With three-plus months before the end of the year, it’s the perfect time to revisit and recalibrate your goals for this year. Last week, I wrote about how the change of seasons can be a great time of renewal for you: Fall Into a Season of Change and Renewal

But first, I have a question, How big and bold are your goals? How high do you set your mark?

I know there’s some thinking out there that says, “Under commit and over-deliver.” Coming from a background of Information Technology, this saying was very much how we tried to operate with our clients! But when it comes to my own goals, I love to set stretch goals to set a tone and a direction.

After I left corporate life and was trying to decide what to do next, I spent a lot of time being coached…career coached. Coaching is really a very powerful tool to help set goals. With the support of my patient and wonderful coach, I began to see possibilities and I finally decided to become a coach myself! Yes, I made the big decision to change careers and become a coach and entrepreneur. This was in the Fall of 2011. I committed that it was my goal to be a coach by the end of that year. Now, I didn’t know too much about what was involved in becoming a coach; I just held it out there as my big and bold goal.

My coach patiently pointed out that there were years of training and certifications that needed to happen so that it would not be possible for me to reach that goal at year-end (only several months away). This is where I disagreed with her. I kept that as a goal and by the Fall of 2012, I had been accepted at the University of Texas’ Coaching and Master’s degree program and indeed was coaching my first clients!

If I had kept my goals small, I don’t know if I would have had as much determination and resolve to aim for the biggest and boldest goal that I could.

Another example of a big and bold goal was set many years ago, to visit Hawaii with my family. I had never been there before and didn’t think I had the financial resources to make it happen. Chicago to Hawaii is a pretty pricey flight, as many of you know…not to mention hotel, car, food, etc. But I still put that goal out there for one year out. The following June, I was on my way to Hawaii. A lot of things had lined up to allow me that first of many trips to what became my favorite vacation spot.

In the book, Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, he writes that ‘we are driven more strongly to avoid losses than to achieve gains.” What this tells me is that your goals may be too easy when you are simply avoiding losses. Setting a goal beyond your expectations can be a motivator and catalyst to achieving that goal. I know most of you have heard of that corny phrase, “Shoot for the moon. If you miss, at least you’ll land among the stars.” – Norman Vincent Peale. Corny, yes, but there is some wisdom in that it points you into a direction that you may have only dreamed of.

Before you stop to say, “I couldn’t possibly….” stop and write down that big and bold goal. Don’t worry about how. Start with what. Be bold!

ACTION CHALLENGE

Do you have at least one big and bold goal for the year? If you don’t, can you think of something that exceeds your expectations for yourself, your career, your life? Write it down. Spend some time pondering it, and come back to revisit often.

I would love to hear about your big and bold goals, as always!

 

 

Up Coaching LLC.

Lupe S. Wood, MS, PCC, is a certified Career/Executive Coach. She coaches individuals and leaders to career fulfillment, transition, and advancement. She also consults for results with businesses and solopreneurs. Her background includes 12 years in senior leadership for a Fortune 100 corporation and 7 years as a coach, with a Master’s degree in Organizational Effectiveness and Executive Coaching.

 

For more information, please visit my website at www.upcoached.com

 

 

 

Do you have a vision for your career goals? In my article on Big and Bold goals, I wrote about taking the time to set goals that are beyond your wildest dreams. These goals are best imagined and defined by a vision.

A vision is the first step to bring life to your goals. It can allow you to experience what you want to accomplish using your senses. The vision is a way to help you to truly define and paint the picture in your mind’s eye of what it looks like through writing or other media.

Taking the time to create a solid vision of the future for your career and for your goals, enables you to really think through your options and priorities, and think of alternatives as you define the outcome. For example, I have a client who was laid off recently from his job. He is in Marketing and loves what he does, but he’s not sure what options he has or wants to pursue for the future of his career. I had to ask the question…”How do you want to rewrite the script of your career?” It’s a powerful question that invokes a Vision. A new vision for the future.

How do you want to rewrite the script of your career?

When it comes to careers, you can set a vision for your career overall…where you want it to go, what’s most important to you, salary, promotion, leadership (at what level?), remote worker, etc. That’s the first step. Know what you want your career to be. You can set a timeframe for this year, the next 5 or through to retirement. Whatever makes the most sense for you. I work with clients to paint this picture for their overall careers.

You can then set a vision for the big and bold goal(s) you set. Same process. What are all the details around the goal? How do you define it? What does it look like in all aspects?

