This is part 2 of a 3-part series on career decision tools. Stay tuned for part 3.
The analysis tools we reviewed in part 1 (it’s over here) are a great first step when considering big career decisions. Decisions like: Do I leave this job? Do I take that job? Do I share my aspirations with my manager? Do I grow my team? Do I shrink my team? Do I pursue a credential? Do I start a business?
Part 1 is called ANALYZE because reviewing the facts of the situation as objectively as possible is always a good idea (especially for something like career decisions, where the combination of being personal and being high-stakes can fire up those feelings).
Feelings you say? Yes. Part 2 of this series is called FEEL. Because as you may already know, I believe your feelings are a superpower. And who wants to make a big career decision without their superpower?
My top feeling tool: asking your highest self
What is it? OK so this is not purely a feeling tool. But it will engage your feelings, intuition and big-picture-creative-brain – all extremely useful when making sound career decisions. This is a choose-your-own-adventure meditation (thinking, writing, or speaking) with a version of yourself that sees more, knows more, understands more, than the current version of you. It’s a version you can trust.
What’s great about it? It will change your life. Once you establish contact with your highest self, you can get to know them. Investing in building this relationship means you can call on them in all kinds of situations (like an imaginary friend / guru for grownups). You’ll know when you’re tapping into your highest self because you’ll feel clear and calm. Picture a perfectly calm lake. That is the energy of your highest self guiding you. If there are waves on the lake, you’re not in the right place yet. Get quieter.
What is it missing? Well, any form of objective analysis whatsoever 🙂 Which is why you’ll want to do that part too (part 1 again, is here). We are in the land of the feels, full of mysterious shapeshifters that will point the way but may not tell you why. So if you struggle with abstract thinking or moving forward on faith, this tool may take some getting used to.
What do I need? You need to be ready. You need space and time to relax your body, unwind the chatter in your brain, breathe, and listen. You need an openness to contact your highest self, and a belief that they are accessible to you. Create hospitable conditions and invite your experience to provide clarity.
How do I use it? Once you have prepared yourself and created the conditions to invite reflection and clarity, ask your highest self to join you and provide input on the situation. You can ask about individual options separately, or simply ask them what you should do. Pay attention to feelings, words, images that come up. Some like to speak into a recording device or free write in a journal. Others just let the messages wash over them. Each person will use this differently, and that is OK.
What people say: Most people find this pretty unconventional. But the ones who pave a road to access their highest self have profound experiences of calm and clarity. Imagine no more uncertainty, no more anxiety, just a wise understanding of the best decision for you, right now. If that’s the outcome you are seeking, then this tool is worth trying.
For my clients who want to strengthen their intuition and build tools for self-trust, this is powerful.
Honourable mention for feeling tools
The expansion and contraction test: this is simple and powerful. Hold the decision you are considering in your mind. If you have a few options, take one minute to do this with each one individually. Does your energy expand or contract? Move towards the expansion. Back away from the contraction.
Feeling layers: emotions can be complicated. If you feel uncertain about some aspect of a job offer, for example, take the time to explore what’s under it. Ask yourself: what feeling is the uncertainty masking? Fear of failure? Worry that the leadership lacks integrity? Identify and explore the feeling layers prior to making any decisions.
Dropping into your heart: the first time I got this instruction I was very confused. I was so used to being in my head that I didn’t realize there was another place to go. But just like “you” can hang out in your head all day long and replay the same seventeen arguments over and over again on a given topic, “you” can also hop on the elevator (your trachea maybe?) and catch a ride down to your heart space. Swim around in your feels, pick up that energy, and see what’s different. Just try it.
If you are at a decision point in your career, I hope these tools help. Stay tuned for part 3 of this series coming soon. If you try these, I would love to know. Comment below or DM me over here .
I’m cheering you on.
Want to learn about coaching? Here’s a link to get on my calendar for a free intro session.