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3 Questions Explore How Your Career Path May Be Shifting

Thursday, August 6, 2020
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While you may have felt—and possibly could still feel—anxious, angry, or sad about your losses resulting from the coronavirus, there may be a shift in what you are valuing as most important in your life.

Most people feel unbalanced as they experience change. When what is most important to you is shifting, your brain may see the change as risky. Add an unstable economy and career uncertainty to a shift in values and life can feel unhinged.

When Your Values Change

It is not uncommon for values to change in priority over time. Events such as the pandemic and the multitude of experiences that come with age will change your perspective on what you hold most dear.

As I age, activities that improve my health hold more value. Since I have no children and my parents have died, my value for family has weakened and my value for friendship has increased. These days, my desire to learn and share what I discover is greater. I have even found ways to enjoy teaching classes via Zoom.

If you are feeling a little unsettled about the meaning and direction of your life and career, it is a good time to examine what you see as most meaningful and important. However, it is difficult to examine thoughts without falling into the “worst-case scenario” traps. A coach can help you explore what you want while keeping your protective brain at bay.

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Three Questions to Explore With a Coach

Your happiness depends on you getting what is most important to you. Here’s a list of values to help you determine what you need to feel happy. Explore these questions with a coach:

  • What desires are changing in your personal world? Are you finding more happiness in helping others? Are you appreciating your adaptability? Have desires for more spirituality, community, nature, or fun emerged? What are you craving more time for now?
  • What do you now want to get from your work? Do you want more opportunities to learn and grow, more satisfying teamwork, or increased opportunities for your voice to be heard? Maybe you want a greater sense of security or significance. Would you love more time to be innovative?
  • Which values are growing in strength and which ones are receding? Do you think this shift will cause a conflict of values in your work and career desires? Will the people you care about think you should want something else? Will you be able to find a compromise? If not, what needs to change?

About 15 years ago I was struggling with a shift in career direction. My coach asked, "What would you do differently if you knew the answers to your questions would emerge if you let them?"

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But how could I just sit back and let things happen? Doubtful but willing, I set a goal to breathe and release my anxiety when it rose for the next week. After a few days, I discovered I wasn't giving up. I found peace with not knowing. Instead of worrying, I spent my days doing what I most loved and being grateful for the life I had lived so far.

I soon realized my life’s work was unfolding exactly as it should and it matched what I believed was most important. There was nothing else I needed to do.

Coaches can help you see through the fog of fear. They are skilled at helping us see beyond our stories and beliefs to discover what is possible.

Want to learn more? Join me September 10 for the webcast How Coaching Can Help People Clarify Their Career Direction.

About the Author

Dr. Marcia Reynolds is fascinated by the brain, especially what triggers feelings of connection and possibility. She has trained and coached leaders in 36 countries. Her training experience dates to 1981 when she was hired by a hospital corporation. From there she went on to build and lead training departments for high-tech companies. Her greatest success came from designing the talent development program for a global semiconductor manufacturing company facing bankruptcy. Within three years, the company turned around and became the #1 stock market success in 1993. Marcia has researched how humans learn since earning her second master’s degree is adult education and instructional design in 1986. She earned her doctoral degree is in organizational psychology in 2008. Interviews about her 3 books have appeared in publications world-wide, including TD Magazine, The Long View, 3/15. Marcia is a renowned master coach, the 5th president of the ICF and currently a global Board Director.

2 Comments
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Great Article, Marcia!!!!
The Term & Book that came to me is: "Mind Shifting"! The Book of the same term is by Joshua Ehrlich-"Mind Shifting", a Great Coaching Book to read!
I highly recommend it!! I would love to chat with you!
Today we have to learn to change up our Mindsets to transpose to Mind Shifting!
~~~Rick~~~
Rick, thank you for the resource! I will look for it. You can reach out to me on LinkedIn if you want to talk more.
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