It’s important to have the vision be yours and no one else’s. Certainly, you can set a vision with a partner, family, or team. But your influence needs to be a part of the vision for it to truly resonate for you.

The vision doesn’t need to be a goal, per se. It can also be visioning the outcome of an event. For example, if the goal is wanting a promotion at work then the vision can be all of the elements of the discussion with your boss…understanding all that you should prepare in advance, anticipating your boss’s questions or statements, lining up the business case for a promotion, or preparing good negotiation skills in advance. The vision can help you prepare for the outcome of successfully closing the deal on a promotion or more money, etc. and help you to see the outcomes you want and need.

Some ways to express your vision:

1. Work with someone to create the vision. The first step I request with all of my clients is that we set a vision for the future, for their ideal careers and the outcomes that they want to achieve.

2. Have something close by to remind you of it. In my office, I have framed my coaching certification. It always reminds me of the vision I had toward becoming a coach and building my own business. When the going gets rough, it’s so helpful to have that visual reminder.

3. A Career Vision Board: a collage of pictures and phrases that define your vision. You can limit to one goal or present all the goals for your life on the board. Simply cut out pictures and words and affix these on a poster board. A Vision Board can be created every year, defining what you want to pursue in that year, or you can limit it to one specific goal. It’s all up to you.

4. A Vision Statement. This is a declaration of where you want to be in the future. Companies do this at times to declare the organization’s objective, and it serves as a guide for decision making or prioritization. It can work the same way for you.

5. Wordle is an interesting way to present your vision. www.wordle.net It allows you to put key phrases and words together in interesting word clouds. A visual reminder of your vision and goals.

6. You can also write the vision out. I like to put my Vision(s) in journal formats, but you can also just grab the nearest pen and paper and write your vision down.

Anything you can do to both set a vision and remind yourself of it every day is important to focus on bringing it about. A career vision is really a dream made real to allow you to focus on and define the steps toward.
Happy visioning!

ACTION CHALLENGE

Take some time this week to set an effective vision for your career or for a goal or outcome. Use one of the methods above to define your vision and make it come alive.

 

 

Up Coaching LLC.

Lupe S. Wood, MS, PCC, is a certified Career/Executive Coach. She coaches individuals and leaders to career fulfillment, transition, and advancement. She also consults for results with businesses and solopreneurs. Her background includes 12 years in senior leadership for a Fortune 100 corporation and 7 years as a coach, with a Master’s degree in Organizational Effectiveness and Executive Coaching.

 

For more information, please visit my website at www.upcoached.com

 

 

 

As Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Planning is such an important step in achieving your career goals.

So how do you go about planning a big and bold goal?

After you’ve defined a big and bold goal and set a compelling vision, look at these, and consider what the steps could be. Planning is really about taking a goal and splitting it up into tiny steps…the tinier the better. When I was a project manager, we would often encounter huge multi-year project efforts that looked impossible. I sought some direction from my manager, a very wise woman. Her advice to me was to think about it as an analogy, “How do you cook a whale? One frying pan full at a time.”

Now, bypassing what PETA might say about that for a moment, I love this parallel because cooking a whale, like many large and complex efforts, can be daunting until you break down the steps and make them increasingly smaller.

What are the steps for the goal and vision you have set?

1. Start by brainstorming all of the steps to take. Just go wild on a whiteboard or use sticky notes to write down each one. Don’t limit yourself at this point…you’re brainstorming and every idea is a good one.

2. A step could be to meet with an advisor or someone who can help you to flesh out the other steps.

3. Think of every possible task…remember cooking that whale above. The smaller the steps, the better.

4. Come up with a Plan B (C, D, and E). What alternatives are there to the steps you’re brainstorming? Have some different possibilities prepared?

5. Now go back and break up the steps even further. Say you have a step, “Write my resume.” That’s too big for a step. It can be broken down further into:

a. Find a resume format I like
b. Gather all of my performance reviews
c. Review my current resume, look for accomplishments and not simply actions, and write these down
d. Update core competencies
e. Update skills
f. Update resume summary

The goal is to find items that you can do in one or two sittings. “Write my resume”
maybe too big as a single step.

6. Review the steps with a trusted advisor, coach, or friend.

7. Don’t worry yet how you’re going to get all of this done. We will address
that shortly. Just focus on the steps to take.

Now that you have the list, take a look at the logical connections between the steps. That’s why I like writing these down on sticky notes…you can put these on a wall and reorder the priority if needed. For example, if you’re looking for a new job as a goal, it wouldn’t make sense to start posting on job boards without a resume. You might want to work on Linked In before you reach out to your network, etc. Prioritize the steps into a logical order.

