As you start to pack your bags to travel back to your hometown or finally put up your out of office to zone out in front of Netflix without any guilt for a week or so, you likely might find your mind drifting off to thoughts of the upcoming year. While some experts suggest making New Year’s resolutions, others beg you to choose a word or a theme and a few might advise to make a small, micro manageable goal — the fact of the matter is that everyone thinks about change this time of year.
And one of the places where a transformation is not only one of the hardest to achieve but arguably, one of the most important, is your career. Especially if your day job is something you have to drag yourself to each and every single day, you might be dreaming of the upcoming year as an opportunity to do more of what actually makes you passionate.
That’s where life coaches comes in super-handy. Meant for people who feel stilted or stuck in a certain part of their life, these type of professional mentors can guide your choices and help you make the most proactive and effective ones for your future. Here, they give their very best tip for 20- and 30-somethings in the throngs of their career:
1. Invest In A Career Assessment
"I think the investment in a career assessment is well worth the money," Dr. Nikki Martinez, Psy.D, LCPC, tells Bustle. "Many people are hesitant to spend a little money on a good assessment that they can find online, but they are willing to go on and on being unhappy in their current job. The assessment may lead you to surprising careers you had not thought of, and often I have seen it tell people about careers they did not even know existed, but were a great fit for them."
2. Set An Intention For What You Want Out Of 2017
"The most important thing I'm doing and having all my clients do for the new year is have them set an intention for what they want to get out of 2017," Valerie Langley, mindfulness and meditation success coach and spiritual mentor, tells Bustle. "The saying where attention goes energy flows is exactly what this means. It is super important to focus with precision on what you want to bring in while having a sense of peace with where you are at not what you lack. So stay focused on the goal and take one action step each day to bring you closer to it."
3. Find Something That Brings You Joy
"You do not have to do something you are PASSIONATE about, but you must do something that brings you joy," Kali Rogers, CEO and founder at Blush Online Life Coaching, tells Bustle. "Not every second, not every minute, and maybe not every day. And please, always remember that every single job, even if it is a job you are passionate about, has drawbacks. As a life coach and an entrepreneur - my dream career — I have to spend lots of time doing things I really do not want to be doing. But it's part of the job. Accept the fact that your job, no matter how fabulous, will always have negative side effects, and you will be much better off in 2017!"
4. Follow Your Passion, But Don't Quit Your Day Job (Yet)
"I believe in taking leaps of faith and stepping out on a dream but also found that pursuing your dreams on a part time basis and being disciplined enough to plan, investigate and educate yourself will reduce fear and anxiety and actually provide the momentum you need to work towards your goal... whether that's a new job a new career or starting a new business," Life coach Arianan Curry tells Bustle.
5. Get Serious About Finding Your Social Media Voice
"My best career advice is for professionals to get serious about finding their own social media voice as a means of positioning themselves for new opportunities, new jobs, and higher salaries," Career coach and president of ExecutiveResumeRescue.com Cheryl Lynch Simpson, tells Bustle. "I recommend they upgrade their LinkedIn presence, not only by elevating their profile, but also elevating their visibility. Professionals should max out the number of LinkedIn groups they belong to and post a comment in several groups each week. They should post a status update to LinkedIn (and simultaneously post to Twitter if they tweet) at least every two weeks, and author an article on LinkedIn at least once every couple of months. If they are active in additional social media sites, all the better, but an active LinkedIn presence is the minimum anyone serious about their career should consider."
6. Be More Tolerant
"To be tolerant. In our careers, we are judged by how we make others feel," Jackie Kells, President of PointMaker Communications, tells Bustle. "Plus, the office is a microcosm for the real world in that we all have to work with people of different races, religions, influences, preferences and ideals. Work can be a place of severe dysfunction as a result. So, with the oncoming new President and the tension that is mounting; fear of the changes that are bound to come, it's imperative upon us all to be tolerant of one another — and even better, to be compassionate. This will help raise morale and help us to emerge as leaders."
