Understand the Sailor

WHAT YOU EXPERIENCE

I went into this whole process thinking I should be searching for only three things in my next job: title, company, salary (maybe location too – hell, I don’t want to move). Turns out, I was wrong. I finally worked up the courage to schedule an appointment with a career coach. At first, it’s a total pain to figure out who is worth talking to and who is a complete waste of time, but I finally settled on someone who has worked with people like me before and clearly knows his stuff. It all felt a little touchy-feely at first—but I’m giving it a fair shot.

My coach leads me through a variety of exercises. Together, we take stock of where I’ve been, what I’ve accomplished, what obvious and not-so-obvious skills, talents, and capabilities I have. We talk about the moments when I feel like I’m in ‘flow’ with work. We talk about all the obligations I have outside of it. We talk about my hopes, and expectations for the remainder of my career. We talk about what I value, how others perceive me, and my personality traits. I get closer and closer to defining what it is I actually want and—paradoxically—I start to realize that the paths open before me are more varied and interesting than I ever imagined.

Don’t get me wrong, I could probably have done some of this work on my own, but it was a lot easier and faster with my coach pushing me and holding me accountable. It’s also sparked some really interesting big-picture discussions with my spouse and friends, and I’m seeing that it’s helped me speak more confidently about what I’m looking for and what I’m not. Surprisingly, I feel more grounded and connected than I have in long time.

SIGNS OF PROGRESS

  • Thoughtfully engaging with important questions about who you are and what you want

  • Staying connected with loved ones and close friends

Chris Rudnicki