In project management, the critical path is those tasks that must get done in a particular order. The latter tasks depend on the previous ones. Let’s say you want to attend networking events after work. Is that essential to getting a job? Probably not. So this would not be on the critical path. Updating your resume is essential and so that would be a “must-do” on the critical path. Always good to know which tasks are on that critical path.

ACTION CHALLENGE

Can you devote some time to defining the steps to make your big bold goal happen? Think through all of the tasks, big and small, and determine who can assist you in this effort of bringing your career goals alive.

 

 

Up Coaching LLC.

Lupe S. Wood, MS, PCC, is a certified Career/Executive Coach. She coaches individuals and leaders to career fulfillment, transition, and advancement. She also consults for results with businesses and solopreneurs. Her background includes 12 years in senior leadership for a Fortune 100 corporation and 7 years as a coach, with a Master’s degree in Organizational Effectiveness and Executive Coaching.

 

For more information, please visit my website at www.upcoached.com

 

 

Through this series, you’ve set big bold goals, created a Vision, and put together a plan. Now it’s time to look at how you get the tasks completed toward your career goals for the future.

You have a Plan, the “how” of reaching your big bold goals, but you need the “when,” that is scheduling the work to be done.

A close friend and mentor of mine once said, “Having a schedule always works!” It’s not enough to have a plan. You now need to figure out how to address extra effort into your busy day to day schedule.

Stephen Covey was a time management expert that many of you may have heard of. He talked about the strategic effort of working on long term goals as something that is always “important but not urgent.” Think about the term “important.” This is the work of your big bold goal. It is important but, not as urgent as getting those requests from your boss handled or spending time to rescue a project in trouble at work. Those are urgent. The work of a big bold goal rarely is urgent.

So how do you find the time to address the non-urgent, longer-term priorities of your career and life? I say you make the time happen with determination and scheduling.

A big example for me is writing. As you have probably noticed, I love to write. My goal is to write an e-book. However, try as I might, I can never seem to find the time. This is definitely a big bold goal for me.

Recently, I started blocking time on Thursdays to write, and to address my business development as an entrepreneur. I had always tried to make it Friday, but things would always get in the way. I have changed it to Thursdays and while I’m still available for a few clients, for the most part, this is my day to work on important-but-not-urgent big bold goal efforts. Turns out that Thursday may just be the perfect day for me, so far.

With the urgent items taking up most of our day, you have to be mindful of the important-but-not-urgent.

This is your future. This is the strategic effort that will lead to achieving your goals.

Think about how you plan your day. Do you take the time to prioritize items for the day? Is all of it important and urgent only? Most of us react to the urgent…these usually require little planning…it’s the busyness of every day. Yet, our big bold goal actions require planning as important-but-not-urgent. How do you address the important-but-not-urgent?

Stephen Covey has a famous video on how to fit everything into the day. I highly recommend taking the time to watch this 6-minute video. It drives home the need to schedule your “big rocks” first into your day. Stephen Covey Big Rocks Video.

What I love about this video is how it stresses that the important and urgent tasks will always win out, and a fair amount of procrastination will as well. Where you want to address your actions for the big bold goals is in planning for the important-but-not-urgent.

Some planning techniques include:

1. Schedule time on your calendar in advance to get the tasks done. I like to block time out in my calendar for certain work. This allows for any interruptions that may appear but still keeps you focused on the strategic actions you need to take.

2. Resolve to make incremental progress every day. If you have a task like “Gather all of my old performance reviews” broken out, say from the bigger step of “Update my resume,” you can resolve that for today, you will find at least 2 performance reviews. You want to break it down to doing the smallest amount of effort to feel that you’re making progress toward your goal.

3. Adopt a trigger to help you do the actions. For example, most of us don’t think about brushing our teeth any longer…it gets triggered by a meal or first thing in the morning or before you go to bed. You can set a trigger for your goal to work in the same way. Say, first thing in the morning, every morning, devote time, or last thing in the evening before you leave work or finish dinner. The outside event will trigger what you need to do.

4. Allocate an extra hour in your day…either start work earlier or leave later, or adjust to doing the work at home, depending on the goal. I once found that getting to work an hour earlier to work on these goals was an effective way to start the day.

5. Resolve to stay true to your commitment. Set a daily or weekly goal on the action you’re taking.

6. Reward yourself for the progress you’ve made. Working on longer-term goals is like a workout program. You may not see immediate results, so a small reward can encourage you to keep going for the longer term.

