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Career paralysis (pt 2) - untangling your thoughts and finding your direction
 

Career paralysis (pt 2) - untangling your thoughts and finding your direction

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This is part 2 of a 2 part presentation, designed to be downloaded and viewed in 'slide show' mode. ...

This is part 2 of a 2 part presentation, designed to be downloaded and viewed in 'slide show' mode.

This is for anyone who feels stuck in their current job but unsure of how to move forward. Career paralysis is incredibly common and in this presentation psychologist Rob Archer explains why - and what you can do about it.

Contains loads of brilliant free resources for anyone who wants to get unstuck and move forward in a meaningful direction.

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    Career paralysis (pt 2) - untangling your thoughts and finding your direction Career paralysis (pt 2) - untangling your thoughts and finding your direction Presentation Transcript

    • Ne w Career Paralysis for (#A m 2 01 aze bal ls!) 4! Part 2: How to get unstuck and find your best direction. Part 2 of a presentation designed to be downloaded and viewed in ‘slide show’ mode, by psychologist Rob Archer
    • Hello there. Good to see you again. Now, where were we? Oh yes...
    • In part 1 of this presentation we presented the idea of Career Paralysis: a feeling of wanting to change career, but getting paralysed by our mind’s cognitive biases that combine to keep us exactly where we are.
    • Changing career is about more than looking at jobs ads and then wondering why we didn’t think of starting Innocent.
    • Changing career is about more than looking at jobs ads and then wondering why we didn’t think of starting Innocent. It’s also about the way we think. After all, it’s our usual thought processes that got us stuck in the first place, yet we rely on the same ones to get us unstuck. It’s likely that if being stuck was purely a logical problem, you’d already have solved it.
    • Changing career is about more than looking at jobs ads and then wondering why we didn’t think of starting Innocent. It’s also about the way we think. After all, it’s our usual thought processes that got us stuck in the first place, yet we rely on the same ones to get us unstuck. It’s likely that if being stuck was purely a logical problem, you’d already have solved it. So to get unstuck we need to think differently, not harder. Unless we want to repeat our mistakes, we must understand the traps of human decision making and counter our brain’s cognitive biases. The purpose of this presentation is to explain how.
    • Cognitive bias: Too much choice overwhelms us 1 Suggested action: Identify clear decision criteria
    • Career choice can be overwhelming.
    • So to prevent all options looking the same... Identify clear and objective decision criteria to make decisions against.
    • This means OBJECTIVELY identifying your skills, strengths, interests, personality preferences, and values. Then turning these into positive criteria with which you can evaluate your job options.
    • Note: make sure your criteria are not just ways of avoiding short term discomfort! Away from discomfort e.g. “I want to feel happier” Towards values ?
    • Identifying Decision Criteria...some ideas: Try this excellent (free) personality test to generate criteria. (But note personality tests You may have to need to be used in context!) download this Try my Personal Job Ad exercise here. presentation and view in ‘slide show’ mode for these links to work. Read about effective decision making models here (look – some people like this kind of thing). Try my values exercise here.
    • Cognitive bias: We are negatively biased 2 Suggested action: Identify your strengths
    • It’s natural to think negatively BUT
    • You should simultaneously gain clarity about your achievements and visualise them in detail.
    • Becoming fluent in your strengths will reduce your negative bias.
    • Identifying Strengths...Here’s how: Get my free peak achievements worksheet. Take Martin Seligman’s free signature strengths test. Learn about Appreciative Inquiry (and answer some powerful questions) here.
    • Cognitive bias: We prioritise the short term over the long term. 3 Suggested action: Clarify your long term values
    • In some ways, reaching our goals is the easy bit. Climbing the career ladder can be very exciting…
    • But less so if it’s the wrong ladder.
    • Helen Keller was once asked if there was anything worse than losing one’s sight.
    • Helen Keller was once asked if there was anything worse than losing one’s sight. ‘Yes’, she replied. ‘Losing one’s vision’. What’s your vision?
    • A vision is about working out how you will contribute. We’re used to thinking in terms of what a job will give us. But if you’ve already done some thinking about your qualities it may be time to think about how these can – wait for it - make a difference to the world. That’s not as fluffy as it sounds. I’m not suggesting you have to heal the world. It’s just that meaning in life can’t be found in isolation. It’s like the meaning of a word. We may understand an individual word, but its true meaning is only found in the context of a sentence. It’s the same with ourselves. We can think about our strengths and skills, but these only have any true meaning in context. So how will you use your talents? What do you want to contribute to the world? I’m not talking about sacrificing your own interests, but identifying what’s important to you, what gets you going, what causes motivate you; this is what brings purpose. Introspection is useful but it’s only half the battle. Now is the time for outrospection. Introspection  Outrospection
    • We’re not here for long... So what’s your purpose? How do you want to be remembered?
    • How will you contribute to the world?
    • Clarifying a vision...here’s how: Learn more about values here, or try the obituary exercise or the Valued Living Questionnaire. Try this purpose generator exercise. (Note: you have to log in first). Try my Heroes exercise to further explore values. Explore Roman Krznaric’s outrospection blog here or read his excellent book.
    • Cognitive bias: We think in linear patterns 4 Suggested action: Think creatively about your options
