The Quiet Warrior Podcast with Serena Low

48. How to plan your next career move before you need to (with Kate Richardson)

April 22, 2024 Serena Low, Introvert Coach for Quiet Achievers and Quiet Warriors
48. How to plan your next career move before you need to (with Kate Richardson)
The Quiet Warrior Podcast with Serena Low
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The Quiet Warrior Podcast with Serena Low
48. How to plan your next career move before you need to (with Kate Richardson)
Apr 22, 2024
Serena Low, Introvert Coach for Quiet Achievers and Quiet Warriors

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If you’re a professional or executive contemplating your next move, at the back of your mind you might have questions such as:

  • Is this the right time?
  • Am I too old / too young?
  • Do I have the right skill sets and experience?
  • How do I find a career that aligns better with my values and purpose?


My guest speaker for this episode, Kate Richardson, is a Career and Executive Coach who helps mid-career professionals and executives find what’s next. 

Listen in for why she advocates taking charge of your own career pathway, and how to put yourself in the best possible position to secure a job or make a change.

Talking Points:

  • How long it takes to figure out your next career move
  • Why you don’t need to know what you want to do
  • The power of following your curiosity
  • How Kate networked her way from redundancy to a new career – through “20 coffees in 40 days”
  • What questions to ask to build your confidence and knowledge when networking
  • The one question you should ask at the end of every conversation to boost your connections
  • Kate’s observations on current job trends and the nature of work
  • How to become more valuable and visible in the workplace
  • Exercises to help you take inventory of your career: your Values, your Strengths, your Ideal Day
  • Why your skills are not necessarily your strengths 
  • The difference between a mentor and a sponsor
  • How to position yourself to stay open to opportunities - even if you’re happily employed
  • How to get around your dislike or fear of networking
  • How to manage identity crisis during times of career uncertainty
  • Cultivating the Explorer’s Mindset


Kate Richardson’s Bio:

Kate is an advertising runaway, having worked for nearly 20 years in media and marketing before making a big career shift in 2018. Since then, she's worked as a Career and Executive Coach helping mid-career professionals build the skills and confidence they need to design a more ideal career, find what's next and make it happen. Kate has also partnered with organisations like Movember, MYOB, Publicis Groupe and ANZ Bank to help them develop the careers of their people.

Kate’s website:
katerichardson.co 

Follow Kate on LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/katerichardson

Here’s how I can support you further:

This episode was edited by Aura House Productions

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

If you’re a professional or executive contemplating your next move, at the back of your mind you might have questions such as:

  • Is this the right time?
  • Am I too old / too young?
  • Do I have the right skill sets and experience?
  • How do I find a career that aligns better with my values and purpose?


My guest speaker for this episode, Kate Richardson, is a Career and Executive Coach who helps mid-career professionals and executives find what’s next. 

Listen in for why she advocates taking charge of your own career pathway, and how to put yourself in the best possible position to secure a job or make a change.

Talking Points:

  • How long it takes to figure out your next career move
  • Why you don’t need to know what you want to do
  • The power of following your curiosity
  • How Kate networked her way from redundancy to a new career – through “20 coffees in 40 days”
  • What questions to ask to build your confidence and knowledge when networking
  • The one question you should ask at the end of every conversation to boost your connections
  • Kate’s observations on current job trends and the nature of work
  • How to become more valuable and visible in the workplace
  • Exercises to help you take inventory of your career: your Values, your Strengths, your Ideal Day
  • Why your skills are not necessarily your strengths 
  • The difference between a mentor and a sponsor
  • How to position yourself to stay open to opportunities - even if you’re happily employed
  • How to get around your dislike or fear of networking
  • How to manage identity crisis during times of career uncertainty
  • Cultivating the Explorer’s Mindset


Kate Richardson’s Bio:

Kate is an advertising runaway, having worked for nearly 20 years in media and marketing before making a big career shift in 2018. Since then, she's worked as a Career and Executive Coach helping mid-career professionals build the skills and confidence they need to design a more ideal career, find what's next and make it happen. Kate has also partnered with organisations like Movember, MYOB, Publicis Groupe and ANZ Bank to help them develop the careers of their people.

