What Your Chart Tells You
Now look at your completed chart. Do you see any patterns? What you see is a snapshot of you, your career aspirations, requirements, and potential. Remember back when you began this book looking for ideas on what to do about your stalled, boring, unsatisfactory, or nonexistent career? You've come quite a way since then.
What to Do Now?
You now have a blueprint for future action. Just as a doctor's checkup might indicate that you need to lose a few pounds, lower your blood pressure, and increase your stamina, your medical chart doesn't force you to do anything or necessarily tell you what to do to achieve those goals. But by knowing the results you want, you can develop a plan to eat more vegetables, cut back on salt, and add a walk to your daily routine. It's up to you now to come up with a plan to achieve your career goals.
Jot down any ideas that come to you in the spaces provided. The more specific and action-oriented they are, the more helpful they'll be to you in the long run. Don't worry. You don't have to do it all today.
Revisit Your Career-Change Options
This is the checklist from page 14. Look over the list again and see if your thoughts have changed. Would you still choose the same option that you picked when you began this book? Let your choice guide your actions as you implement the goals you recorded in the preceding chart. Ask a trusted friend, advisor, coach, or career counselor to help you brainstorm more options.
Depending on your current choice, there are many action steps you can try. If you want to revitalize your current job:
Meet with your boss to renegotiate your current roles and responsibilities.
Seek out classes or training programs to help you build new skills or enhance old ones.
Find out if your company offers sabbaticals and if you qualify for one.
Reconnect with an earlier passion through volunteer work.
If you want to make a work style change:
Think about working part-time.
Position yourself as a contractor or independent consultant.
If you want to make an internal move:
Find ways to improve your managerial skills.
Take workshops or specialized training.
Identify an unfilled need in the organization and volunteer to do it.
Let people know the types of projects in which you're interested.
If you want to make an external move:
Look at other organizations where you might fit in.
Identify different industries where your skills and expertise would be valued.
Visit relocation Web sites and learn about other regions where you might want to live.
Network with colleagues and members of your professional organizations.
If you want to make a complete career change:
Go on informational interviews.
Use published and online information available to you, such as those in the appendices.
Determine if more education is needed.
Learn how to repackage your skills and abilities.
If you're happy right where you are:
Jot down five things you love about your job and look at the list periodically.
Fraternize with your high-EI coworkers and let your mutual enthusiasm and optimism keep you energized.
Set your own goals and rewards. It works for dieting, why not careers?
Monitor your career satisfaction periodically so that you will know when it's time to make a change.