Being in the right place at the right time counts for something. But if you want to truly own your career (and why wouldn’t you?) luck alone won’t cut it.
Knowing yourself, what you want and where you’re heading paves the pathway to happiness – in every aspect of your life. And while we can’t dispense love advice (that’s what MAFS is for), we can give you a starting point for career success.
It’s a simple formula: knowing your value = self-worth + career confidence.
But where on earth do you start calculating that? Hint: it’s not ChatGPT.
Luckily the incredible Jo McCatty has stepped in with a 7-step framework that is easy to follow, quick to read and relevant to everyone [cue the sighs of relief].
Swapping career fear for career confidence
Career goals, aspirations and destinations aren’t static – and nor should they be. You are always growing, changing and evolving (exactly what humans are meant to do, btw), so naturally your journey will take different twists and turns, too.
The beauty of Jo’s framework is that no matter where you’re at in your career or what you’re pursuing, it’ll sharpen your vision and direct you towards that (sometimes elusive) self-worth and confidence.
And it all starts here 👇🏼
1. Knowing your professional value
This is the longest of the 7 steps, but do hang in there. Also: don’t slink away cringing at the thought of self-examination. Lean in, get comfortable with being uncomfortable and accept your imperfections. It’s as easy as ABC(DE).
A is for Assessment
Whether you do an online personality assessment (Gallup, DISC, SHL etc) or ask those around you (co-workers, coaches, friends), the idea is to understand what your personality traits are, then connect those to the way you show up every day. That means thinking about how you overcome challenges, meet outcomes and inspire others.
B is for Bragging rights
Nudge the modesty aside and take an objective look at the goals you’ve kicked. There’ll be more than you think (really!), but all you need for now are 3 achievements that have pushed the dial forward, impacted the business or inspired someone around you.
C is for Clarifying (your defining moments)
Defining moments are the ones where you’ve grappled with a problem, overcome it and come out the other side. Ever felt challenged, yet handled it and learnt something about yourself? Straight to the defining moments tally.
D is for Decisions (and why you’ve made them)
By looking under the hood and understanding why you’ve made certain choices, you start to see where your priorities lie. Fact is, if you keep working on stuff you don’t consider important, you could end up running head on into unhappiness.
E is for Envisioning your future
Once you’ve taken a good look inside, you can piece all those bits together and…ta dah! You’ve revealed your professional value and likely got yourself a mission to match. Then all you have to do is look ahead and follow your path.
2. Articulating your story
Unless you’re doing job interviews every week (are you? We might need to chat), your professional story can get a bit blurry. It’s all there, but telling it concisely in a way that highlights your achievements and communicates who you are only comes with practice. The more you say it – whether to colleagues, interviewers or people outside of work – the more you’ll realise what’s important to you.
3. Personal branding
This is about the image you convey, whether on your CV, at an interview or when presenting. In essence, you’re communicating your value proposition by telling people the skills you have and how they fit into your professional story.
Top tip: If you’re uncomfortable talking about this stuff, try writing it down first.
4. Finding your voice (it also takes practice)
Getting to your next career destination means prepping (a lot) so you can answer anything thrown your way – no matter how it’s framed. Practice answering (and asking) a series of questions that help bring you to life and highlight the amazing person you are.
And remember: it’s progress over perfection.
5. Career planning
It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a 3-month, 6-month or 6-year plan. What’s important is having one in the first place. That way, you can identify exactly where you’re going and take the right actions (no matter how small) to get there.
6. Search strategy
Whether you’re mapping your next move in or outside your organisation, you need a plan. It could include networking, job applications, engaging a business coach or reaching out to a recruiter. Whatever road you’re taking to step beyond your current role, take the time to think about tactics.
7. Creating a career roadmap (and sticking to it)
Charting your career course is one thing; following it through is another (not always easy: we get it). In the end, it’s on you (not your parents, boss, coach or local cafe owner) to take control of your career and mould it into a shape that suits you and your purpose.
Because doing your career your way is empowering, confidence-boosting and…honestly? Just plain old satisfying.
Know who your people are
When the going gets tough (might not; probably will), have your crew ready. Friends, peers, mentors or coaches – they can all rally around to get you back on track on the hard days.
(Btw, your go-to network should also want to see you win. If they’re giving off a strangely satisfied vibe every time you’re feeling down, they’re simply not your people).
Why knowing your worth is so important
In breaking news just in: not everything is within our control (we KNOW).
But that’s ok. What you can control is your mindset, the actions you take and the plans you make. And that, Strivers, leads to self-worth, confidence and a career to be proud of.