So, if you caught last week's episode, you know, that I have been taking, encouraging, welcoming ideas for the podcast. And today's episode comes directly out of that.
Anne asked: what is the best way to plan for targeted development when the potential career path is unclear?
So in this episode, I break down three options for your professional development, when you're not 100% sure of your next career steps.
Hello. Hello and welcome back to the show. So, if you caught last week's episode, you know, that I have been taking, encouraging, welcoming ideas for the podcast. And today's episode comes directly out of that. So first of all, make sure you head on over to my website and share your ideas with me. The ideas, the frustrations, the desires, anything you are facing right now in your career, in your leadership journey or anything you'd like to hear me talk about you.
You know, you want to get Liz's take on something. Let me know. So where do you want to go is to my firstname.lastname@example.org slash ideas. So that's the mint ambition.com/ideas you can head on over, leave your ideas there. And. Um, as a thank you for that to make it a win-win, you can also get credit towards my programs either for yourself, or also give you the option to pay it forward. If you would like me to provide it towards others who might need a little bit more support to afford to get a paid program for their leadership development.
Okay. So. Let's get right into it. So today's question comes from Ann. So Ann, thank you so much for submitting this question. It's a fantastic one. Anne asks: what is the best way to plan for targeted development when the potential career path is unclear? I think this is really common. That's one of the reasons I picked this one.
I've got a lot of, I've got a lot of them, and this is also why I recommend you sending your ideas and cause it'll let me know. What are the, what people want to hear about. So I picked this one out of them because I think it pulls on a thread that a lot of people are feeling. I hear this in my different communities at different programs that I run as well as my free community, I do have a free Facebook community as well. And a lot of people are in places, whether it's a pivot point or a crossroads, or I've heard different analogies around it, where not quite sure where we're going next. Like what's the next best step we're trying to strategically plan.
So you're at that place. And at the same time, you don't want to stop your development. Right? You want to keep going, you want to keep developing. So you're wanting, okay, well, what, what should I be doing with my development when I'm not really sure what my career path is going to be? So. What I want to offer for you is not just in, but for everyone listening is that if you have this kind of question, come up in your mind.
Well, the ferry, first question I would ask. Um, ask myself in this or I was in that I encourage you to ask yourself is really think about what's making it unclear. Okay. What makes it unclear? And the reason I pose that question and I would encourage you to ask it of yourself is because whatever is making unclear.
There's a good chance that that's an opportunity for development. Right. So even having an unclear career path might, aluminate what you want to develop. So hear me out on this one. Okay. So one of the reasons being. They are. One of the reasons you might have for unclear career path is you're not really sure what you should do.
Or if you're ready to take a step or what would be the right next step? And a lot of those kinds of hesitations can come down down to kind of boil down to decision-making. Right. So if you are aware that you were hesitating. Because you're not, not feeling either. You're not feeling confident and you're not really feeling sure about making the right decision.
Working on your decision making skills could be fantastic. Right. Like, this is actually a wonderful opportunity to really highlight like, oh, this is an area I could really develop. Okay. So ask yourself that question. What is it? That's making my career path unclear, and then that can help you identify what you can work on.
Hey, so that is one option. Right. When they don't remember the question was what's the best way to plan for targeted development about, or when a potential career path is unclear? So that's one option option. One is to ask is to figure out what's making unclear. And then work on that. That might be a skill area or an opportunity for development. Okay.
Now your second option is around. It's similar, but it's slightly different, but it's around career development itself. Right. So if you're in a place and I hear this a lot from my community, right. Where, where you might be mid career, and you're considering whether you want to make a big change.
Right. And maybe it's decision making, but it feels a little bit different. Like, it doesn't feel like decision-making is the problem. That, you know, the ag the competency of it. It's more about like you're making a really big decision or a feels like a really big decision. Well, in that case, what you might want to do then is work on your career development, right? Spend some time doing your values work, spend some time exploring your interests, maybe doing some personal assessments, like self assessments, where you can learn about yourself and your strengths and help you reflect on what you want.
I want to do, what is that next best step? That feels good. That feels right. That feels like it'll help you for that next stage of your career. Right. And the reason I suggest that is because if you're in a place, if you're in that pivot point and it's not really decision-making skill, it really is more of, I need to make this decision.
Well, if you start working on other kinds of development, you are essentially pushing aside this big decision. And I would also encourage you to really, uh, think about that and really explore. And you don't need any judgment towards yourself, but really explore a few are avoiding that decision and you're procrastinating from it.
Again, not because of necessarily a decision making skill, but because of something else, maybe there's some fears about making change. Maybe there's some concerns about what it might mean, maybe. Maybe you're thinking about going for a promotion, like a big promotion into an executive level role, and there's all kinds of stuff coming up, but like to call that the, the mindset stuff. So some, maybe you're having some mind drama around it and that's okay. That is perfectly natural. And is.
I want, I'm going to say that again. It is perfectly natural. To have mine drama come up around those big decisions, especially if you have responsibilities, commitments. Things outside of work that are really important to you, you know, not just that you like to do it, but there there's a real commitment there. So for some people it's family, right.
Your children or elder care, other people that you feel a responsibility towards, or perhaps you have other things in your life that you have that responsibility factor. And so you're like, well, I'm not really sure if I should go for it. You know, that could be bringing up mine drama. And the other kind of mind drama that I often hear about is the feeling of intense.
Um, guilt about taking time, like, oh, what if this takes time away and I'm going to make a big change. It's going to be hard. So, so that is some of that mind drama that might be coming up. And then there also can be, and I hear this a lot. I, if you're following me, you know, I do a lot of work around imposter syndrome or what I prefer to call imposter thoughts, imposter messaging that comes up with, from ourselves and sometimes from society or organizations.
