How well do your teenagers understand their own potential?
The first step to improving career satisfaction is greater self-awareness. How they view themselves, the energy they bring to others and the impact they have, are all vital ingredients in building a fulfilling working life. That’s according to Eyes Wide Opened, a team of Life Coaches who believe we’re not asking our children the right questions.
This starts with understanding what they care about. It isn’t about naval-gazing or being introspective, it’s about reflecting on their unique qualities and preparing them to connect better with the people they need and the work they want.
Getting the conversation started
Young people are encouraged to ask themselves different questions, which serves them well in the changing work landscape. Instead of asking ‘What do you want to do?’, we need to ask questions that they can answer; questions that lead somewhere and reveal something new to them.
These questions might include:
· How do you see yourself?
· What gives you energy, and what energy do you think you give to others?
· Who do you know who is really happy in their work? Why do you think that is?
· What problems do you want to solve?
· Is there anything that you think might stand in the way of you achieving a satisfying working life?
· What are your expectations of work? What do you think success means?
Soft skills are the new hard skills
Answering such reflective questions focuses the mind on unearthing a wider set of skills than just academic achievements and strengths. This is vital, because there is no such thing as ‘soft skills’ now. All skills are hard. Young people are appointed in employment for their character, attitude and communication skills, as much as for specific knowledge and technical skill.
The fundamental question behind landing a meaningful working life is ‘who are you?’, not ‘what do you want to do?’. Employers frequently report that students lack self-awareness and certainty about what they have to offer as a unique individual. This needn’t be the case!
For every uncertain, confused, career-seeker, there are others who seem to know their own key strengths. They present themselves to the world as having a good understanding of their skills, experience, beliefs and motivations.
If you would like further advice on personal development, give us a call on +44 (0) 20 7 034 0800. Case studies from Eyes Wide Opened can be found at www.ewopened.com