Know Thyself and The Importance of a List

Reaching back to ancient Greek wisdom, this statement has long been regarded as understanding the feelings that influence your thoughts and actions.  It is as applicable today as it was then.

Every coaching project I undertake begins with the person I am coaching providing information about their goals, and their “assets” to reach these goals.  This knowledge helps me understand what is vital to them.  More importantly, it helps them know themselves.  It eliminates the emotional influence of the “here and now” and provides a longer term perspective.

Historically, opportunities created by a growing economy and a strong job market created careers.  Our recent economy has changed this.  Today’s job environment requires you to accept responsibility and be proactive in managing your career.  You can only effectively do this if you understand what you want.

Here is how I suggest you begin this process.

  • Make a list of the 10 things that are most important.
  • Rank them.
  • Input these in your career decisions.

This list must be well thought-out and honest to be valuable; it also must be practical.  It must consider real-life, as well as real-world.  Living in Waterloo, Iowa, coaching your daughter’s soccer team, being active in the PTA and spending every other weekend sailing your 56-foot sloop in the Caribbean probably is not feasible for most of us!  If you are in an active job search, and money is a significant issue, your focus should address this, rather than only considering the ideal job.  That can come later.  Prioritizing is critical.

This list is also situational.  As time passes, and situations change, the list may change.

Once this list is developed, you have the framework for your future career decisions.  Your challenge now will be to stay focused and stay the course.

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