7. Share what you’re doing with others. It helps to build accountability and persistence.

A long term goal can seem like a journey. Be sure you pack and plan what you need in advance. These planning techniques can help.

ACTION CHALLENGE

Look at planning time to work on the important-but-not-urgent strategies and tactics of achieving your career goals. It’s time invested in you and your future. Find a way to make it happen every day.

 

 

Up Coaching LLC.

Lupe S. Wood, MS, PCC, is a certified Career/Executive Coach. She coaches individuals and leaders to career fulfillment, transition, and advancement. She also consults for results with businesses and solopreneurs. Her background includes 12 years in senior leadership for a Fortune 100 corporation and 7 years as a coach, with a Master’s degree in Organizational Effectiveness and Executive Coaching.

 

For more information, please visit my website at www.upcoached.com

 

 

 

Happy New Year everyone! Hoping 2019 is your best year ever!

A new year brings fresh opportunities and possibilities for you and your career. Make this the year that you take the reins of your destiny and decide what direction it will go in. In this first post of the series, I’ll demonstrate the importance of managing your own career.

There are advantages to taking control of your future direction.

In the past, employees were expected to perform and deliver results for the organization. This determined your next promotion (up or out) in the company. It was based on the results produced but also on key partnerships and strategic alignments (no one ever got promoted based on results alone!).

We are in a new era where employees can decide their own future career tracks while delivering results for both the company and their career. The advantage of this is that it allows you to have the flexibility to address what you want to do in the future. Do you want a promotion? Would you rather try learning new things, regardless of the title? Are you open to changing careers completely? Taking control of your career promotes employee independence that makes you flexible and adaptable to any changes in the organization. You develop an independent mindset.

When it came to my own corporate career, I’m afraid I was guilty of letting others make decisions for me. I was fortunate to have two amazing sponsors at different points in my career. I didn’t plan these two senior leaders as sponsors; they sort of happened as I went along and continued to deliver in my role.

Yet, as I look back, they appeared because I was driving results and that helped to open doors to increased levels in the organization. Which was great, but….I basically gave control of my career, promotions, assignments, and roles, to others who I thought had my best interests at heart.

Ah, but what happens when one sponsor retires early (forced out) and another sadly passes away at a very young age? This was the exact situation I found myself in. While I mourned the loss of my sponsors, I realized that I had not taken the time to structure and strategize my career in the way that I wanted and needed to.

But it’s never too late. It’s always a good time to take stock and take control of your career.

Wouldn’t this New Year be a great time to do that?

I like to think of taking control of your career as becoming the head of a new startup company called “My Amazing Career, Inc.” (or any other creative name). The analogy is one of equating your career development to a startup company of which you are the Chief Executive Officer (as well as COO, CMO, CRO…OK, so let’s just say you are the Chief). The Chief is responsible for defining the path of career self-advancement and ownership.

You continue to focus on driving results for your company in your role, but now, you also think about meeting and achieving goals for your own personal career future. It’s a mind shift that you need to make to view your accomplishments to the benefit of your role and career.

There are many facets to consider in this startup effort…please watch subsequent posts for inspiration.

For now, start thinking about what you would like to accomplish in your career this year, short term, and longer-term view. In the next few weeks, I plan to explore all of these facets as we co-create your own Career Company and begin to strategize and plan for your next successful moves.

ACTION CHALLENGE

Happy New Year! Start this new series by taking some time to think about what you really want to accomplish most in your career this year. Write down some career goals (no more than 5 to 7 goals) and continue to follow this series!

 

 

Up Coaching LLC.

Lupe S. Wood, MS, PCC, is a certified Career/Executive Coach. She coaches individuals and leaders to career fulfillment, transition, and advancement. She also consults for results with businesses and solopreneurs. Her background includes 12 years in senior leadership for a Fortune 100 corporation and 7 years as a coach, with a Master’s degree in Organizational Effectiveness and Executive Coaching.

 

For more information, please visit my website at www.upcoached.com

 

 

 

Hello everyone! I’ve been on hiatus, but now back to the blogging. I have other changes coming up soon as well…a new website and social media presence. For now, it’s good to be back to writing! Hope your new year has started out fantastic. Please drop me a note and let me know how you’re doing! Thanks!

