Fear. Urgency. External demands. Confusion. Inaccurate information… There are so many reasons not to listen to your inner voice. These are just a few of them. In fact, in general it is probably easier to be distracted than to be attentive.
For example, when I decided to move back to the US after twenty-plus years in Europe, I hired the Barrett Group to help me find my next job. I felt like a dinosaur in the US market, unsure of what to do, where to look, and not even sure that my credentials were either intelligible or valuable. The Barrett Group, especially Waffles and Dan, helped me clarify and pursue meaningful career-change targets. Ultimately, I decided I did not want a job at all, but rather to own my own business… but which one?
Most people do not have the freedom I had at that time—freedom to choose an industry and a geography that suited me—but this freedom was also burdensome because I ended up looking at about 25 different businesses, some in great depth and others only superficially. Face it, after more than twenty years of being a general manager, VP, and C-level officer, I had seen enough airports and board rooms to last the rest of my lifetime, so I looked very widely at business concepts, including retail (balsamic vinegar), construction (storm repair), lawn care, maid services, and, of course, business coaching.
The process took three or four months as I attended several on-site visits and discovery days with a lot of generous people willing to talk to me about the pluses and minuses of their business models. At one point I was dangerously close to pulling the trigger on a lawn care business in Texas. Then, as I was jogging one afternoon it hit me: that particular business was essentially about killing things—particularly insects.
Suddenly my stomach told me that was not what I wanted to dedicate my working life toward.
That was an instance of me actually hearing my inner voice and paying attention. There have been a few others, but, as I say, it is generally easier to be distracted than it is to be attentive to your inner voice.
There are techniques to amplify your inner voice, of course, such as meditation, or its simpler cousin, reflection—simply taking a little unprogrammed time in your day to sit and do nothing and see what bubbles up. But most of us fail to do this regularly.
So, at the Barrett Group, we actually build your inner voice into our process. The first stage of every career change process is the Clarity Program©—our answer to establishing clear targets for our clients’ career search. The Clarity Program© ensures that we (the client and the Barrett Group team) look at the personality and behavior of the client, the client’s current life circumstances, and the client’s longer term goals. Only when we have these aligned do we accept them as a Target around which we can then organize the subsequent career change steps of Packaging/Personal Branding, Market Access, Preparation, and On-boarding.
But you do not have to take my word for it. Here are comments from four recent clients on the Clarity Program©:
By investing a little time up front, we help clients avoid months of thrashing around before they really know what they want and how to obtain it.
Please reflect on this, and if you would like to explore, please reach out to the Barrett Group.