Map Out Your Professional Path for 2022
Ezra’s Executive Coach Katja von Glinowiecki provides a framework for how you can map out your professional path in 2022 by reflecting on what has influenced your choices so far.
Working in cross-cultural and expatriate coaching, the most significant step, in my experience, is to help my clients acknowledge the deep transformations involved in the transition periods they are experiencing. Changing jobs, getting a promotion, becoming a manager for the first time, along with trying to find purpose in life, can be challenging. It can question our identities, as well as our own value system. Having gone through these situations myself several times, my aim is to guide my clients in finding answers to those essential questions themselves.
New Year is a time where many people reflect on where they’re heading, but to fully understand where you want to go, you also need to bear in mind where you have come from, and what experiences you bring from the past. We all stand sometimes at important crossways in our lives, where we have to ask ourselves: Where to now? How do I make this transaction successful?
The Signpost Model is a great exercise for finding the right direction, and, more importantly, to see how many interesting options that you have. Grab a pen and a paper and allocate at least 20min of your time. Start by answering the guiding questions first, to then find out what or who influences your decisions.
Where do you come from?
Take some time to reflect on how you became the person you are now. What were the most important events, obstacles, and people in your life? Think of your education, your home, your hometown, then note down some keywords of things that seem important to you.
What’s really important to you?
Write down three things that immediately come to mind. You don’t need to be too specific or detailed. Here are some questions to guide you:
- What are your values?
- What do you believe in?
- What principles would you like to get rid of?
- Imagine a worst-case scenario, in which everything fails – what will prevail?
Who is really important to you?
Think about who the people are whose opinions are important to you. Who influences your decisions, and also who is affected by yours? Bring to mind people who you really like, and perhaps also those who you dislike.
What pushes you, and what do you fear?
Finally, think of what is standing in your way from thinking about the really important questions in life. Map out the deadlines you have in mind, areas where you might feel pressured. Identify what things, circumstances or people you often worry about, and what saps or gives you energy.
Develop Your Personal Signpost
Now, look at the notes you wrote down. Look for themes, and identify what has emerged. Then look at the ways in front of you and develop your personal signpost. Imagine all the possible paths you can take:
- The beaten path, the way you usually take?
- The challenging or enticing way, the way you feel attracted to (something you always wanted to explore)?
- The way of dreams, imagine what you would like to achieve, what you dream about?
- The roundabout way (what obstacles are in the way that prevents you from getting anywhere? That you might need to surpass or circumvent)?
- The unkempt road, the way hasn’t been used for a while and it might get bumpy, but it can be adventurous and fun to drive down a dirt road.
- The way back to where you came from?
- The long way, the way that seems to have the longest distance to cover, but maybe has additional merit?
- The unknown way, the way you never thought of so far?
- The shortcut, a minor road that can be seen as a fast alternative. Usually a quicker way, but better?
- The preferred way, the way people around you would recommend. People who care about you?
Look through your notes and make a decision about the direction you want to take in 2022? Then tell your friends (or your coach!).
Kickstart your 2022 career planning now with Ezra’s world-class employee coaching, built to fit into today’s working life. We’ve redesigned leadership coaching for the modern age to help transform people through affordable, scalable and high-impact solutions, with equitable access through our world-class coaching app. Find out today how digital coaching could make a big difference to your organization.