In Part 1 of this series, I described the business case for taking control of your career with the analogy of becoming the CEO for My Amazing Career, Inc., a company devoted to your career, and run by you. As a good Chief Executive Officer, you want to know which way you want the company to go. It’s the same with your career. It’s time to do a little strategic planning.

Crafting an initial vision for your future is helpful.

A vision can help to clear up any ambiguity and give you a target to shoot for. It can be long term, ultimate, or short term, whichever works best for you and your career. As you set a long term vision, you may have interim visions along the way, and because things change, it’s always a good idea to revisit the vision at least yearly.

Once you have the vision, it helps to confirm this with an advisor, coach, or friend. Get feedback on the vision from someone you know and trust.

With a vision in place, it’s important to understand where you are right now against some key dimensions. This is usually called your current state. Values are a key component to understanding what your natural talents are and how to best utilize these in your career, present, and future.

  1. Starting with core values, what your priorities are right now? For example, if a family is a core value, you may want to figure out greater work/life balance in the future. Or, if the achievement is a core value, then you want to ensure goals and successes along the way to validate that. Values are really about what’s most important to you. List out all of the values and strengths you currently have. There are several guides that you can Google to help list your values. These are the cornerstone for you, but also, you want to ensure that your future career resonates with these values.
  2. Put the list of values into rank order and understand what your top values are.
  3. There are some tools to assess values/strengths including Strengthfinders. I am a definite fan of Strengthfinders. This relatively easy assessment will give you your top 5 strengths. It will also give you your whole list of 34 strengths in order. These are your natural talents in professional and personal situations. For example, my own top strength on the Strengthfinders is Restorative. This is strength in problem-solving. I would never be happy in a career where I wasn’t solving problems, so this would be an absolute for me, and essential to understanding.
  4. Strengthfinders also has a Leadership assessment that shows how to leverage your strengths as a leader in an organization. Well worth the read.
  5. Another value/strength support is the VIA Strengths Tool assessment. This tool is free and allows you to get a report online outlining your core strengths/values.

Effective strategic planning begins with a vision and current assessment of where you are and what’s important about that. In our next article, we will continue to explore your career by looking at your successes, opportunity areas, and core competencies.

ACTION CHALLENGE

Set up a Word file, or notebook, however, you prefer to capture information and take some time to document your vision for the future of your career and values/strengths. Take any necessary assessments to provide clarity. This will form the foundation of your career master plan.

 

 

Up Coaching LLC.

Lupe S. Wood, MS, PCC, is a certified Career/Executive Coach. She coaches individuals and leaders to career fulfillment, transition, and advancement. She also consults for results with businesses and solopreneurs. Her background includes 12 years in senior leadership for a Fortune 100 corporation and 7 years as a coach, with a Master’s degree in Organizational Effectiveness and Executive Coaching.

 

For more information, please visit my website at www.upcoached.com

 

 

This series began by encouraging you to make a decision to take control of your career. It’s too easy to defer taking control, especially in the midst of driving results. You may have the anticipation that the boss will “just notice and reward” all of the hard work you are doing. Take the time to proactively manage your future direction. Taking control of your career puts you in the driver’s seat. It makes a difference to your future when you spend time following your own roadmap. You can achieve what’s most important to you, not just to your company.

Vision and Values are important determinates of your future.

You can use your vision and values to provide the destination for your career, as well as point out what is important to you about reaching that destination. Values provide a touchstone for what resonates most for you in the future.

The bottom line message…do not let someone else determine your next career move!!

As your career plan proceeds, it’s important to check in on yourself and identify your core competencies and opportunity areas. This provides a realistic balance of strengths and weaknesses in your career journey. This is strategic career planning and these elements are important keys to the analysis and process.

These aren’t things that you normally consider, except at performance review time, or for the purposes of putting a resume together, for example.

Core competencies are best defined as those items that are strengths for you. The competencies are also defined as specialties that others recognize your expertise in. It’s those things at which you truly excel; the unique accomplishments that over time have become a part of your career brand and persona.

It also helps to engage others in defining these. You can view 360-degree feedback or look at past reviews to see what others have defined as your strengths.

Also, thinking back to the self-assessment exercises described in Part 2 of this series, your values and strengths will guide you to your core competencies. The Strengthfinders assessment gives you the top 5 (and more) strengths that you use in your work and life. I mentioned that the strength called, Restorative, is my number one strength. Restoratives are strong problem solvers. They solve complex people and project problems and drive results. That’s definitely me!

What do you know well and can contribute effectively?

Think of the things you know best and list these out. Where are you sought after for your knowledge on a particular topic? What do you feel is a real strength for you? What could you give a Ted Talk on if you needed to?

