How would you like to discover how to use your holiday to change your career?
What if I told you that every career coach and every career counsellor uses this exact same strategy that I’m about to share with you?
Better yet, what if I showed you step by step?
OK I’ll be honest, I don’t know that every career coach and careers counsellor does use this strategy but if they work with ambitious women who just happen to be mums too, they probably should.
As a mum of teenagers …
I’m a mum with two teenagers and I know exactly how you feel in the run-up to the summer holidays.
If you’re on a career break and planning to go back in September, this is your last chance to enjoy the summer. But at the same time I know that if you do nothing between now and September, you’re going to miss out on some of the best job openings.
If you’re working, but the thought of going ‘back to work’ after your holiday is filling you with dread already, because you know you’re in the wrong job, the last thing you want to do is waste your time job hunting in the recruiting dead months of July and August.
However you can still use your holiday, without spending hours on the computer, to get ready to change your career.
Today I’m sharing 5 simple ways you can use your holiday to change your career.
1 – Fix your LinkedIn profile
As if you didn’t already know …
LinkedIn is one of the best ways to find your next career opportunity. And you can fix your profile in small short bursts in between trips to the park, walks in the wood or visits to the seaside.
The key things to focus on:
- your photo – is it up-to-date, does it reflect you in the workplace?
- your headline – how does it reflect who you are and what you do?
- your summary – does it include keywords employers will be looking for?
- your recommendations – do you have recent ones? if not ask for some
- your connections – get connecting and widen your network
I’ve got loads of resources here on my website that tell you what exactly to do but your best bet is to invest just one hour in my free online class. It’s a recording and it’s valuable content.
2 – Review your CV
Your CV is a vital piece in your career toolkit. If you haven’t looked at yours for a while, then now’s the time to a) find it and b) review it.
Is it up-to-date?
Does it contain the relevant keywords potential employers will be looking for?
Do you use the current jargon and terminology for your sector?
Do you spend as much time describing your more junior positions as your more recent / senior positions? (Just to be clear, if the answer is yes, that’s the wrong answer).
Does the personal statement reflect who you are, what you do and what you’re looking for?
Does your experience quantify your achievements and use action words such as ‘organised’, ‘achieved’, ‘delivered’ rather than simply listing responsibilities?
Again loads more resources on my website if you search on CV.
3 – Identify your core values
I always go through Core Values with my clients. And it’s the one activity guaranteed to produce a lightbulb moment every time.
Once you identify your core values, suddenly everything else about your career and your success falls into place.
We all have a value system and our most important values (our core values) affect everything that we do: how we behave, how we think, and how we feel.
Think of your values as YOUR unspoken rules and regulations; the terms and conditions by which you live your life.
Values are those intangible nouns such as loyalty, independence, freedom, stability, security, success, happiness, integrity or love.
Our values are partly cultural, partly upbringing, partly just you.
Identify your values so that you can make better decisions about your career. Decisions that are right for you.
Because if you’re living a life or working for an employer in conflict with your values, you’re going to feel undermined, undervalued and unloved. And I want more for you than that.
Want a free handout on this? Drop me a line and I’ll shoot one over to you.
4 – Invest in yourself
If I had a £1 for every woman who tells me that she’s never invested in herself, I’d be SO rich.
Seriously. What is it about women and investing in themselves and their careers.
Now just to be clear, I’m not only talking about financial investment. Your investment could be your time.
Clearly, working with a career coach like me (whether one-to-one or as part of a group programme) is a valuable financial investment and it will repay you in many ways – new job, promotion, pay rise, better work-life balance etc.
That’s one way of investing in your career.
There is also the investment you can make in your skills … not just your technical skills but your human skills (or soft skills) too.
This could be a time investment as well as or instead of a financial investment.
A few ideas to get you started:
- enrol on a training course
- attend an industry event
- go to a networking group
- find yourself a mentor
- listen to a podcast
- read a personal development book
- subscribe to The Confident Mother Book Club
- watch a TED.com talk.
As a minimum, you only need 20 minutes a day to learn and grow.
(If you’d like some book/talk recommendations, get in touch and tell me a bit more about yourself and I’ll come up with a Top 5 for you to read/listen/watch).
Invest in yourself because nobody’s going to do it for you. Even if your employer invests in you (training, coaching, mentoring), you’ll get even more career success when you invest in yourself.
5 – Show compassion
In my early 30s, I was a hard-working ambitious woman in technology.
Problem was, I wasn’t particularly good at getting the work/life balance right so I took up cycling as a way to ‘switch off’. Unfortunately, a couple of racing accidents left me with a broken leg and brain damage.
But, not one to be beaten, I got back on my bike and continued ‘full-speed’ through life.
On the outside, I was extremely successful but, on the inside, I was constantly feeling overwhelmed, suffering from IBS and not taking care of myself. When I found myself wanting to self-harm, I knew something had to change.
I quit my very well paid job but, with my confidence knocked, ignored my gut and accepted a job that wasn’t right for me and left less than a year later.
The thing is I know exactly what burnout feels like. It’s not a good place to be. And that’s why I encourage all women to show themselves proper compassion and self-care.
We all know that we ‘should’ look after our own health and wellness. And even though it’s the most important thing we can do, it’s often the easiest to drop.
Seriously though … if you are a hard-working mum who’s constantly on the go trying to balance work and family, TAKE.A.BREAK.
Take a proper break. Every.Single.Day.
Don’t tell me “I don’t have time“.
It is your responsibility to MAKE time.
You owe it to yourself.
That break need only be 10 minutes (though more is better). What could you do in 10 minutes? Meditate? Stretch? Sit in the garden? Brisk walk round the block?
If you can’t do it for you, think about your children. As mums, we are role models. What behaviour are you modelling to your children?
The most important thing you can do in the holiday to change your career, is to change the way you show yourself compassion and self-care.
When you treat yourself kindly, your energy shifts. You’re in a better headspace. You have more creativity, more productivity and you make better decisions.
How to use your holiday to change your career
The 5 simple ways you can use your holiday to change your career: fix your LinkedIn profile (don’t forget I have a free online class you can watch (it’s just over an hour), refresh your CV, identify your core values, invest in yourself (whether financially or time), and most importantly show compassion to yourself.
If you liked this, leave a comment telling me what ONE thing you’re going to take action on.
p.s. If this has made you realise you could do with some hands-on help, let’s talk. I’ll give you a Top 5 things to do and if you need more help than that, we can talk about that too.