Kate’s website:
katerichardson.co 

Follow Kate on LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/katerichardson

Here’s how I can support you further:

This episode was edited by Aura House Productions

Speaker 1:

Hi, I'm Serena Loh. If you're used to hearing that introverts are shy, anxious, antisocial and lack good communication and leadership skills, then this podcast is for you. You're about to fall in love with the calm, introspective and profound person that you are. Discover what's fun, unique and powerful about being an introvert, and how to make the elegant transition from quiet achiever to quiet warrior in your life and work anytime you want, in more ways than you imagined possible. Welcome.

Speaker 2:

Welcome to the Quiet Warrior podcast. If you're a professional or executive contemplating your next move at the back of your mind, you might have questions such as is this the right time? Am I too old, too young, too inexperienced? Do I have the right skill sets and experience to change careers? How do I find a career that aligns better with my values and purpose? To help us answer some of these questions, I've invited Kate Richardson to join us today. Welcome, kate, and thank you for coming on the Quiet Warrior podcast.

Speaker 3:

I'm really excited to be here. Thanks for having me.

Speaker 2:

So, Kate, according to your LinkedIn profile, you're a career and executive coach, helping mid-career professionals and executives find what's next. So I'm curious what's your own career story and how did you come to do this work?

Speaker 3:

I've had a few career changes in my time. I started out working in marketing in the cultural sector. Then I moved into the corporate sector and for the last four or five years that I was working in marketing and advertising in that industry, I was thinking, oh, I want to do something different, but I just don't know what I want to do or where to begin. And in the end I took a moment to step off the treadmill, if you like, and that was really the beginning of something. I gave myself time to explore what was next and I started consulting, which gave me some freedom and flexibility and created a little bit more space for me to do that.

Speaker 3:

But along the way I just kept coming back to this whole career change thing. I kept coming back to that. So many people I knew in my peer group were also asking those same questions and nobody quite seemed to know how to go about it. So through the process of my own exploration and muddling my way through my own career change, I figured out that not only did I want to do coaching, but that I also really wanted to help people solve the problem that I had encountered. And that's what gave way to the business that I have now, where, as you said, I help people really design their ideal career, figure out what's next and, most importantly, chart the path to get there.

Speaker 2:

Wow, thank you for that. So my first question would be who should start thinking of their next career move and why? For instance, someone in their twenties? Is that too early to start thinking of your next move?

Speaker 3:

No, not at all. I think that there are multiple points in time when we're going to ask ourselves you know what we want to do next? Am I on the right path? What does the next move look like for me? And we're going to come back to those kinds of questions, and I see people primarily in their 40s and 50s, but also at either sides of that too and I find that, while the context might be different, the questions that people are often asking are quite similar how do I find more meaning in the work that I do? Or how do I find a role or pathway that better aligns with my strengths? Or perhaps I'm undergoing some kind of shift in my broader life and that has implications for my work life, and I need to think about how I redesign my work for that. So there are all kinds of shifts, you know, over time, as I said, that might look different on the outside but prompt very similar questions on the inside, and I also think one thing I've learned about finding what's next and making a change is that it almost always takes longer than you think.

Speaker 3:

So my advice to people is always don't wait, start now, because it takes time to figure it out. It's often not a linear path or process. It's often a little bit messy and it's an iterative process too. You often learn and figure out what you want to do and what that next move looks like by taking small actions, by talking to people, by, you know, upskilling and figuring out that that's something that you really enjoy, or by getting exposed to, you know, a new discipline that you haven't had experience with before. So it's very much a process of taking action and letting the answer unfold. So, with that in mind, that's why I always say just to start now. And if you're not quite sure where to start, then what you can do is at least optimise for interesting or follow your curiosity. Think about what do I want to learn more about? Or who is someone in my network who's doing something interesting that perhaps I could, you know, learn more about? So you don't always necessarily need to know what you want to do next to begin.

Speaker 2:

I think that's very reassuring, when you say it that way, kate, that you don't have to know already what you want to do, because I think that's where we get stuck. We think I must have a clear idea before I do my research. Otherwise it's a waste of time or I have so many things to do already I don't know where to start. I haven't got time for this. You know who do I start talking to and what are people going to think if I just ask random questions. But I read one of your recent LinkedIn posts where you talked about how you networked your way to your new career. I think you said you did 20 coffees in 40 days. That was something you were aiming to do. Could you tell us more about?

