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Analyse what is happening in your life

Partnering with a coach can advance your career

'Start by analysing exactly what is happening in your life'

Sometimes you might be tired of the work environment and you think that you are tired of your profession.
Sometimes you might be tired of the work environment and you think that you are tired of your profession.
Image: 123RF

The decision to change careers is one that should not be taken lightly. Without realising it, the imbalance we may experience in other parts of our lives, may subconsciously stress us in our career. This can take a knock on our self-esteem and lead us to ask difficult open-ended questions about our competence.

With all of that taken into consideration, the prospect of venturing into something new is exciting and should be approached with balance and tenacity. Whether you are looking for greener pastures or want to water the ground where you are, career coach and founder of Black Women in the Workplace, Busisiswe Hlatswayo believes that this would be a good place to partner with a career coach. 

“Career coaches are able to help you overcome your mindset limitations and can help you create and implement a career strategy,” Hlatswayo said.

While people seeking a mentor to advise them on their careers is good, it does pose some limitations. “Mentors can guide and support you along the way of your career based on their experience.

“What makes a career coach distinct to a mentor is that they don’t need to have been in your profession to coach you,” said Hlatswayo.

Partnering with a career coach early in your career is advantageous as Hlatswayo believes that many career mistakes and anxieties can be resolved sooner rather than later. “The workplace is a universe that needs thoughtful navigation. When you are aware of your brand, your work ethic and how to position yourself earlier on in your career, this helps you to accelerate faster.

“Working together with a career coach can mitigate the internalisation of bias where you think you are not good enough. And should you feel the need to pivot it would be best if you did it earlier before you have responsibilities and the risk is higher,” Hlatswayo said.

Before looking into changing careers Hlatswayo believes we should comb through our lives in search of areas that show up as work stress.

“Start by analysing exactly what is happening in your life. Sometimes you might be tired of the work environment and you think that you are tired of your profession. Or in other instances you feel over-stretched and it’s difficult to find time for self-care.

“A career coach can help you uncover where these points of frustration are and where the unbalance in your life may be that may affect your work performance.”

Hlatswayo’s encouragement for individuals who strongly believe that they need a fresh start is to have realistic expectations. “Anything new will have a learning curve. You must be willing to pay your dues,” said Hlatswayo.

She believes that we need to take charge of our career if we want to advance. She said that to have longevity in your career we should be more intentional in these areas:

  • Create spaces of community where we help one another get further;
  • Self-care – we need to prioritise our wellbeing;
  • Have a plan of lifelong learning; and
  • Find a creative outlet outside your career.

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