“You’re not alone” is one of the phrases that is rolling off my tongue more frequently these days. So many clients are coming to me with this sense of worry, that they don’t know what to do next. It’s like a feeling of dissatisfaction with where they’re at in their careers, whilst also having no idea about where they’d rather be. 

If this resonates with you, I can assure you that you’re not alone either. This is really common and honestly, it’s one of my favourite adventures to embark on with a new client. Let’s figure out what comes next for you AND help you to achieve it. 

Links I mentioned in this episode:

42. When you just don’t know what to do next – Transcript

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[00:00:52] Hi, there I’m Bec McFarland the host of the Pop Your Career [00:01:00]Podcast. As a career coach, I’m most passionate about helping my clients to discover their own personal flavour of career fulfillment. In this podcast, we are going to be exploring ways that you too can feel more fulfilled by your work. So strap yourself in, get ready for the ride. The tips around here are fast and in abundance.

[00:01:21] Hello. Hello. It is Bec McFarland here helping you do better and be better in your career. And today I just wanna let you know you are not alone. What am I talking about? ? I get a lot of clients or potential clients who come to me, they book discovery calls, we jump on the phone and they say to me, Bec, I just have no idea what to do next.

[00:01:53] I know that I’m not feeling particularly fulfilled by my current role or by my [00:02:00] current career path, but I am just feeling lost. I know I feel like a change, but I don’t know if a change is the right thing to do, and I have no idea what that change would be.

[00:02:14] Now when these people come to me, they are usually quite upset and quite stressed, and they also feel quite unique in this problem. Everyone else seems to know what they want to do. Everyone else seems to have the clarity, but I don’t, and I always tell them. You are not alone. I get so many people coming to me with this problem. In fact, it’s probably the bulk of the work that I do in my career coaching practice. As I’ve explained to you before, I don’t usually work with people who are just looking for a pay rise or they’re looking for a promotion, or they’re looking for a way to get up the next rung of the corporate ladder.

[00:02:56] I tend to work more with people who are driven by career [00:03:00]fulfillment and who are looking for ways to feel more fulfilled by their career. And as a result, these are the types of clients that come past my desk. Now, personally, I absolutely love it. These are first of all the discovery calls that I enjoy the most, but they’re also some of the clients that I enjoy working with the most because I just think that it can be so exciting.

[00:03:24] There are so many opportunities for transformation or for just eye-opening discussions, conversations, challenges. It for me is really, really fulfilling. I love being part of the process of helping someone to get really clear about what it is that they want to do. For me, like there’s just nothing that I love more than that.

[00:03:47] But a lot of clients when they come to me and we have this discussion during the discovery call is they’re like, I just wish there was a way. I just wish there was a process. I just wish there was something that I could do to figure it out. And that’s [00:04:00] when I’m like, you know what? Like I’ve got you. Don’t worry about it. Because of the fact that I’ve worked with so many clients in this situation, I have developed a bit of a process whereby we are able to do some tests, have some conversation, do a little bit of training, do some exploration, some self-reflection, and get to a point where you feel like you have a bit more clarity about what to do next.

[00:04:25] Now, some of the tools that I use, I’ve already done podcast episodes on. If you’re interested in diving a little bit more into this and knowing what it is that I kind of go through with my clients as part of this process, you can go back and have a look at some of the earlier episodes. Episode six, we talk about career values, and that is definitely part of this process. If someone’s thinking about a change and they’re not quite sure what to do next, we definitely want to dive in, have a look at what is most important to them, how that impacts their lives, and just get a little bit of an idea about [00:05:00]like what sort of organization could you be working for as well.

[00:05:03] This is an interesting piece of information that we use at multiple stages of the process. Firstly, at the beginning to help you understand like what kind of career direction could you be going in. But we also use it later on when we are evaluating a role or an organization or just going through and doing our checks and balances to make sure that we are in fact making the right decision.

[00:05:28] Now a couple of other episodes that you might wanna listen to are number 12 and 13, understanding Your Transferrable Skills and Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should. So the other test that we conduct usually is the motivated skills test that I have talked about in those episodes, and I find that, again, this is really useful in helping you to understand what are those skills that you really enjoy using, but that you’re also really good at because we want you to spend as much time as possible hanging out in that zone.