Speaker 3:

that? Yes, that was at a time, several years ago now, when my role was made redundant and I thought, oh, okay, I've got to get my skates on here and find my next role. But I felt a bit disconnected from the market. I felt a little bit unsure about what I wanted to do. I knew I was going to stay in the same industry, but I felt a bit unsure about the role, and I set myself a goal to have, as you say, 20 coffees in 40 days. Now I didn't quite get to 20. I think I got to around 17.

Speaker 3:

And the purpose of those coffees was not to put my hand up necessarily for a job, but really just to talk to people, to help me re-engage with what was going on in the industry. What were the trends in the marketplace? Who were the organizations doing interesting things? What kind of roles were in demand, what might be, you know, some potential pathway for someone with my strengths, skills, experience and desired working life. And it was really that that helped me build my confidence. It helped me get a much better sense of the marketplace and it was actually the very first copy of those 17 that led to an opportunity which became my next role, and I think there's something too in setting yourself a goal. It sounds quite I know it sounds a little bit numeric in nature to say I'm going to have this many coffees in this many days, but it's quite motivating and it's the thing that kept me going.

Speaker 3:

And the other thing that's really helpful is you don't necessarily need to know at the beginning who those five or 10 or 17 coffees might be with.

Speaker 3:

You can start with one or two and then as you go through that process, you'll figure out okay, this is what I want to learn more about. Or that organization came up and they're doing something interesting, so perhaps I need to talk to somebody there, and I always encourage people to to ask a question at the end of every conversation they have, like that which is is there anyone else you think would be good for me to talk to? So in my own experience of doing that, I think I might've lined up five or six or seven coffees initially, but a number of those coffees came from asking that question. Now, not everybody may say, yes, you should talk to so-and-so, but some people will and that'll connect you with someone perhaps that you haven't met before, who's working in a different kind of organization who can help you see things from a different perspective. So there's huge value in just asking that one question at the end of a conversation.

Speaker 2:

I think that's a really good question to ask, like who would you recommend that I speak with next? Because everyone has got their own network and we can't possibly be reaching out to even all the people in our own LinkedIn network. We wouldn't know where to start from. But I think you also raised the point about following your curiosity, which I find personally very interesting and fascinating, and I've actually applied it myself, too, quite recently to land my current role, and so I really do, you know, support the idea.

Speaker 2:

I find it a very practical idea, the idea of following your own curiosity, because you really don't know where things lead and who knows who and you know what's out there, until you actually ask, until you actually take that first step. So I'm all for it for the exploration, for staying open and talking to as many people as possible and just enjoying and trusting the process that something's going to work out, something's going to happen. You're going to meet cross paths with somebody you didn't expect to and it's going to lead you down yet another new path. So I find that process actually quite magical.

Speaker 3:

Yes, I'm really glad to hear you say that.

Speaker 3:

And going back to what you said earlier, often when we're at the point of thinking about what's next, if you feel unsure about what that is, you think, okay, well, I need to come up with the answer, and inverted commas, and once I've got the answer, well, sure, then I can make my plan and I'll figure out how to make it happen.

Speaker 3:

But when you don't get to that answer which often people don't you just end up circling the question and, before you know it, a month or a year or, in my case, five years had really gone past and I haven't. I didn't feel like I could actually move forward, whereas if, instead, you say I don't need to know exactly what I want to do, I need to be open to what the possibilities might be, because then when I'm I think of them in terms of possibilities, I can take small steps to explore those possibilities, to follow that curiosity and simply learn more about a particular industry or role or organisation or pathway, without necessarily making any kind of commitment or decision. That that's what I want and that's actually what helps you move forward. It's not really something that you can think your way through. You need to act your way through it. Take those small steps to uncover, you know, ideas about where you could go and learn more about what you do want to do and what you need to do to get yourself there as well.

Speaker 2:

So there is an element of the practical which I think most of us would already be very familiar with, being very much focused on logic and knowledge and the how-to. But then there's also the unknown and the uncertainty which I think some of us might struggle with, because we are very accustomed to having things laid out in a very linear way, step by step, and if you do this then you will get to there. But then again you know what happens if you take a detour along the way or something comes up and blocks your path and then you have to find a way around it. I think that's where the challenge is. So, in terms of all that's happening currently in the workplace, in the economy, you know what are your own personal observations of current and future job trends?

