Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Career coaching really works

In this post I wrote about something that Simon Broomer of CareerBalance had told me. Although I didn't make it clear in that post, the context of his comment was a career counselling session that I was undertaking with him, and I want to talk a bit about that experience.

After a fairly unsatisfactory stint of working on my own from home, I decided, before making yet another random career move, that the time had come to properly look at what I wanted to do with my life. So I commenced a series of counselling sessions with Simon about a month ago.

So far I have completed four sessions, and the results have already been pretty amazing. I now have a much better idea of the things that really drive me, career-wise, and my career history now makes much more sense when I look back with the new understanding that I have. I can see why I made the choices that I did, and the recurring themes come through again and again.

In arriving at this point, I have done a lot of looking back through my career to pick up the achievements that meant the most to me and that I enjoyed the most. Not only has this given the valuable clues to what gives most meaning to my working life, it has also put me back in touch with the excitement, and by reminding me of times when I did achieve things that I was proud of, it has renewed my confidence in my own abilities.

I had been interviewing for temporary positions during most of this time, and the work that we have done has had an immediate impact on my interviewing. Naturally I could easily give examples of previous achievements, but my confidence, and excitement for the opportunities on offer, were vastly improved as well - so much so that I have been offered a new position, and start work tomorrow.

I will still continue with my sessions, not least because the new position is dynamic and subject to change, but also because career counselling is not just about getting a job: it's about doing the work that you were meant to do, that gives the most meaning to your life, and creating your dream job, whether you do it where you are currently working, or whether you find it somewhere else.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Credit where credit is due

So I ordered a few books from Amazon a little while ago. I chose the free delivery option, naturally, so it took a few days for them to arrive. Anyway, on Thursday the postman handed me the familiar brown cardboard boxy thing. But, despite having my name on the label, it didn't have my books inside.

It contained instead six CDs that had, according to the packing slip, been purchased by another gentleman. Presumably his mailing label had been pasted onto my package, and he was enduring a similar revelation, or would soon.

So I logged on to my account, and found the returns page. There didn't seem to be an option to say "I got someone else's shipment" so I went through the page where they list the shipment, and you can say that you got something else for each item. Since I only had three books, I chose three CDs at random and typed one name in next to each book. Then I printed out the pre-paid return address label (quite cool), stuck it on the package, and dropped it off at the post office.

The surprising thing was getting the books Friday morning. So I only lost a day due to the whole mixup. That's quite impressive.