[00:05:56] Once again, we use this information at the beginning of the process [00:06:00]and at the end of the process just to make sure that we are making the right decisions and that we feel really good about the direction that we are headed in.

[00:06:09] Another thing that I talk to all of my clients about is DISC behavioural profiling. Now, I’ve mentioned this before, and we did have some more tailored episodes coming about DISC, but it is a behavioural profiling tool that helps me to understand who the client is, what their behavioural preferences are, how they manage their energy, what are the things that are going to really light them up? What are the things that are going to really tick them off? And who are the people that they’re going to get along with the best during that process?

[00:06:39] I love going through this process and talking about DISC with my clients because of the fact that they’re usually just so shocked about how quickly I’m able to profile them and give them information about themselves and just make them kind of feel like, oh, that’s a little bit spooky. But it is just such a [00:07:00]phenomenal tool and it really does open up so many doors when it comes to really, really understanding, what comes next.

[00:07:07] So this is a really big reflection process, right? We are looking at what information that we can gather. We are reflecting on what’s happened in the past, which are the jobs that you really enjoyed, which are the ones that you didn’t enjoy? You know, what does really excite you about the idea of a new career? What are the career paths that maybe you’ve considered but not really that seriously.

[00:07:30] A lot of people have got these ideas of things that they would really love to do in their lives, but they don’t pursue them because they think it might be too hard or they’d have to do another qualification, or maybe just because they think that the people around them would laugh at them and that they wouldn’t take them seriously.

[00:07:46] Lots and lots of different reasons that people don’t go ahead with some of the career paths that they’re super interested in. But I think that all of these things are really great pieces of information. You know, we wanna lift up the rocks and have a look underneath [00:08:00] to see like what is it that made you want to be an archeologist for all those years?

[00:08:06] What is it about that career path that really excited you? That’s not to say that I’m going to encourage you to go down the path of becoming the archeologist, but it might be that we have a look at some of the traits of that specific career path and look at how they might actually show up in different career paths as well. So much information.

[00:08:25] Now, the beauty of working with these clients is that once we have a better idea, we’ve got a little bit more clarity about what it is that they want next. It then gives us the opportunity to talk about how we can actually make that happen. And a lot of this is to do with helping the client to really change the way they see themselves and change the way that they present themselves from a sales perspective.

[00:08:49] So we know that whenever we are applying for a new job that that is a sales conversation. The job application is a sales proposal. The interview is a [00:09:00] sales call. We are doing everything that we can to influence and persuade the panel members or the people that are responsible for recruiting that we are the most ideal candidate and sometimes that can be really challenging when we are in fact embarking on a career change.

[00:09:14] It’s so common that people that I’m working with are sort of conditioned to apply for the job that they have rather than the job that they want. So what I mean by that is that caught up selling the skills and the experience that they have demonstrated in their current role, rather than thinking about how those skills and experience translate into a new career environment.

[00:09:38] So I love going through this process with a client and really helping them to articulate why it is that they are the right candidate, to help them articulate why they’re making the career change in the first place, and how their previous experience and the skills that they’ve developed over the years can actually help them to be a really exceptional candidate in the [00:10:00]future role.

[00:10:01] If you are interested in finding out more about this process, or perhaps yourself, you’re feeling a little bit stark, unfulfilled, you’re not quite sure what you want to do next, I would love to have a chat with you. Jump onto my website and book yourself a free 15 minute consultation. We’ll also pop that link for you in the show notes.

[00:10:21] I’d love to have a bit of a chat with you about what’s going on for you and how I might be able to help you by taking. Through this process, helping you to gain the clarity that you really need and then guiding you to be able to sell yourself more effectively for future employers. I hope this has been really helpful and yeah, I’d love to chat with you, so go ahead and book that call.

[00:10:44] I’ll see you soon.

[00:10:44] Thanks so much for listening to the Pop Your Career podcast. I hope that you’ve enjoyed today’s tips and that you found value in what I’ve shared with you. If you like your career advice quick and entertaining, I would love for you to [00:11:00] subscribe. Also leave me a rating and a review. If you wanna continue the conversation, come and join me over on social media. You can find me everywhere at Pop Your Career. I’ll see you soon.


About the author 


Bec McFarland is an experienced HR practitioner, manager, career coach and the creator of Pop Your Career. She delights in sharing practical, straight to the point career advice, spending time with her family and eating Mexican food.