Now you also want to assess your opportunity areas. Those places where you want and need to improve.

Go back and look at performance reviews, think about feedback from the past. None of us are too crazy about negative feedback, but are there nuggets there that can suggest areas for improvement? Do you tend to be too sensitive to feedback? Are you disorganized and/or not presenting well to others? Do you have a conflict with peers often? Are you not strategic enough? List these out.

An honest assessment of those areas for improvement is essential to assist you in shoring up and building strengths. It’s a starting point for where you want to go in the future, and coming up with a plan to work through opportunity areas is a great development focus.

Now you have a composite picture of you and your career. It should include:

The awareness of the need to take control of your career direction
A Career Vision
Values
Strengths
Core competencies
Opportunity areas.

All of these are essential in career planning. The next stage is taking all of this information and developing your personal road map…strategic planning of your career.

ACTION CHALLENGE

Take some time this week to assess your core competencies and areas of opportunity. Make a list of each for your career planning objectives. Review your materials to ensure you have the full foundation for career planning.

 

 

Up Coaching LLC.

Lupe S. Wood, MS, PCC, is a certified Career/Executive Coach. She coaches individuals and leaders to career fulfillment, transition, and advancement. She also consults for results with businesses and solopreneurs. Her background includes 12 years in senior leadership for a Fortune 100 corporation and 7 years as a coach, with a Master’s degree in Organizational Effectiveness and Executive Coaching.

 

For more information, please visit my website at www.upcoached.com

 

 

Throughout this series, the theme has been to take control of your career and personally own the outcomes. What happens so often is that in the busyness of driving results, career planning may fall to the wayside, leaving major career decisions in the hands of others – your boss, your company, or even a recruiter. Now you can be responsible for creating your own career management roadmap for the future.

The strategic plan begins with elements of self-awareness including assessments of your vision and values and strengths and opportunity areas.

These are all tools for introspection and evaluation which is where the career map begins. Think of this as a road trip. Now when I was a child growing up in Los Angeles, our family summer vacations were 382 miles away, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Key decisions included:

  • Where exactly we were going (San Francisco plus Redwoods or Lake Tahoe)
  • How to get there (by car)
  • What path to take (Hwy 101, usually)
  • How ready our vehicle was for travel (maintenance, oil change)
  • What maps and stops along the way (my Dad was not a fan of stopping!)

In the same way, your career roadmap must contain elements including:

  1. Where you want to go and when. Whether it’s a career change, promotion, lateral move, or a new job, where do you want to go and by when? Reference the vision you developed earlier and put a date on it. I would like to become an entrepreneur by 11/1/2020. I would like to get promoted to Sr. Manager by 12/2/2021.
  2. How are you going to get there? Just as there are many paths from Los Angeles to San Francisco, and many side detours possible (beautiful Santa Barbara, or maybe explore Big Sur), decide on the best path for you. I want to achieve a promotion to Sr. Manager first, then Director. Or I want to network and understand what I need to do to become an entrepreneur before I quit my day job.
  3. Decide which road to take. The road will be those actions that you want to take in pursuit of moving forward. The decision on the best path can be determined in several ways:

a. Perform a Gap Analysis. If I’m currently a Project Manager looking for promotion to Sr. Manager, take a look at the skills and requirements of that targeted role and compare to where I’m at currently. What do I need in terms of education, experience, etc. If I’m looking to change careers, take a look also at skills and requirements for a new career and where I need to shore up my efforts.

b. Do a SWOT analysis on your career. This is looking at Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats to a future pathway. Use these results to determine the next steps.
c. Look at strengths and opportunity areas that you developed earlier, and put together a plan to enhance these opportunities and/or maximize your strengths further.

  1. How ready are you for this journey? Go back and look at the values, strengths, and opportunity areas again. These provide clues on where you should be spending your efforts. Do you have an opportunity area to network with others to a greater extent? Maybe your career brand is good but now you need to incorporate it within your resume and Linked In profile.

a. This is a critical step to identify actions to take in pursuit of the vision.

  1. Get your maps lined up. Write down all actions and goals from the previous steps. Make these SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Time-bound). The dates are important in keeping you accountable.
  2. Where do you want to stop along the way to your vision? Are there steps and milestones you can identify on the way to the vision?
  3. Finally, assess any other items you may need to consider, such as values (work/life balance), salary requirements, location, etc.

