Maybe you've suddenly or perhaps gradually found yourself standing in the middle of a career crossroads, scanning the various paths around you and wondering which one to take. It's likely you'll be asking yourself questions such as, “Where am I going to go now?” and, “What am I going to do next?”
At this point, it can be easy to feel lost among all the seemingly limitless choices, all the information about various options and all the potential directions in which you could go. Alternatively you may recognise that you want something to change but without knowing what.
It may help to start off by asking yourself a simple question: “Who am I?”
Having a greater sense of awareness about who you are is an essential part of career coaching, providing a compass for your career direction or goals and shaping your values.
Values are the beliefs, ideas or qualities that are important to you. They are central when it comes to planning your career. If you can determine which aspects of your working life are most important, it will help you choose a career path that is right for you.
Working in a job that aligns with your values means you are more likely to thrive. On the contrary, working in a role that doesn’t meet your values can lead to feeling unfulfilled, frustrated or unhappy.
Taking time to try and pin down your values could help to:
Examples of values
|Direct patient contact
|Being able to lead|
|Autonomy / independence|
|Being an expert / specialist|
|Learning and development|
|Having room to progress|
|Power / influence|
|Working with children|
|Less travelling / more travelling|
|core hours / shift work|
|Working in a team|
|Managing own workload|
We tend to feel more satisfied in our working lives if we’re able to do something we’re good at. When making career decisions, it helps to try and assess what your talents or strengths are, also reflecting upon why this might be.
You could try the following career coaching exercise to help you identify this:
Think of a time when you felt you were working "at your best," or put another way, think back to the roles or tasks that you enjoyed the most. What skills were you using and/or what was the environment around you like at the time? You can use the My Career Talents worksheet to help you.
As a member of the RCN, you can book an appointment with one of our Careers Coaches to explore these exercises in more detail.
Examples of talents
You may have come across a Careers Adviser at school or university, whose role would have been to provide advice and information on qualifications for certain professions.
Careers Coaching takes a different approach, instead working collaboratively with you to:
The benefit of Careers Coaching is that it takes into consideration other factors which may impact on your career and work-life balance. You may have personal situations or needs which can affect your career, and so coaching will explore these.
What the Careers Coach can do:
Help you to reflect on your current situation and facilitate your career journey. As a result of this process, they can identify some steps to take forward career decisions with action steps.
What the Careers Coach cannot do:
Influence or dictate your decisions. They cannot tell you what job to do or which course to take, but will instead will work collaboratively with you to guide you to take the next steps.
Contact RCN Direct on 0345 772 6100 to book an appointment with the RCN Careers Service. Careers appointments are done over the telephone, so it's easy and convenient for you.0345 772 6100
Fancy a change in career direction but don't know where to start?
Use the Health Careers website to explore and research different roles within healthcare, and to find out what experience, skills or entry requirements you'll need.