Speaker 3:

obviously, technology is having, you know, a big impact, and the biggest conversation starter at the moment is AI and what that might mean, you know, for people's jobs. And certainly, I think what's different about AI and we're obviously, you know, very early on in the journey of what that will look like from a work perspective is that it's having quite a big impact, or has the potential, I should say, to have, you know, quite a big impact, or has the potential, I should say, to have a big impact on knowledge workers, which is probably a little bit different to some of the transformations that have happened in the working world in the past. Automation has obviously had huge impacts on a lot of what we might have called traditional blue collar work, for example. So I think that's one of the things that's quite interesting, and we've already seen the potential for AI to automate, you know, a lot of more basic tasks and provide perhaps more opportunities for us to really leverage our people skills. What makes us unique as humans, our creativity, the way we think, the way we problem solve. So I think that's one really interesting trend.

Speaker 3:

And I think there are broader trends too that are impacting the world of work, that relate more broadly to demographics.

Speaker 3:

So, for example, aging populations means that we're seeing, you know, explosion in demand for health services, for example, or we're seeing the changes around the length of time people want to spend in the workforce. You know, I think that's a really interesting one that those days of retiring a particular age and never, perhaps, wanting to work in any shape or form again are changing and people are really looking at unretirement. There's a trend around people, for example, retiring and then returning to work because they realise that they're lacking a sense of purpose or they still want to find a way to contribute. So I think that's a really interesting space at the moment is what does work look like? It's another aspect of career change. But what does work look like for somebody who wants to maintain some semblance of a working life but perhaps wants to move away from the kind of work that they've done in the past, or needs to move away from the sort of work that they've done in the past?

Speaker 2:

So, given these trends and the way work nature of work is changing, how does one start being valuable and visible where they are currently?

Speaker 3:

yeah, I think that's really interesting question. I think it's really in part, understanding, um, where you want to go and what you want to be known for, because I I often hear from people who say I want to progress to this particular role, so, for example, I want to move up to a more senior level, or I want to move, you know, in a diagonal direction, and they're not necessarily sure on how to do that. So I always say look, talk to people who are working in and around your area of interest or in the kind of role that you would like to move into, and ask them how they made the transition. You know, how they built their visibility, how they built their value, where your gaps might be what you need to do to make that kind of transition and I often find people forget that part Often the best person to advise you on a particular path is someone already working in that area. So, for example, if you want to be a people manager, talk to someone who's moved in into that kind of role. Made that transition from individual contributor to people manager. Figure out what you need to be doing to demonstrate that you have the capabilities and can bring the right skill sets to a people manager role. It might be mentoring junior you know junior graduates. It might be getting a mentor yourself in that area. It might be stepping up to lead a project. So it's not necessarily a direct people leadership role, but you're developing your skills in leading teams, for example.

Speaker 3:

But I also think just to your same question. It is also thinking about what you want to be known for, and often the way that I help people reflect on that is by thinking about their strengths, because your strengths are different to your skills and that skills and capabilities are things that you learn to do along the way. And obviously, as you progress in your career, you accumulate more skills and capabilities, but they may not necessarily be the things that you love to do. They may be things that are essential to the job that you're doing or that you've just accumulated along the way because it's part and parcel of your experience. If you think instead about your strengths, your strengths are those things that you've just accumulated along the way because it's part and parcel of your experience. If you think instead about your strengths, your strengths are those things that you get energy from that you really enjoy. They really define who you are at your best, and so strengths are really what you build your reputation on. They're what you want to be doing more of, because that's what we know means that you're more engaged, you perform better, you learn quickly, more quickly, you're more confident, and that's where you really shine. So when you understand your strengths, you can think about the kind of work that you're doing or that you want to do that is really going to you know, bolster your reputation, your satisfaction, your profile, and then you can think about ways to continue building that reputation. So, for example, if you're known as someone who's a great problem solver in the team and you want to keep building that reputation and your experience, you could put your hand up for a proactive project in a different part or a different team in the organisation that you work in to get yourself exposure to a broader group of people and also get the opportunity to work on a different kind of problem.

Speaker 3:

I think the other thing too, when it comes to value and visibility is what we know when it comes to women in the workforce is that if you want to progress, you know to a senior level and not everybody does. I appreciate that, but if you do want to progress, you know, to a senior level and not everybody does. I appreciate that. But if you do want to progress your career to a senior level, you know in your workplace or in the industry that you're in, we know that not just mentoring from those in senior roles or at the level that you want to operate at, but also sponsorship is so critical. And sponsorship is different to mentoring because it means that someone your sponsor is actively advocating for you in the organization. They're supporting you to grow your visibility, to put yourself forward for the right opportunities. They're making sure that other people in the organization recognize your value. So I think that's also a really important element of building your visibility and profile in an organisation.

