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Career confusion: how to thrive in spite of it

The economy has undoubtedly made many people a little nervous professionally.  From recent college graduates to long-time professionals, we are all a little uneasy and maybe a little confused about what direction our careers should take. 

While none of us has all the answers, here are a few suggestions to help us break out of our career confusion and move toward greater clarity and power professionally.

First, take stock of your skills.  I don't mean list what your job requires you to do.  Instead, get out a sheet or two of paper, draw a line down the middle, and list the various skills that you have acquired over time and how you acquired them. 

For example.  Let's say you can edit really well, and you learned that from getting paid to edit other student's papers in college.  This is a viable skill that should be part of your new professional arsenal. 

Don't leave anything out.  Include every "skill" no matter how ridiculous you think it is. 

Now, circle the skills you gained from your current position or profession.  Are you surprised?  Have most of your skills come from your current profession?  Are you working in a position today where you are growing?  Or did most of the skills you listed come from jobs you held in the past?  This is a critical first question if we are to move toward greater career clarity. 

This is not an endorsement for abandoning our current careers.  Although for some that may be the ultimate outcome.  We are talking about a systematic approach to developing a professional self that is satisfying and makes a meaningful contribution  personally and to the world at-large. 

Take your list.  Post it.  Reflect on it.  Ask yourself what skills on your list you really want to utilize more often in your current career or future career.  Be honest.  And be prepared to re-visit this question and others as we continue on this journey to make the most of our careers. 

Interested in more helpful resources?  Visit 48 Days.  You will find a wealth of information for your career assessment and possible career transformation.

Next time, we will take our lists and start to develop a professional marketing plan to help us to effectively sell our skills.

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