Having spoken with many thousands of people about their careers over the last few decades, we at Optimum Consulting can say with confidence that your career choices and ambitions are always highly unique. Think for a moment about your own mix of skills, experience, education and decision-making. Now consider things like your personal ambitions and future expectations and you will start to see why your career is highly unique compared to others.
Whilst we see this as a great thing, it can present a problem when you try to get career advice that is specifically relevant to you and your unique circumstances.
General advice is not always useful
A simple internet search will get you all sorts of great information about almost any career topic that you can think of, and this is a fantastic place to start. However given that we have just established how unique you are, the reality is that general advice will only ever be partially relevant to you. It’s not that general advice is bad, it’s just that it is general and therefore not likely to take your circumstances and preferences into account.
You are being given vanilla ice-cream when you actually want coconut sorbet!
Speaking with an experienced career professional is a great way to ensure you get career advice that is relevant to you.
Be sure to seek independent advice
The most common way to get career advice is to ask family, friends or people you trust. Whilst we think it is a great idea to ask those closest to you about what they think, the problem is that they will often give their advice with their own best interests at heart. For example, I had a meeting with someone recently who wanted to make a dramatic shift in their career, from Accountant to Chef! They had done the research about what it would take, and had already worked out that this move would mean working more hours for less pay for a number of years, something they were prepared to do.
Some friends were all for the idea because they would end up with free food one day. Some family members were against it because of the potential impact on regular family gatherings. And some colleagues were dead against the idea because they liked the office banter. Whilst all of these opinions are valid, sometimes what you most need is an independent person to help you see things from a totally different perspective. It’s your career, so making the choices that are right for you is what really matters.
Remember that circumstances change
Our experience also tells us that careers are fluid. In other words, just because someone wants to be a Leader today doesn’t mean they will want this tomorrow. Circumstances change as life events unfold, and this can be confusing and difficult to communicate to others. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want them to think I keep changing my mind.
By working with an experienced career professional, you can learn to break situations like this down and develop the skills to communicate with others as required. We have a growing number of our customers check-in with us to every few months to discuss how things are changing and what needs to be done to keep stress levels to a minimum.
Which is why we created Fllair
Earlier this year, we at Optimum embarked on an ambitious project to create a career support platform to help you with key career points of interest including Job Search, Career Development, and Wellbeing At Work. We call it Fllair, and you can check it out here. You can get access to career tips from experts and choose from a growing number of professional services in our career marketplace.
We are here to support your amazingly unique career!