But you might be having that, right. You might be thinking, oh, maybe I'm not, you know, we don't really deserve that promotion. I shouldn't really go for it. And so you're kind of holding back. You're kind of hesitating. Okay. That is a real opportunity to dig into what is going on and how can you overcome it? And it can be such a.
Like, is it an opportunity to overcome it? Right and make that decision, whatever the decision is, maybe the decision isn't to make that big change. But the act of making the decision and deciding, okay, what are the next steps in my career? That is a skillset in and of itself, you know? So working on that career development,
As the actual skillset you're going to work on. He, so that's your second option. Now your third option. So for those of you who didn't really resonate with option one, I didn't really resonate with option two. You're like, well, that doesn't really describe my situation. Doesn't really describe my.
Experience my lived experience that I'm having right now, but you're still wondering like, okay, well, for, for other reasons, my career path is unclear, but I still want to develop, I want to have targeted develop development. So for, for those of you who fall more into this third category, what I highly recommend is looking at universal skills.
Especially leadership skills, right? If you're listening to this podcast, I know you're thinking about your leadership. You want to be a strong leader, a positive leader, a well-respected leader. You want to bring encouragement and positivity to your workplace. You want to make a difference in other people's lives.
You know, all of, all of that is the type of person who's in my community. So if that's you. Then for your targeted development, I want you to think about those kinds of skills. Okay. What skill can I work on? That is going to be universal because leadership skills and, and others, but especially leadership, the skills are universal. You can develop them.
Whether, you know, your next career step or not. W, whether you're going to retire in six months, or you just started your career six months ago, right? These are skills that are absolutely. Um, valuable to develop at any point in your career. And what I want you to consider. So when you're deciding there's.
I mean, there's, there's a lot of things we can consider, but let's make it like super simple. Is that consider either skills that you want to, let's say it was call it enhance or skills that you want to let's call it build. And so what I mean by that, the skills you want to enhance, those are the ones that, you know, you already Excel in there, things that.
Really support you in being successful and we're going to hone those. We're going to enhance them right. There is nothing wrong with doing that. There is I I'm a big proponent of strengths based development. So think about what makes you amazing. What are you strong at? What are you already. What fuels you and what fuels you to perform at your highest levels?
And hence that, how fun would that be? Right. Like really focus on that. So let's say you are already a strong communicator. Right. Take either, either some programs or, or courses or practicing it doesn't, you don't have to take a course to work on your development. Right. Just being mindful of it will contribute to your development.
But work on that and enhance that communication skill that you already have. Hey. On the other hand, you can also build some skills. So this would be if you have areas and again, especially in leadership and especially if you're looking to. To rise, the actual ranks in the sense of getting a promotion, moving up to next levels.
If you have areas of your leadership that, you know, are. It could use some work, could use some tinkering are not your strongest areas. Here's what I would suggest is that. If you know that you need to get it to a certain level, if you're like, okay, let's use communication again. Like. Well, you know, I really dislike speaking in front of groups.
Um, and you can just be really honest with yourself. You very neutrally, very compassionate to yourself, but you can say to yourself like, well, I don't really like it. And, you know, I've, I've received some feedback that it could use some work, you know, that's okay. It's okay to get that kind of feedback even though okay. Here's a little thing. None of us like it.
I mean, there's so many there's articles and books about, you know, I think there's a book called thank you for the feedback. And I know we're supposed to love feedback and crave it, but if you're anything like. Like me and the people who might community, we don't really love that kind of constructive feedback. Right.
So let's acknowledge that and also realize that. At the same time it is, it is a gift. It is helpful to receive that feedback. We just want to make sure that we're acting on feedback that we do agree with. And then it's not sending us into, again, a mind drama spiral of any sorts, but if you're, you know, if you feel okay about it, you're like that. I actually, I really could use some.
Uh, I'm brushing up of my communication skills. Let's say, then you can work on that. They can work on building up that skillset, whether it's communication or something else. Uh, whether or not, you know, that next step in your career path, you don't need to know it to work on that skill. Right. So those are your three main options. I mean, there could be many more, but I'm going to leave you with those three, make it really super simple. So number one is asking yourself, okay, what's making it unclear. And then seeing if that helps identify an area of improvement, right? There might be a skill or competency there that we can work on.
Number two is working on your career development itself. Right. Really figuring out what it is you want to do next and working through what might be coming up. Because a lot of times there can be, there can be the mind drama. That's usually what's causing us to hesitate from make a bit making a big decision, but there could be something else.
But I would focus on that, right? If the, if the path is unclear, And it's not about a competency related to it. Then you might want to work on that career development to figure out your path. And then number three is if none, if neither of those really land for you, right. They don't really resonate is not really your reality.
Then work on some universal skills. And either pick. What's already a major strength of yours and really shine it. Enhance it. Uh, Polish it. Really work it up. Or pick an area that you do know that you need to work on. Right. And we don't have to judge ourselves about it, but there are, there can be areas that we need to work on and we can be okay with that and work on those areas.
But I'd pick one of those two. I wouldn't pick anything really in the middle pick either something that's a super strength. Or something that you re, you know, you need to kind of get it up to two of them, more minimal level. You need to bring it up a little bit. Okay. So with that, what I want you to do now, your call to action.
Two things. One is figuring out, okay, what are you going to work on? What is your going to be? Your personal development, your professional development, or your career development over the next little while? What is it? You want it to be. And then number two, I want to hear from you about what are your ideas.
For some of the other episodes of the podcast, what would you have to hear about what are some topics that are really coming up for you? Maybe your colleagues. So head on over to my website. It's the mint ambition.com/ideas. And with that, have a wonderful rest of your day. And I will talk to you next week.