One of the most common questions I have as a Career Coach and as and LCI workshop facilitator is, ‘How do I go about finding my ideal career?’

Most people know what they don’t want and that is usually where they are at right now. The first thing I say is: ‘If you’re unhappy in your career, find one you like or find something to like about the one you have’. Then as a coach we often undertake 5 steps in a process of discovery to assist them in working through what that may be. The steps are as follows:

  1. Know yourself
  2. Figure out what you want
  3. Tell everyone you know
  4. Go for what you want
  5. Don’t let NO stop you

In this special post series we will sequentially cover each of these steps in more detail. In this post we cover step 3: tell everyone you know.

Step 3. Tell everyone you know

We know ourselves a little better and have become more self-aware by knowing our top 3 values (series article 1). We have also figured out what we want (series article 2). Now we just have to tell everyone. So you may ask, “why do I need to tell everyone”? It comes back to the key principles of networking; everyone you know is an important contact especially when you are job hunting or changing your career!

  • To clarify this point below is an excerpt listing your key contacts from, ‘what colour is my parachute’ by Richard Nelson Bolles:
  • Every member of your family
  • Every friend of yours
  • Every person in your address book
  • Every person on your Christmas card list
  • Every merchant or salesperson you ever deal with
  • Every person who comes to your house to do any kind of repair or maintenance work
  • Every petrol station attendant
  • Every sport/leisure partner/friend
  • Every doctor or medical professional
  • Every teacher or professor
  • Organisations such as clubs, Sports, Networking, Rotary, Lions
  • Every person you are newly introduced to
  • Every person you meet, stumble across, or blunder into, during your job-hunt, whose name, address, and phone number you have the grace to ask for

Got the picture!

Many of us expect that we will just keep looking on the internet and keep checking with the newspapers and recruiters and the right role will just pop up – WRONG! You need to be proactive and rather than wait for the role to appear, go out and seek it. There is a huge unseen and unadvertised job market and this is how the majority of roles are obtained – not from advertised positions.

So what you need to do is approach as many people as necessary, among all those you know and ask each of them, “Do you know anyone who works, or used to work in ‘X’ Role or ‘R’ Corporation. You may ask that question again and again until you find some who says, yes I do.

The next step is to ask them:

“Do you have a contact, phone number address?”
“Would you be willing to introduce me or call ahead, to tell then who I am?”

Then either phone them yourself or make a time to see them. Indicate you only need about 10 minutes of their time. Once you get talking, ask all the questions you have been dying to know and don’t hold back. Finally ask the contact if they know the person who does the recruiting or makes the hiring decisions. If the contact doesn’t know the person who is able to hire you then go back to your contact list. Be persistent and keep trying. Once you are inside the organisation, your chances increase.

Today’s Action Plan: Figure out what you want

With your ideal role in hand along with your best elevator speech for your ideal job:

  • Write down your ideal role criteria
  • Develop a 60 second elevator speech
  • Tell everyone
  • Find a person who in your ideal role or who knows the organisation you are targeting
  • Organise a meeting
  • Ask your questions – see where this takes you. You will be surprised!
  • Note down who you have told and make sure you have a plan to keep in contact with them

In the next post we will look at Step 4. Go for what you want!

Written by Nicole McAuliffe

Nicole McAuliffe is a LCI workshop facilitator and Director of Creative Connections, a professional life coaching company that supports individuals and organisations in all aspects of career change and development and work life balance.

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