whatever you’d like – the most common ones are career, home, family/friends, partner, health, fun, and spirituality.
To size up each individual bar – think about which boxes dominate your conversation and time the most, which take up most of your energy.
In a different colour, write on top of each box how much it lights you up inside on a rating from 0-10 (higher the number = more the joy).
Now review your bar chart for where you see gaps with boxes that have low bar and higher number or high bar and lower number.
What shifts or changes can you make to bring these closer in line to one another?
2. Reconnect with your Values
We aspire to live a life where we are in touch with our values and have them guide our decisions and choices.
When faced with a perceived threat (unhappy career box) it takes great self-awareness and discipline to pause, reflect on our values and choose one to navigate the path ahead. Usually what happens is our lizard brain is activated – sending neurological impulses throughout your body and creating a response from this primitive survival place rather than your values.
Introduce the habit of pausing to reflect on your values more consciously as you work through different situations. Ask yourself which value would be best in service for you at that point in time – your value of kindness, grace, nurturing, courage, love – have your next choice and action based from that place.
3. Remember you have a choice
You may want change career paths, look for a new opportunity or discuss new growth opportunities with your Executive. Your thoughts may be leading you into new areas where you’d like to grow – whether related to your current role or a different role.
Whilst different fear voices come up around the different options you’re exploring – they can stop us from taking action on what we want to get done.
We all have a choice. Even when we’re choosing not to choose – recognise that in itself is a choice.
Spend time recognising and get familiar with the feeling when you choose versus when you’re not choosing, so when the self-doubt and beating yourself up happens – you are able to notice it and consciously hold a compassionate space for yourself and decide what you’d like to do differently next time.
4. Review your relationship with ‘career’
The words – ‘vocation’, ‘career’, ‘job’ mean different things to different people. I see the difference as a career is something we nurture, grow, invest of ourselves into whereas a job fulfils a more functional need – salary to pay the rent, social networks etc.
Use this time to review your relationship with the word ‘career’ and ‘job’. If you refer back to your bar chart and which of the 9 make you happiest – how would the relationship you feel towards your career change your bar chart?
Would it influence the choices you want to make?
Which values would you choose to work with more consciously?
Which of these strategies resonated the most for you to get your career box back in shape?
If you’re thinking about what “next steps” look like for your career, my online course “Find your Gem” has been designed specifically for you – book your seat for the 14th March course start date here.