Whether it’s landing a new job or navigating a career change, promotion, job search, performance review, or other career transition, savvy CMs proactively prepare for all stages of career development. To guide career decision-making and the initial stages of the career mapping process, CMs partner with DCS to:
- clarify market trends
- validate relevant skills and experience
- address potential competency gaps
- develop personal branding collateral
At each stage, we also contemplate career questions that encourage thoughtful introspection and action. This work continues for the duration of the engagement with customized action items developed based on specific career goals.
Coaching Questions to Support Career Decision Making
What does the next level look like for you? What “leveling up” means is unique to the CM. Here are a few questions to get you started:
Starter Coaching Questions
- Are you ready for new responsibilities?
- Do these new duties involve managing others?
- Will your new responsibilities require a different job title? If so, what is the title? What is the employment outlook for that role?
- Is this position available in your current organization or will you need to identify other companies?
- What do you hope to be doing in 5 years? How does your next career move align with this goal?
- On a scale of 1 to 5, how do you evaluate your career wellbeing, with 5 being satisfied and engaged?
- If you could change one thing about your career, what would it be?
- If you could get help on one aspect of your career management strategy, what would it be?
- What professional skill do you enjoy using most when you think of all of the skills at your disposal?
- If you had to choose one professional skill to exercise for the rest of your work life, what would it be?
The above questions will get you off to a great start when determining what’s next professionally before career mapping the next phase of your career.
Career Mapping & Brain States
Career mapping is essential to career development. Amy Brann (Getting the Best Out of Your Brainstorming| LinkedIn, n.d.) of Brainup encourages readers to gain a deeper awareness of brain states, including defining what your optimal state feels like, how to achieve this state, and how to cultivate extended periods of creativity.
Flow as a Career Management Strategy
Understanding brain states and factors that influence career decision making is integral to the career mapping process. Indeed.com (What Is a Career Map?, n.d.) introduces the career map method, providing an overview and a PDF template. When launching the career mapping process, our team encourages you to enter “flow”.
Brann describes “flow”, the construct, as “intense, focused concentration on the present task”. The following coaching questions can prove helpful when preparing for a career mapping session that inspires “flow”:
- When do you last recall experiencing a boost of creative energy?
- Where were you at the time? What was the physical location? Describe the location, time, etc.
- What were you doing prior to moving into “flow”?
- What problem did you solve?
- How did the experience feel?
- What was the solution?
- How do you know you were in “flow”?
- How was this brain state initiated? Sustained?
- What visual cues do you recall that helped you enter this brain state?
- How long were you able to focus on the topic at hand? How long did it take for you to accomplish it?
Flow and the Creative Process
The benefits experienced during “flow” begin when “action and awareness are merged” (Brann, 2017, p. 141). In this brain state, the individual is energized and focused without becoming flustered. Once
activated, the CM:
- practices mindfulness to create space for career decision making (as if time is standing still),
- clarifies career context and the problem,
- makes the career decision,
- finds peace with their decision,
- decides the action,
- moves forward with intention and anticipation,
- celebrates the results,
- mines meaning and purpose from the mapping results, and
- honors time invested in the career decision making process.
Oftentimes, the client loses track of time while engaged. In “flow”, the CM identifies barriers and painlessly eliminates them to move forward. When the CM exits “flow”, they feel as though time is restarting.
Career Mapping with Intention
In closing, creating an environment conducive to “flow” empowers the CM to determine where they are in their career, where they want to be, and what steps they will take to achieve the goal. In this state, individuals map out next steps with delight and anticipation.
Our team invites you to share your resume at support(at)diversifiedcareerservices.com for a free resume review.
Brann, A. (2017). Neuroscience for Coaches: How to Use the Latest Insights for the Benefit of Your Clients (2nd edition). Kogan Page.
Getting the Best Out of Your Brainstorming | LinkedIn. (n.d.). Retrieved July 28, 2022, from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/getting-best-out-your-brainstorming-amy-brann/
What Is a Career Map? (With Template and Example) | Indeed.com. (n.d.). Indeed Career Guide. Retrieved July 28, 2022, from https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/career-mapping-examples