E to the 5th power is a process that we use to ensure effective career navigation. The process involves envisioning the future, examining accomplishments, exploring career targets, establishing valuable relationships, and elevating yourself. Envisioning your dream is the first step toward realizing its evolution. Envision Evolution is about the journey and the process that will take you there. Let’s take a look at three average clients and I will show you what we mean.
Emily has been out of work for over a year and has given up on her job search. She has resigned herself to accepting a job at a much lower level than she is qualified for. She has seriously lowered her sights and is depressed by her situation.
Derrick is a top sales executive with an impressive track record. He has become demoralized in his current position and is questioning what he wants to do next. He is involved in a culture and values conflict in his current position, and is beginning to consider leaving his profession.
Martha is a single mom struggling to make ends meet and now she has been transitioned out of her job. She is finding it tough to get out of bed on some days and is experiencing panic attacks. Her confidence has taken a beating and she doesn’t know where to begin.
These stories are not extreme. They reflect the current state of our economy and the competitive job market. In fact, we could tell you hundreds of similar stories! We speak to people everyday who have become frustrated by their job search and feel as though they have done all they know to do.
Is there good news?
Of course there is good news or we wouldn’t tell you about Emily, Derrick, and Martha. That would be depressing! They have all landed in jobs they love and are ecstatic about where their careers are headed. But, like many job seekers, Emily, Derrick, and Martha did not engage in career coaching at the outset. Unfortunately, they wasted months needlessly spinning their wheels. Take a look at the following table that shows their lost wages before seeking help with their searches:
Annual Salary Number of Weeks Out of Work Total Lost Wages
$74,000 53 $75,423
$127,000 26 $64,745
$52,000 22 $22,431
How long should a job search take?
There are a number of contingencies that impact each unique situation, but the average client, following the methodology we teach them will land a job at or above the level they were at within 10 – 12 weeks. Emily received three offers within 10 days of launching her new search campaign and began her new job within two weeks!
Where should a person begin?
We know from over 25 years of research that it is in everyone’s best interest to take some time envisioning their future. We use an assessment to help with this process, but it is essential to spend some time reflecting on what you want out of life. If you had forty years, for example, what would you do? This exercise is very freeing for people as it helps to remove some of the limitations we place on ourselves. We look for satisfiers, dissatisfiers, as well as goals, values, and lifestyle preferences.
The starting point is evaluating your life right now. How old are you? What is your career like? Where are you living? What does it look like? Are you married? Single? Do you have children? What are their ages? How are your relationships with your family – however you define family? How is your health? What are you doing for exercise? How do you take care of your spiritual needs? What things need to change? Most people are not happy with everything in their lives at the moment. That is why you are doing this exercise. There is likely something you would like to change, so that is ok.
Repeat the process at 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 40 years out. You are not allowed to die until you are past the age of 80, so keep going!
The second foundational phase is to examine accomplishments. This is a holistic approach that will help identify key motivators and uncover strengths. The starting point for this exercise is to brainstorm as many specific accomplishments as you can. List 25 – 30 accomplishments as you reflect over your entire life. You can include things from childhood. Nothing is too trivial to include in this list, but you have to adhere to three criteria.
- It must be something you are good at (no matter what anyone else thought and whether or not you were paid to do it).
- You enjoyed doing it.
- You felt a sense of pride and accomplishment.
You need to be specific rather than general. For example, do not say something like:
As a good rule of thumb, your statement should make sense if you preface it with “there was the time when I ________________________.” For example:
There was the time when I….
Wrote the winning proposal for a three-year project bringing in over $5 million in revenue.
Ran a lemonade stand in my neighborhood at the age of 9 and earned over $200.
Planned and catered a community banquet for over 1000 people
These two foundational steps are critical for laying the groundwork for career management. When you learn the entire process, you will have a set of career management skills to last a lifetime. Is job security a thing of the past? We have entered a permanently turbulent workforce that is for sure. Workers will have to consistently manage their professional development often retooling to remain marketable. The only real job security is to equip yourself with the tools and the knowledge to effectively manage your career.
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