It’s not always easy to have a conversation about yourself, or about what you want or how you would describe your career goals? Even if you are a senior level executive or someone in their 20’s just getting started, talking about yourself in a way that tells your story is not something that comes naturally for most people. That does not mean you should shy away from having a career conversation especially when asked? If someone inquires, “What are you looking to get out of your career?” you should view that as a signal that it’s time to stop being humble and modest about your aspirations and tell it like it is.
I’ve written many times that knowing what you want and going after it are two very different things. It’s good to have goals and be able to articulate them, but when you do nothing about it by not taking action, then they become pie in the sky dreams that are nice to have but may never be realized. You are the only one who can make things happen for you. If you think just by talking about it you are going to get things done you are wrong. Talk is cheap as they say. You have to do something about all of the hopes, dreams and aspirations you have stirring in your hear and in your head and if something is not working for you with respect to your job search then, 1) you are not putting enough focused effort into it, or 2) maybe this is not the right job area for you to focus on.
When you talk about your career goals and do not leave with an action plan or at the very least an introduction to someone who can help you, then you’ve missed out on a valuable opportunity. Having a career conversation isn’t meant to be a cathartic experience to help you unburden your woes regarding your job search. Your career conversation should be designed to help you come to some realizations about what you want and to help you create a few action steps to get you closer to your goal. Sure it feels good to dish the dirt about how hard it’s been for you in finding a job, how no one calls you back when you’ve sent out a 100 resumes, or that you keep chasing other jobs when in fact you are pretty happy where you are now.
Finding someone you can share your thoughts with regarding your career is an important part of the process. Hiring a career coach or someone you trust who can guide you along your path and create opportunities to help you along the way is a good investment of your time and your resources. Having the tough career talk is never easy but if bearing your soul helps you get any closer to finding your passion and your dream job then by all means talk away.
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