“Serendipity is not a strategy.”
A client of mine views each session as a question mark. When asked about her goal for the session, she shrugs and says, “Let’s just talk and see where it goes.” Other clients shrug when discussing their overall or long-term goals. They see a daily or annual goal easily, but find it difficult to articulate an ultimate goal and how to own it. As one client used to say, “Serendipity is not a strategy.”
For example, a sales executive may adopt the company’s goal for them as their own. The company wants them to hit the goal of $X that quarter. They may embrace the goal because the success is directly tied to their bonus or compensation. That is their motivation, and that is ok. However when asked about their personal path, they may shrug. They are thinking about what is in front of them now rather than what is possible for them.
During coaching sessions, I may say, “Tell me about your best days at work. What does that look like?”. Clients often express their frustrations and what causes them anxiety. That seems to be easier than identifying what they really want or how things could be different.
Understanding individual wants and needs helps clients grab control of their career. I often hear from clients, “I stayed too long in that position, but I was not sure what should come next,” or “No one offered me a different path, so I just kept doing what I was doing.”
I suggest taking a look at your life annually. Confirm you are on the right path for you, or adjust the path if you are frustrated or unhappy. Here is how to get started.
- When are you the happiest at work and in your life?
- How do you get more of that in your day?
- Visualize what needs to be different in order to have more of that happiness in your life?
- Write down your ultimate goal. Articulate what is possible in your life.
- Celebrate. If you are on the right path, stop and congratulate yourself! If you have identified changes to make, think about your next steps.
Think about what is possible for you!