7. Find People Like You
"Find people who are in a place in their career where you want to be," John Moore, a life coach for spiritually conscious professionals, tells Bustle. "Follow them on social media sites like LinkedIn and Twitter and pay attention to their background and how they communicate. Introduce yourself as someone who is following a similar path and ask for 20 minutes of their time for an informational interview. If you get the interview, respect the person's time — keep the meeting to the exact times you promised. Be prepared — have thoughtful and specific questions ready like, 'I noticed on LinkedIn you went to a big business school, how important has that been to your career?' Thank them for their time and follow up with a hand-written thank-you card.”
8. Look For A Vocation Rather Than a Job
"As people think about careers in 2017, one of the best pieces of advice I can give is to look for a vocation rather than a job," Darren Pierre, author of The Invitation To Love , tells Bustle. "What I mean by that, a vocation invokes calling, it invites someone to tap into their passions, whereas a job pays the bills. While paying the bills is important, a place of employment that is not life giving, that does not affirm your core strengths, is not going to maximize your profits in the long run.
I recognize that for some it is hard to find a job that will both celebrate your passions, and pay bills. In the event you can't find a job that allows you to do both, make sure you continue in all the ways you can to celebrate your purpose. For example, if you love yoga, but right now the opportunity has not availed itself for you to instruct yoga full time then make sure you carve out some portion of time toward your passion. I have found that even if just five percent of my day is put toward work I love, the 95 percent that is not as enjoyable still yields joy, keeps resentment at bay, and affords me the space to fully express myself."
9. Further Your Knowledge In A Specific Area Of Expertise
"Regardless of your line of work, it is important to continue to further your education in your line of work or in the line of work you would like to move towards," Emeline Roissetter, professional coach and founder of MomentuM, tells Bustle. Firstly because employers truly value candidates who take the initiative to further themselves, secondly because being an expert in one specific area gives you a competitive advantage. Also, in order to stay engaged, motivated and excited about your career and your life, it is crucial to keep growing, to keep challenging yourself and to gain new perspectives. An easy way to do that is to gain global perspective. In today’s world, it is crucial to understand International Best Practice and that could truly set you apart and move your forward."
10. Work On Your Soft Skills
"Like communication and emotional intelligence, the workplace has become with obsessed with technology, technical skills, start up culture and entrepreneurship," Stacey Staaterman, Certified Professional Coach (Business, Leadership, Career) and Consultant, tells Bustle. "All of that is good, but for some it has come at a cost: sagging soft skills among some professionals. A good communicator with an ability to connect, persuade and teach others is extremely valuable in a job market that is facing dramatic shifts in work format."
11. Set Aside a Full Day to Make a Life Plan
"My best piece of career advice would be to set aside a full day and make a 'life plan.'"Vik Kapoor, a professional coach for Millennial leaders, tells Bustle. "There are some great resources out there that can help with this, including Living Forward by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy. Life planning is not something rigid, but it does create tremendous focus and insight on what matters most, thereby drastically reducing stress when you face difficult decisions. Should I take that job in another country or stay local? Should I pivot to a specialization or stay general? Should I invest in this professional certificate or that one? Should I launch a side hustle? All of these questions are easily answered after you have a solid life plan, which spells out your priorities, how you want others to remember you when you die, what your major goals and milestones might be, and what your process is for revising your plan as you go. The important thing to remember is that this is a living document that will change with you. Doing the work on your life plan will give you a huge edge in your career and life."
12. Stop Looking For Your Dream Job
"My best career advice for 2017 is to stop looking for a dream job, and start looking for your dream responsibilities," Jon Westenberg, founder of Creatomic and transformational consultant, tells Bustle. "So many people that I talk to are focused on looking for the ideal title, or company, and they’re not focused on what they really want to be doing on a day to day basis – what kind of tasks they want to be taking on. If you aren’t considering that, you’re not laying the groundwork for a healthy workplace or a happy job, you’re just looking at the mad scramble for a more impressive role that you don’t even want. When you look for your dream responsibilities, you’re going to be building a career based on your passions and the activities you care about."
Now go make things happen!
Want to have an awesome 2017? Then check out the "You IRL" stream in the Bustle App for tips on how to have the most empowering year yet.
Images: Hannah Burton/Bustle