Welcome to the Confident Careerist podcast. I’m your host Teena Evert, and I’m so glad you’re tuning in to today’s episode.
If you don’t know me, I am not only the host of this podcast but also the CEO and Founder of Claim the Lead. I’m a certified coach and provide career coaching to professionals who want to transform their careers into meaningful, satisfying, and prosperous work. I also offer counseling services. As a licensed mental health professional, I specialize in providing solution-focused care for individuals who need support navigating rough spots in their personal or professional life.
In today’s episode, I’m going to talk about how to make empowered decisions.
I chose this topic because one of the biggest struggles ambitious careerists face is feeling confident in making decisions about the next step in their career.
When you begin to explore new career opportunities, it’s essential to be willing to stretch yourself and change the habits that no longer work for you. Self-doubt, fear, and negative thinking can set in, especially when you don’t trust your ability to make crucial decisions that will impact your future.
CASE STUDY: Meet Alice
I want to share a part of my client Alice’s journey with you. I have changed the client’s name, of course, and any identifying info to respect her privacy. The information that I share illustrates her process of learning how to make empowered career decisions and to help you see that you are not alone if you’re struggling with this.
Alice came to me with a wide range of concerns centering on job dissatisfaction with her past positions. There was a significant discrepancy between what she found exciting in a career and the type of jobs she prefers. Her work history revealed that she had held challenging positions in the medical field that should have provided the excitement and variety she needs to be satisfied.
We began our work together with further career exploration to obtain information on other careers that would meet her needs and boost her overall job satisfaction.
Alice had done minimal career exploration before choosing her current career. It’s common when there is little career exploration that you risk ending up in a job that doesn’t feel meaningful and important.
Alice felt stuck in her ability to move forward because she was continually second-guessing herself and didn’t trust her ability to make good decisions. A more comprehensive evaluation of Alice’s core values and interests was needed to determine a better job match for her and build her confidence when making important career decisions.
In our work together, Alice was able to get clear about how her core values drove her interests and gain a better understanding of why past positions didn’t feel satisfying. Further exploration provided important information about the type of work that would give her meaning and purpose, which was critical for career planning and empowered her decision making.
Alice moved through the career self-assessment process and took time to examine her values and interests in her life. She was able to gain a better understanding of herself and career options that would best meet her needs and bring the highest level of job satisfaction.
She felt confident and empowered in her decision-making skills.
Just like Alice, you can learn to stop second-guessing yourself and make empowered decisions about your future by following these 7 tips.
Tip #1 Find Your Passion
Even if you’re stuck in a rut that you can’t instantly get out of, look for what you are genuinely passionate about within it.
What makes time fly in your current work, instills you with vision and confidence, and satisfies you?
Find a way to tap into that. Tweak your routines, outsource energy-draining tasks, and most important, adjust your overall career plans so that you are closely following the path that inspires you towards reaching your goals.
Tip #2 Avoid “Analysis Paralysis
Did you know that over-preparing and over-analyzing can be a form of procrastination, or at the very least, avoidance behavior? Especially if it’s stopping you from expanding out or taking any risk.
To get past this, get into the habit of setting cut-off dates. For example, on Tuesday the 10th, no matter how unprepared you feel, you tell yourself that whatever you’re working on is good enough, and you take the necessary actions required to bring it to completion.
Tip #3 Beware of the Validation Loop
Are you preoccupied with getting external validation and opinions before taking each step?
Pre-select only the people who have given you professionally valid and knowledgeable advice: People who can be honest without cutting you down and who provide constructive criticism you can use to improve.
Asking too many people for feedback and validation can signal a considerable lack of confidence and disempower your decision-making capabilities.
Tip # 4 Cultivate Self-Awareness
Being self-aware doesn’t mean beating yourself up or giving yourself negative messages: it means assessing yourself objectively and with self-appreciation and compassion.
Get into the routine of asking yourself questions like:
- What am I doing well?
- What are my challenge areas?
- What could I do better? How?
- What am I doing too much of?
- How do others see me?
- How do I see myself?
Asking yourself these questions is a great way to build your self-awareness muscle and uncover new possibilities and opportunities to succeed.
Tip #5 Know Your Triggers
If you find yourself procrastinating, don’t worry so much about the cause: Find your triggers. What sends you into avoidance-land? Is it a particular thing that you no longer want to have as a responsibility? Is it the fact that you don’t like certain aspects of your job or a particularly unpleasant co-worker?
When you recognize and name a trigger, it takes away its power. As a result, you feel empowered to make bold choices and deal with what makes you want to put off a task or particular responsibility.
Tip #6 Ask Yourself Positive, Proactive Questions
If you start your self-questioning with “why,” you are most likely a pessimist. “Why” can signify helplessness, not a feeling you want to encourage.
Change your self-questioning openers to “what” and “how” to shift to a more proactive, self-empowered headspace. For example, change, “Why can’t I figure out this tech issue? to” “What do I need to do to make sure I learn and remember the most useful settings?”
Tip #7 Creating More of What You Want
Every time you find yourself enjoying something, anything at all, get into the habit of asking yourself: “How can I create more of this?
To create more of something, you need to let go of something else, so the second part of this question is: “How do I get rid of…?”
To create more of what you want, you need to focus on it, live it, breathe it – and plan for more. It doesn’t just happen on its own. So go after what you love and what makes you feel excited to be alive!
These tips are here for you to use as instruments to fine-tune your decision-making powers and move closer towards creating a happier and successful life and career.
If you want additional support and guidance to navigate the next steps in your career successfully, please reach out – I’m here to help you reach your goals.
Until next time, be confident!