Speaker 2:

It sounds to me like there are a lot of proactive elements required in being visible. So you talked about having a sponsor, you talked about mentoring and I suppose at some level there's also allyship, but perhaps that's more to do with you know a certain group as a whole rather than you know one specific person's career. So a sponsor, it sounds to me, is like much more than a mentor, because that person is actively promoting your career, whereas a mentor perhaps would be someone who has walked the path you know, is further along on the journey but has the experience to guide you and, you know, to give you some advice along the way, but more from a maybe a slightly distant perspective, perhaps not so hands-on in that. Would that be right?

Speaker 3:

I think it depends on how you define the mentor relationship. So, yes, you're absolutely right, a sponsor is someone who's actively advocating for you. I think for some people it might be about having a few different mentors or who can help them progress or develop in different ways in their career. But it might also be simply about having a series of mentoring conversations, so, as you say, talking to someone who's walked the same path so that you can learn more about their own experience and what advice they would have for someone like you who's aspiring to also tread that same path. So it may not necessarily be a hands-on relationship and it may not necessarily be an ongoing engagement.

Speaker 2:

So now I'd like to take the discussion and zoom out a little bit. So this is within the context of a specific career path, but supposing you want to position yourself more broadly than that and you don't want to confine yourself to your current role. So, in terms of visibility, from a personal branding perspective, how would you advise someone to position themselves so that you know whatever happens in their workplace? They will still be able to say, bounce back, you know more quickly and move on to something else, so they are not confined to you know what they're currently doing.

Speaker 3:

So you're talking about someone who might want to make a change, or more just move on to a different organisation in a similar role.

Speaker 2:

Maybe someone who wants to stay open to opportunities.

Speaker 3:

I really think that networking is one of the most critical things that you can do. People often forget about networking or they avoid it because a lot of us feel uncomfortable just at the mere mention of that word. But I think really developing a diverse network and continuing to build those connections in your career is so useful and so helpful. And ultimately, networking is about reciprocity. It's not just about asking someone for something. It's really about building good connections and looking for opportunities to help others.

Speaker 3:

You know, in the same way, that you're looking for support from people as well, and I think often what gets in the way of networking is people think, oh, I don't want to ask for something, or I don't have anything to offer, and or I'm introverted and I'm not.

Speaker 3:

You know, I'm uncomfortable with the idea. But I think if you think of networking, as you know, meeting'm uncomfortable with the idea. But I think if you think of networking, as you know, meeting interesting people, connecting simply with people who are doing work that you find interesting, or working for organisation that's, you know, got your attention then I think that that gives it quite a different lens. It's really just about having a conversation with something, understanding what their perspective is. You know on the industry or how they're making decisions about where their career is going or what are the big kind of changes or shifts they see coming, and so you're not putting your hand up and asking for a job, but you're maintaining a professional connection. You're, you know, building your own knowledge, you know along the way, and you're meeting interesting people who can inspire you, who can help you and who might be able to offer a helping hand down the track.

Speaker 2:

That's a very enlightened, very broad perspective of how networking is. And you're right, I think a lot of people find just the word itself quite intimidating. And I'm glad you spoke about introverts, because I work a lot with them and one of the pet peeves is attending networking events and not knowing what to say, not knowing how to position themselves, introduce themselves and, you know, get the conversation going. So what would your advice be for, you know, people who just find this whole personal branding and visibility thing and talking about themselves just really uncomfortable.

Speaker 3:

I think you have to find the kind of networking that works for you. So for some people they love going to those kinds of events and talking to lots of people and maybe having, you know, a high number of casual conversations, and for other people like me, they might really enjoy having a good half hour one-to-one with someone, where they can really get to know someone and ask interesting questions and go a little bit deeper. So I think it's also it's in part understanding about you know what works for you, what suits your personality and preference. And then I do think it's it is in the framing. If you think of it as like, oh, I'm putting my hand up to ask something of someone, then often that's where people shy away from.

