by Peggy Noe Stevens
Have you ever found yourself meeting a friend for lunch or happy hour and realize you have spent most of your time complaining about your job or boss? Do those venting sessions ever result in an actionable solution? Many of my clients are at a different point in their careers and need someone impartial to talk to about a career crossroad.
Nearly every time I give a seminar, I am approached by individuals seeking career advice. It has really made me reflect upon the idea that as we grow, our career goals often change. These days, I hear from friends and colleagues who have started a family and need to evaluate their “work/life purpose.” Or those who would like to advance in their careers or companies and need to enhance their visibility. Recently, I have enjoyed talking more with young adults – teens who are heading off to college and want to know how they will determine their career path.
My advice to all of you who are interested in taking the next step in your career is not necessarily talking to a friend. Sure friends (and happy hours) are great, but friends are there to make you feel better about your situation – sometimes just to lend an ear or offer encouragement. In order to truly make an informed decision about your professional life, you need to talk with someone a bit more impartial – someone who can help you gain an outside, objective perspective. When you are looking for career advice or even need help managing a conflict you are experiencing with a co-worker, an impartial advisor can offer individual attention as well as privacy and confidentiality.
Whether you rely on a professional coach or a mentor for career counseling, look for someone who can offer you the tools and techniques to get you where you want to go. If you are new in your profession or career, ask for advice on how to network and for a critique of your professional brand and resume. If you are pursuing a promotion, ask your coach for specific steps you can take to make it happen. Do not be afraid to ask, be ready for critique, or as I often say “be fearless about feedback,” and learn from the experience.
Tagged as: Peggy's Tips