6 steps to uncovering your next best career or business path

When the Covid-19 Global Health Pandemic hit in early 2020, I noticed something interesting with my current coaching clients. They typically fell into one of three categories:

1) Women in Career:
Their lives were thrown into chaos and figuring out how to work from home while parenting and home-schooling and co-parenting like never before quickly became all-consuming.

2) Women in Business:
They had to double-down on the business front as they had to re-invent and re-design business service offerings to salvage the business they had or grow their business to meet new demand.

3) Work/Life Balance Issues:
Many of the issues they had come to me for in the first place were solved when they and their families were all forced home. No more crazy soccer schedules. No more trying to vie for their spouse’s time. No more trying to figure out how to get everything done in the context of a busy workday. Everyone was home and they could be too. The question of work/life balance was solved in a whole new way.

Now, we’re faced with the “return” to work or a new way of working that has many people questioning what they want to “go back” to.

Many people are feeling a mix and varying degrees of:

  • I liked working from home; I don’t want to go back to the office.
  • What if there’s another shutdown and I’m forced to homeschool again? I don’t think my business/career can survive another round of that.
  • Can I redesign my career so that I can have a blend? I like the flexibility of working from home some of the time.
  • I really don’t want to enroll my children in all those activities again. Our family life is so much smoother when we’re not all running in different directions every night of the week.
  • My husband and I are closer than ever. I don’t want him (or me!) to go back to the stressed-out versions of ourselves that we used to be.
  • I honestly don’t know what’s real and what’s “Pandemic Brain” right now. I’m just going to ride it out and see what impressions settle and which ones sort themselves out.

Which one – or more – of the above scenarios do you connect with?

Regardless of where you fit, here are a few questions that may help you as you sort out the best next steps for you.

Six Questions to Help you Uncover Your Best Next Career or Business Step:

1) Evaluate what worked during the work from home period 

What did you like about working from home? What worked? Write down all the things you liked about that time period.

2) What didn’t work well?

We know the Pandemic shutdown wasn’t all roses and buttercups. What did you really not enjoy during this time frame? Think about those scenarios you had to dig deep to get through. Think way back. I bet you got through more than you know.

3) What do you want to carry with you into this next phase of work/life?

If you had a choice, what would you want to carry with you into your future work scenario? If you could design that perfect combination of work/life flexibility and career or business fulfillment, what would it look like?

4) What are your options?

What are the options that are coming to you in terms of how you can bring the best of both worlds together? This is where I invite you to create a Possibilities List. It doesn’t matter how crazy you think the idea may be.  The quickest killer of all great ideas is the “how” question. Don’t worry about the how – for now – get all those ideas down on paper.

5) Review your List

Now take a step back. Review that list. If you didn’t have to worry about the “how,” which ideas are calling you? Which ones seem crazy but ridiculously appealing? Which ones seem doable but the path forward is currently unclear? Which ones seem completely implausible? Divide your list into three groupings.

6) Which ones excite you the most?

Identify the ones that excite you the most. Even if they seem impossible. Sit with them. There’s gold there. What is ONE thing you can do today to work towards making your favourite idea come true? Make a commitment towards taking that step.

And if this all seems just too overwhelming. This is where a private coach or group program can support you. My next Align Retreat is coming up October 14-17, 2021. Message me to be put on a list to be the first to know! Or reach out for a complimentary strategy session with me, to design your best next steps.

If you hear a whisper in your heart that is getting louder, and the above exercise helped you hear it a little more clearly, then perhaps it’s time to take a step towards making it come true.

 What would you do if you knew clarity was just a phone call or an email away….?

From my bubble to yours,

Susan Elford