I’m going to share with you some tips and techniques that I recently shared when I was at a speaking event talking about how to get the career that you really want with Interesting Talks. It was just last week and it went down really well.

If you are someone who is currently thinking about either doing something very different with your career, or perhaps your thinking about staying in the same sector but potentially ramping it up a gear and looking to take things to the next level, so looking for that promotion, or perhaps you are just thinking of jacking in all of what your doing and starting something brand new, but your not even sure what that’s going to be yet, then these hints and tips will be really useful for you.

Much of this is from Meta Programs in NLP, its something that we teach on NLP Master Practitioner training and its really useful for helping to assess, not so much what people think, but how they think and we can use these in a few different contexts. Meta programs are sometimes used to look at people’s relationship situations, they’re overall life situation or we can be specific into career as an example, which is what were going to do here.

What I want you to do is to sit down with someone, it doesn’t matter who, but just tell them they just need to listen. The thing I want you to do is talk to them about a work situation in which you were the happiest and its a one time event. Not like a day that is repeatedly showing up on your radar, so not something that you do on a regular basis, but a one off thing that happened and really just talk about what that was and what happened there. Now what you need to ask the other person to do for you is to just make some mental notes or even some written notes about some of the key points that you say, as you freely talk about a work situation in which you were the happiest, but this is a one time event that it happened. 3 things that they need to listen out for:

1.Do you appear to be talking about your own role and what you did? i.e you work independently

2. Do you appear to be focusing more on the fact that your interacting with others? i.e. you are a team player

3. Was this more about you being part of a team but overseeing that team and moving them in the right direction and leading them. Which will lead us towards thinking that you are perhaps better suited in management.

The other 3 things we want your listener to listen out for are whether you are someone who is best suited and best influenced by either things, systems or people.

“People” obviously it means that you’re either a people person and what’s important to you is who you will be working with doing what you do.

In respect of “things” its to do with materials, so actual physical stuff that you’ll be working with and in terms of “systems”, its more about the processes and the sequences that you will be going through in doing the work that you do.

If your not too sure about what your going to be doing in the future, what your career path is or you’re not too sure if you should be taking that promotion. Just find out initially, does it fit in with your preference for either individual working, team working or management and does it fit in with your preference for either people, things or systems?

So the number 2 point that I shared on Monday on the Interesting Talks talk, was around finding the time to focus on moving your career goal forward. What’s really important about this is when people say “Oh I haven’t got the time to do it, I just don’t seem to be able to squeeze it all in.”

Typically what you hear them say next is “I am going to make the time”, now you’ve all heard people say “You can’t make the time, because we all have the same degree of time, we’ve all got the same allocation of time. But heres the really important part and someone shared this with me when I was looking to do a course and there was someone there that said, “I’m gonna make the time” and the guy that was teaching the course said “Well you can’t make the time, because we’ve all got the same amount of time.” So what you have to do is give something up. If you are looking to improve your well-being, your self development or changing your career and you currently haven’t made the time too it, then you going to have to make a decision about what your going to give up, such that you’re able to get it.

That could be giving up staying in bed for an extra hour in the morning and getting up a hour earlier so that you can start planning and goal setting and figuring out how this project will work.

It could be that you watch television on a Thursday night that theres a particularly tv show that you always make time to watch, well it could be that you have to give that thing up.

In a way, it gives you an opportunity to asses how important it really is for you and whether it’s going to fit in with the current lifestyle that you have, to actually stop doing somethings in order to make this a bigger priority for you. Make sure that this is something you really want to go out and do, by deciding what you are going to give up so that you have the time to be able to get out there and do it.

If you are not too sure that the thing you really want to do is the right thing for you, heres a good question. When you come into a situation, do you usually act quickly after sizing it up or do you do a complete study of all the consequences and then act? If you’re someone who acts quickly after sizing it up you’d be classed as “active”. If you are someone who needs to do some reflecting and study the consequences before acting, then you will be “reflective”. If your thinking well it depends on the situation because I can do both, thats fine your “both”, and there is a forth action of “inactive”.

So think about that in the context of the role that your looking to take on next. So for example the man that looks after the nuclear missiles, do you want him to be ‘active’, ‘reflective’, ‘both’ or ‘inactive’ (I think I would go for inactive!).

Do you want a paramedic that comes out to you to be ‘active’, ‘reflective’ both or ‘inactive’? Probably the majority of time you want him/her to be ‘active’, with a degree of reflectiveness in there, but if you’re have a cardiac arrest, you don’t want him to sit down and have a think about what to do, before he starts taking action. You just want him to shock you back to life!

What about an interior decorator, so someone whose going to come in and decorate your home? Do you want them to be ‘active’, ‘reflective’, ‘both’ or ‘inactive’? For that one its probably ‘both’, because you want them to think things through before they start decorating but then to really crack on and get on with it when the colour scheme has been decided.

How about coaching others, so if you wanted to be a coach like me would you would you need to be ‘active’, ‘reflective’, ‘both’ or ‘inactive’? For that one its most likely to be ‘both’ as sometimes you need to act fast and sometimes you have to really think through what people have said, before you go taking any action.

What about a career watching Jeremy Kyle?! For that I would say you could be ‘inactive;’ for that one!

Think about the role that you are considering in the future and how it fits in with your preferences, with how you react to situations and what that particular role will need and that will help you to start assessing whether continuing on that path with that career you have in mind, is the right thing to do.