2.2 Broader prompts
As well as focusing on your career story, you might find it useful to broaden your self-reflection beyond an obvious career context. For example, if you want to change career but don’t know yet what you want to do, you never know when considering something seemingly unconnected to your work life might unlock some ideas that will inspire you.
Writing down your thoughts in a journal can be a powerful technique and gives you something to refer back to later. Rutell (2017) lists 52 self-discovery prompts in her ‘Page flutter’ blog post.
- What do you enjoy most about your favourite hobby? How can you incorporate that into other parts of your life?
- Describe a day in your life that was especially enjoyable. What made the day so good?
- Write about a missed opportunity you wish you had taken. What could you do differently next time?
- You just moved into your dream home. Look out the kitchen window. What do you see?
- True or false: ‘I am more likely to try something if others would be impressed.’
- You’re on a team of people creating an iconic building. Which job do you want to help with: managing the project, designing the building, ensuring its safety or the final decorations? Why did you pick that job?
Activity 3 Reflecting on myself
a) Choose one of Rutell’s prompts, either from the list given here or from her. (Note: Her original blog post does include several prompts that are more obviously career related if you’d prefer to focus on one of those.)
Write your response in the box below.
b) How might what you’ve written be related to your career decisions and choices? Explain any insights you have gained in the box below.
- If you chose the question about the view from the kitchen window, a popular answer is ‘the sea’. You could then ask yourself what you might need to change about your career to enable you to obtain that sea view. For example, do you need to change to a career that: a) will bring in more money; b) could have a coastal location; c) will allow you to retire early and move to the coast?
Is this something you want to achieve in the near future or can it wait?
- If you answered ‘true’ to the statement ‘I am more likely to try something if others would be impressed’, this could certainly have an impact on your career choices. For example, you might be more likely to value high status careers that others will envy. If you did choose that path, and the money or high profile made you happy at first, has anything changed now? Have your values changed as you’ve gained more experience or got older?
These are things that a coach could certainly help you to explore in more detail and you’ll find out more about the role of a coach in Weeks 6 and 7.
In the next section, you’ll consider another tried and tested coaching technique that can help with self-awareness – visualisation. This is a useful technique for looking to the future and visualising yourself there.