Your finished product is a set of steps that lead to the desired vision. These are goals and actions for you to take to achieve success.

Review your finished product with a mentor/coach/trusted advisor. It helps to have an outside perspective. Make this a document with quarterly goals supporting goals for the year and look at it every week to ensure your actions are tracking with the plan.

Best of luck in your career journey.

ACTION CHALLENGE

Throughout this series, you have defined where you want to be in the future (the Vision) and where you are right now (Strengths, Opportunities, Values). Using the techniques above, create a road map of the next actions to take. Review these with a mentor, trusted advisor, or career coach.

 

 

Up Coaching LLC.

Lupe S. Wood, MS, PCC, is a certified Career/Executive Coach. She coaches individuals and leaders to career fulfillment, transition, and advancement. She also consults for results with businesses and solopreneurs. Her background includes 12 years in senior leadership for a Fortune 100 corporation and 7 years as a coach, with a Master’s degree in Organizational Effectiveness and Executive Coaching.

 

For more information, please visit my website at www.upcoached.com

 

 

Hello everyone,

It’s been a while and I do apologize. I’ve spent quite a bit of time creating my new website: www.upcoached.com. Please let me know what you think! And yes, I will gratefully accept any recommendation you wish to give on the website as well. Thank you.

Now, let’s get back to your career:

Is your career where you want it to be right now?

There are times when the day to day busyness of your job prevents you from looking at the big picture of your career and where it’s headed. It’s important to take the time to provide perspective into your profession as a way of increasing overall career fulfillment. This perspective allows you to determine what steps you need to take to move your career in the direction you want it to be.

Three factors are critical in the assessment of your career: Self-awareness, relationships, and networking. These are three factors that heavily influence your career now and in the future.

Self-assessment is a great place to start. This is about taking the time to be introspective and thoughtful about where you are and where you want to be in the future. What do you love about the career you’ve chosen? Is it fulfilling? What kind of feedback have you received about your strengths and opportunity areas? What do you want to work on? Can you set some goals?

At the same time, relationships with others are also critical. There’s a relationship with your boss…a A truly important person in your career. There are also relationships in building a support team, such as mentors or sponsors. All of these factors are good to take a look at as well.

This article begins with self-assessment. Next week, we will cover the relationship assessment, followed by networking.

Take the time to answer the following questions thoughtfully and honestly. No one else needs to see these answers. The whole exercise is designed to make you really think about where your career is and what actions are available to you now and in the future.

Are you ready? Let’s go…

Are you doing what you love? Is your career fulfilling you? A fulfilling career is one where you truly enjoy the work that you do. Yes, there are ups and downs, but for the most part, you enjoy the work assigned. You feel fulfillment in your work. What specific aspects of your career do you enjoy the most? If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, take a look at what’s missing for you. This could be an indication of the need to change jobs or careers.

Do you have the right amount of work/life balance? I once had a job that required about 14 to 16 hours per day. It was unnecessarily demanding and for all of those hours, I ended up receiving very little in return, in the long run. It’s always important to strike a balance. How’s your balance? Is it where you want it to be? Do you have a life outside of work?

Are you looking for a promotion? Who knows this? At one point in my career, I thought everyone in leadership knew that I was looking for my next promotion. Never assume! As it turned out, a chance golf game where I was paired with my VP enabled me to discuss this with her. Her reaction was shocking. She didn’t know I was working toward the promotion before this chance meeting. Leaders are very busy people and don’t know what they don’t know. Never assume that they do.

How’s your self-marketing? Doing a great job is just the “ticket to the dance.” It’s not enough to do an outstanding job. You need a self-marketing strategy that works. How do you self-market? Is there a peer that does a great job of this (there usually is!)? What techniques can you “borrow” from that person?

If you’ve ever done a 360 assessment, what are some of your strength and challenge areas? Or have you received feedback on performance reviews? What are you doing to address these? Constructive feedback should always be viewed as important and addressed in some way. Do you need to do anything differently? Behaviors? Knowledge? All important to look at. Do you have a plan to work on these?

What do you need to learn more about? We all have some knowledge gaps. How do you work to close these gaps and expand your knowledge?

Answer these questions and pay close attention to the insights you have about the state of your career.
What are you seeing in your answers? What actions, if any, do you want to take?

ACTION CHALLENGE

Take the Career Track assessment and share your results with a trusted friend, advisor, or coach. Think about this as the beginning of constructing a Career Road Map. Determine what strategies and goals you can address from this assessment.

 

Up Coaching LLC.

