Are you in your final year of uni or have just left? Have you made some career plans? Have you started a job but not finding it fulfilling? Maybe you need some career coaching. A coach is someone who can help you identify your strengths and devise some sort of plan based on your goals.
I have been coaching since 2010 in my two businesses NatalieLancer.com and MyUniApplication. I focus on young people dealing with a variety of issues from increasing their confidence, to career and university guidance.
I am an accredited coach (I am a member of the Association for Coaching) and I have just published Techniques for Coaching and Mentoring (2nd edition) with the renowned coaches David Clutterbuck and David Megginson. The book brings together our expertise on coaching and mentoring in a variety of different settings and organisations.
I devised several original coaching techniques which are showcased in the book such as the ‘Free Imaginative Variation Technique’. This involves writing your ‘dream CV’ populated with potential job roles and qualifications. Now, here is the ‘imaginative variation’ part: ask yourself what you can change or leave out whilst still preserving your ‘dream CV’? Actively experiment by changing and deleting skills, roles, companies and qualifications until you have a clear picture of the core items that must be present for your CV to be ‘ideal’. Identifying what you are aiming for is a great start – many people find it difficult to express their end goal. Next – how to make this goal a reality. Break down these goals into small, practical steps. Some goals seem overwhelming, and it may be that you need a professional coach to help focus on how to make your ambitions achievable.
If you already have a job, rather than leave your current employer, another way to make sure you are doing your dream job is to maximise the value of your role. What is your current job description and what would you need to add to make it more enjoyable or challenging? Use this ‘dream job description’ as a springboard to explore how your role can be developed. Will you need to develop some new skills? What value would these new components add to your organisation? How do you think your line manager would react if you propose that you should do it? How can you get your ideas off the ground?
We often forget who our contacts are and how they can help us (and we help them). The following exercise explores how people we know can develop us further and help us get to where we want to go. Draw three concentric circles, each one slightly bigger than the last on a large sheet of paper. Label them inner, middle and outer. Think about who you know, in whatever context and however loosely, and write their names in the appropriate circle. Your inner circle might include close friends, family and trusted work colleagues. Your middle circle might include people you are in contact with who you value but you are not in touch with as frequently, and the outer circle are acquaintances you could potentially contact but haven’t done so yet. Now ask yourself: What networks or relationships do I want to develop further? For what purpose? How? Can you leverage this for mutual advantage?
The benefits of coaching are now being reaped by students looking to maximise their potential and go into the world of work with their eyes open. This shouldn’t be a surprise – after all, who wouldn’t want professional support to make changes or realise your ambitions?
Techniques for Coaching and Mentoring (2nd edition) by Natalie Lancer, David Clutterbuck and David Megginson is available from Amazon.co.uk. Natalie is available for one-to-one coaching sessions. For more information, contact Natalie Lancer at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07747 612 513. www.natalielancer.com