Speaker 3:

But, as I said, if you think of it as connecting with people that you think are doing interesting or inspiring things in your industry, so that you can learn more about them, their view, their take, their advice, in my experience people like to help in that way because you're not asking for a lot of someone's, you're not asking for a lot from somebody other than a little bit of their time. And if you make it about the other person, then in my experience people like to talk about themselves, they like to give advice, they like to tell the story of their career or they like to share their view on things. So it's really all about how you frame it and how you approach someone too, and I find that you know I would say 90% of the clients that I work with feel a little bit apprehensive or nervous when they get to you know, at this point in the conversation. But I always say to them well, if I said to you Serena, hey, I really want to learn more about being a coach, and I know you do work with introverts and that's something I'm really interested in Would you have 20 or 30 minutes just to share a little bit about how you made the transition into that area and what your experience of it has been? What would you say?

Speaker 2:

I would say I'll be delighted to.

Speaker 3:

Exactly when I ask people that question, they always say, oh, I'd be happy to. So it's a good reminder that people most are generous, usually with their time. They want to be helpful. Sometimes people are too busy or they can't. No problem, because there's another 500 people that you could potentially connect with if you really wanted to.

Speaker 3:

So it's all about the mindset, I think, and also, you know, when I going back to that story at the start of our conversation, I'd never done anything like that before, with my 20 coffees in 40 days, and I felt terrified. My hands were probably shaking as I wrote that email. But it was the best experience because it really taught me that, as I said, people like to help. It's easy to talk to anyone, even for a shy person, for 20 or 30 minutes. You can prepare, you can think about the questions that you might like to ask. And now the idea of sending an email to someone that I don't know or don't know very well, for a coffee or a 20 minute chat it doesn't, you know, I don't even raise a sweat. So it's one of those things that seems really daunting when you first begin but actually is a wonderful skill to develop that will serve you in your career throughout.

Speaker 2:

I love how you position it as a matter of framing, because you're right, it's how we look at it and what we tell ourselves before we even have that conversation. So if we're telling ourselves a whole story about how difficult it is or how people will not be open to the idea, or how we're going to fluff it up, then of course you know we go into that the next interaction with a lot of fear and trembling. But then if we are open and curious and interested, I think interest, being interested in somebody else, is very contagious. People can feel it. So true, yeah, they can feel that you want to know more about them.

Speaker 2:

And of course, they're happy to reciprocate because, like you say, we're all interested in ourselves and we're happy to share our stories. And I think there is something quite magical too when we hear other people's stories. Usually we come away feeling, oh, it's not just me, or you know, it's happened to other people too. And then you get some perspective and you realize it's not so bad. You know, other people have been through it as well. They have survived, they've come out the other side, they've gone on to have adventures and a new career, and if it's possible for them, maybe it's possible for me.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely. And you think what's the best thing that can happen? If I send a message to someone on LinkedIn, someone that I maybe don't know very well, and and I ask for 20 minutes of their time? The best thing is they say yes, I have a conversation. I take maybe just one helpful thing from that conversation and what's the worst thing? They don't reply or they say no, it's really not that bad.

Speaker 2:

So what would your word of encouragement be for someone who right now, listening to this, is either in a state of uncertainty, perhaps a bit of apprehension, because either their job is at stake or they're not happy where they are. They're looking for something, but they don't really know what they're looking for, and they may be in a bit of an identity crisis because, much as we say, our work is not our identity. Very often it is. We do define ourselves by what we do professionally. So how do you navigate, you know, how do you deal with that feeling of being personally affected by what's happening?

Speaker 3:

externally. So, in terms of if you're feeling uncertain about what's next and you're not quite sure what to do and, as you say, you're worried about your job situation, then I think you need to get yourself to a point where you can identify possibilities. You don't have to have the answer, but a few possibilities for what's next, because I find when you start to see possibilities and you start to take those small steps to explore them further, not only does it help you find your way to that next move, but it lessens the burden, if you like, or it makes an unpleasant job situation a little bit more bearable, because you've got some agency in this. You're taking control. You're not waiting for an opportunity to drop into your lap a recruiter to email you with a message. You're actually actively taking charge of figuring out what's next. And it is a process and it does take a bit of time, as I said.

Speaker 3:

So I always tell people to start with thinking about their values, what's really important to them, because your values can shift, or at least your priorities can shift over time. Things can come in and out of focus, for example, and strengths. Going back to what I said earlier, not just what you're good at, but what are you really energized by? Then, if you think about what do I want my working life to look like, when I think about my ideal working day, from the moment that I wake up to the moment that I go to bed, what does it actually involve? Now, you may not necessarily be able to instantly realize that ideal day, but by being able to imagine it for yourself, you can identify what progress looks like. You can start to move in that direction or think about the small steps you can take to get you closer to that ideal day. So asking yourself what's really important to me, what am I not just good at but energised by, and what do I want my working life to look like, I think gives you at least a springboard into, or a starting point for generating, or at least sifting through possibilities for what's next.