    • Our present culture of careers advice encourages us to think in terms of what we’ve done in the past. Then people ask us about our experience. The first thing we do is write up a CV. We think in terms of fitting our past to a role. Yet we ignore our longing to do something more meaningful in future.
    • Our present culture of careers advice encourages us to think in terms of what we’ve done in the past. Then people ask us about our experience. The first thing we do is write up a CV. We think in terms of fitting our past to a role. Yet we ignore our longing to do something more meaningful in future. And no one even seems interested in our swimming badges.
    • Our present culture of careers advice encourages us to think in terms of what we’ve done in the past. Then people ask us about our experience. The first thing we do is write up a CV. We think in terms of fitting our past to a role. Yet we ignore our longing to do something more meaningful in future. And no one even seems interested in our swimming badges. We’re encouraged to think in a linear way from the past to the future, and that’s a trap.
    • After all, if you think the way you always think, you’ll get what you always get.
    • Instead, examine each aspect of your life in isolation.
    • By looking closely at something closely you will * usually see it in a different light . * warning: minds often hate creative exercises – they want certainty!
    • Look at your career in detail and examine: Why do you work? (motivations) Who do you wish to be at work? (roles) Where do you want to work? (geographies) What type of work appeals? (sectors and fields) How do you wish to work? (working conditions) Which types of organisations appeal? (organisations)
    • Creatively Generating Options...Here’s how: Download my free creative problem solving worksheet and read about creativity. Enter your preferences into the O*Net website – it will suggest careers to consider. See what answers you receive in your 180 degree feedback exercise (download it here). Identify a bold move to get into action – this should generate further options.
    • Cognitive bias: We trust our minds to fix the problem. 5 Suggested action: Keep thoughts in perspective
    • Let’s examine the thought: “There are no great jobs out there”
    • Let’s examine the thought: “There are no great jobs out there” What is the real function of that thought?
    • Is the function: Or reduce your feelings of uncertainty? To describe the truth?
    • Is the function: Or reduce your feelings of uncertainty? Or to comfort yourself? To describe the truth? To spur you on?
    • Is the function: Is the thought moving you towards your values, or simply trying to keep you safe from uncomfortable feelings?
    • Here’s another thought: Even in the event there really are ‘no jobs’, you still have choices to make. If you don’t make them consciously, you’ll be making them unconsciously. After a while, no decision becomes the decision!
    • Instead of trying to control your thoughts, or alter how you feel, focus instead on getting into action in a direction you feel is worthwhile.
    • Mini example: Common definition: ‘A feeling of assurance’ Confidence. We usually think: Confidence Yet confidence literally means ‘con’ ( leads to good performance with) ‘fidere’ (fidelity).
    • Mini example: Common definition: ‘A feeling of assurance’ Confidence. We usually think: Confidence Yet confidence literally means ‘con’ ( leads to good performance with) ‘fidere’ (fidelity). This implies that confidence is acting with fidelity to ourselves. So confidence is more like this: Acting with fidelity leads to Confidence leads to good performance What would ‘acting with fidelity’ mean for you, right now?
    • You have the choice to live a life in which you do the things that are really important to you.
    • You have the choice to live a life in which you do the things that are really important to you. But the admission price will be negative thoughts and emotions.
    • The Big Question: Can you be willing to experience your thoughts and feelings as they are, if it means doing what you really * value in life? *If it helps at all, I carry most of these balloons with me every day. But because I feel my direction is meaningful, I’m willing to do so.
    • Preparing For Action...Here’s how: Download our workbook in Cognitive Defusion and Willingness. Read further about the science behind this presentation. Get our recommended book list here and a list of free career resources here. Get into action with the Values and Willingness Exercises we’ve run at the School of Life.
    • So, what now? Oh, I do hate goodbyes. If you’ve followed this Career Paralysis presentation from the start well I almost feel like we’re old friends. But what if the hoped-for nugget of wisdom has not materialised? What if you still feel stuck? Well, I understand your frustration. But could you be willing to slowly yet deliberately get into action anyway? Although this may be a long process, it’s one you can start right now: 1. Try the exercises in this presentation. They will inch you forward and build momentum if you let them. There probably isn’t a better way of starting, plus they’re all completely free. 2. Get in contact with The Career Psychologist. After all, we may be able to point you in the right direction. Or you could follow our blog, Headstuck for some further inspiration. 3. Have hope. Remember you are not alone. Plenty of people have beaten career paralysis and found meaning in their careers. Your noisy mind - with its worries and doubts - is just doing what it evolved to do, i.e. keep you safe. But if you can bear to listen, those thoughts may also be showing you the way forward...
    • By making conscious choices based on your strengths and values and using them for a clear purpose, you can find meaning in your career. That’s not wishful thinking. It’s the clearest reality there is.
    • Thanks for reading. The Career Psychologist is a careers consultancy based in London. We offer coaching, consultancy, training and assessment to help individuals improve their careers for the better. Get in touch: Get in contact CONNECT on LinkedIn READ our occasionally amusing Headstuck Blog MARVEL at our grown up Website 52