Lupe S. Wood, MS, PCC, is a certified Career/Executive Coach. She coaches individuals and leaders to career fulfillment, transition, and advancement. She also consults for results with businesses and solopreneurs. Her background includes 12 years in senior leadership for a Fortune 100 corporation and 7 years as a coach, with a Master’s degree in Organizational Effectiveness and Executive Coaching.

 

For more information, please visit my website at www.upcoached.com

 

 

How’s the new year/new decade going so far?

Did you set any new year’s goals or resolutions? How are those going?

You have probably heard some of the statistics around resolutions. Nielsen did a study a few years ago showing that only 64% of resolutions last longer than the first month, and 46% last longer than six months.

While some of these numbers are better than I thought, they also show that, basically, resolutions don’t work! However, I have something that may help your goals stay in place longer than the statistics show.

It starts with writing out a robust vision of the future.

Now, I’ve written about vision before Vision and Values and Achieving Career Goals with Vision and if you are a client, you know that I always begin with helping you to define the vision. Vision is so important because this becomes the foundation for setting your strategies and goals to attain that vision.

Vision can be around any aspect of your life…relationships/family, health, free time, vacations, etc. This article focuses on careers. As you set the vision, it’s important to dream big…very big. I like to think about it this way….if you could have, do, or be anything in your career, what would it be?

This is the first question you want to ask yourself in creating a vision.

The second question is, around what is important about that vision? What about the vision is compelling for you? What makes you think about this as a vision? Having the reason for your vision helps to inform the importance of the vision for you personally.

Example of a career vision: I see myself promoted to Assistant Vice President of Marketing. I have Directors reporting to me and we are focused on exceeding the goals of the corporation with effective metrics and Key Performance Indicators. Becoming a VP will fulfill my desire to achieve and be recognized in the corporation. It will also present me with the career challenges and financial compensation that I’m looking for in the future.

Another example: I see myself as an entrepreneur, running a successful bakery, and café. I have a passion for baking and love serving others so this would be an ideal situation for me to pursue.

The second is a simpler version of the vision but works equally as well.

The vision should be stated in terms that make it robust, compelling, personal, (although you can share), and truly paints a picture of the future that you want to have.

About 20 years ago, I was inspired to write a vision for my future based on listening to some Tony Robbins (amazing speaker and motivator) tapes. The vision I wrote was to go to Hawaii for the first time (Vacation vision). The second was a Career Vision to get promoted two levels above where I was…to Sr. Director.

As I wrote these visions, I didn’t know how I was going to achieve them, I only focused on what, and that’s important as you are visioning. Don’t get caught up in the practical wisdom. With my two visions, I had wanted to go to Hawaii for a while but had never declared it as a vision. For my career, I had been waiting for an overdue promotion to one level up…two levels seemed an amazing vision.

The wheels were set in motion once I defined the vision. I didn’t even write specific goals on each of these but thought about the visions daily. I started taking actions (very important) to achieve the vision…like researching more about Hawaii…where to stay, how much it would cost, etc. I also began to make it clear to my leadership that my goal was to be promoted, and began to act as if I were already at that level.

The result…my husband, son, and I vacationed in Hawaii that summer, and I was promoted that same year, right after I returned from Hawaii! I received the second promotion six months later!

This convinced me of the power of a vision, and while I don’t always practice it for myself, I was reminded of this powerful practice recently through a coach collaboration group I’m working with.

I kept my written vision in front of me every day and dedicated some time to think about it. This is one way to keep it before you. Another is a vision board that you can do physically or electronically as well. Anything that will help keep the vision before you is important.

Is it time to think about what you really want in the future? The beginning of a new year and new decade are perfect times to vision what areas of your career and life you would like to focus on. Start from a clean slate. Forget the past…this is all about you having the career and life you really want!

ACTION CHALLENGE

Consider your career. Where do you see yourself in the next year/five years? What is your vision? Write this down and be sure to include what’s important to you about achieving this. Then use a vision board or other reminders to inspire you daily.
I would love to hear some of your successes out there with setting a Vision!

 

Up Coaching LLC.

Lupe S. Wood, MS, PCC, is a certified Career/Executive Coach. She coaches individuals and leaders to career fulfillment, transition, and advancement. She also consults for results with businesses and solopreneurs. Her background includes 12 years in senior leadership for a Fortune 100 corporation and 7 years as a coach, with a Master’s degree in Organizational Effectiveness and Executive Coaching.

 

For more information, please visit my website at www.upcoached.com