Speaker 3:

And a possibility might be fuzzy or it might be clear. It could be I want to apply for that program manager role in organization X, or it might be. I've been thinking about this whole health and wellness thing for a while and I'm not exactly sure what I would do in that space, but I just know it's something I'm really interested in and I keep being drawn to, and that's an example of a fuzzy possibility, and a fuzzy possibility becomes clear through the process of exploring, so it's still a place to start. You could begin by, you know, looking at organisations in that area, looking at different types of roles, identifying conversations or connections or people that might be useful for you to talk to, who can help you learn more you know about that industry and what it might take. If it is something that you want to do and, equally, if it's a clear possibility, you can work backwards from you know the job if you like.

Speaker 3:

Okay, if it's that organisation or that industry, you can start to think about people that you might be able to connect with, who are working in and around that industry, or those organisations who might be able to just help you get a better lens on things. You can start to look at job descriptions and think about how or what you need to do to really position yourself as a high value hire, really understanding what are the four or five key capabilities that I need to be able to demonstrate to show someone that I could perform that role successfully. That way, you might recognize, for example, that you have, you know, one area that you need to skill up on if you want to move into a different industry or you want to focus on a different area, and that's something that you can action straight away. So the more that you learn, or the more that you discover, the easier it is to work out what you need to do to put yourself in the best possible position to either secure a job or make a change.

Speaker 2:

That's fantastic. So, to summarize, you've talked about the importance of values. That means knowing what's important to you. You've talked about your strengths, which is not just what you are skilled at doing and the expertise you have, but also what energizes you. You talked about your ideal day and finding out. You know because that is going to be different for each person what it looks like and what it feels like. You know what the details are and that's probably the fun part to be able to do that exercise and you know and visualize, imagine it for yourself, and you get to design it the way you like it. And then you talked about fuzzy possibilities and clear possibilities, and I think the idea then is to be okay with the uncertainty of this whole process while it's working itself out.

Speaker 3:

Yes, and I encourage people to cultivate what I call their explorer's mindset, which is you don't need to know necessarily what the end game looks like.

Speaker 3:

You just need to have, you know, one or two or no more than three possibilities that you can begin to actively explore, because that's how you'll get the clarity on what that next move looks like for you and what you need to do. And the explorer's mindset just, I think, is helpful because you know, as human beings, obviously we gravitate towards certainty. This whole kind of process of change or not knowing what's next can feel really, really uncomfortable, and so it's very easy to rush towards a certainty. That might be rushing or gravitating towards what you've already been doing because it's a safe, familiar option, or it might be settling on something too quickly because it feels like the safe thing to do. So this is about being open to what might be possible, and not necessarily committing up front, but committing to exploring. So you don't need to decide on what you want to do before you get started. You just need to decide that you're willing to explore.

Speaker 2:

I love that. I love the explorer's mindset, the idea of wandering off, going on a journey not knowing what's around the corner there and back again. It sounds fun. So what's the best way for listeners to get in touch with you, Kate?

Speaker 3:

So I'm very active on LinkedIn. So if and I try to post content regularly, try, so if you would like to, you know, learn a little bit about me. Obviously, please, I would welcome a connection on LinkedIn, and if you'd like to talk about a coaching opportunity and how I might be able to help you in your particular situation, then you're welcome to send me an email or check out my work at katerichardsonco.

Speaker 2:

Fantastic. Thank you so much, kate, for sharing your wisdom with us today. Remember to check the show notes for Kate's bio and LinkedIn profile. Follow her there, and if you know someone who is thinking of their next career move and need some guidance, please refer them to Kate. And if you've enjoyed this episode, please give the Quiet Warrior podcast a five-star rating. Thank you and see you on the next episode. I'm so grateful that you're here today. If you found this content valuable, please share it on your social media channels and subscribe to the show on your favorite listening platform. Together, we can help more introverts thrive. To receive more uplifting content like this, connect with me on Instagram at Serena Lo Quiet Warrior Coach. Thank you for sharing your time and your energy with me. See you on the next episode. You, you.

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