I am a type – A introvert. I’m hyper organized and the ultimate planner, even on the weekends. I have a special place in my heart for google calendar, checklists of all kinds and project plans. I also require regular quiet time to think and be creative – and ultimately be successful in my personal and professional life. It’s my natural tendency to spend a lot of time planning and staying on top of things – and sometimes harder to jump into action, without a concerted effort.
I often work with clients to find the balance between planning and doing. Many of us lean in one direction or the other and require support to cultivate the underdeveloped side of ourselves.
For career changers, planning means self-reflection work or what I like to call data collection. It’s understanding yourself better through strengths and values assessments, visioning work, reflecting on past work experiences, updating your resume and LinkedIn and the favorite of job seekers everywhere – searching online job boards.
The second part of this work is in the doing. It’s about testing your assumptions and getting a reality check about what things look like in 3D, real time. It’s in the networking meetings with your former boss, or the informational interview with your sister’s husbands friend. It’s attending that lecture or volunteering at the organization you admire. It’s also in taking that freelance job, that make you nervous, to test the waters.
It’s the yin and yang that work in this picture – the balance of planning and doing.
All action, without any planning, is often haphazard and lacking strategy – which can lead to less than ideal results. It can be unfocused and often time consuming, perhaps not producing very fruitful results. For people who always jump into new things, without thinking them through, my job is to support them to be thoughtful – to think through the important questions, understand who they are and what makes them tick.
All planning and thinking, without any action, won’t help you to land your next great role. It’s like spending hours working on a piece of writing and never trying to get it published! For those who get paralyzed in the details and lean toward perfectionism, my job is to support them to take the leap of faith to get out there and share themselves with the world.
Success requires that you put yourself authentically and confidently into the world – with thoughtful intention.