The piece of career coach advice that I consistently and persistently give is this:
“Listen to yourself”
“Is that it?” I hear you exclaim! “Well, I’m not paying for that!” And, you do not have to pay for it, but, you will have to practice it, and practice hard. You see we are rarely allowed to listen to ourselves by our busy parents, We are not taught to listen to ourselves at school, we are nudged away from listening to ourselves in our religions and societies, in our universities and our jobs. And how can we hear what it is that we really need and want if we do not clear space in order to listen to our inner selves? When heard and honoured, these inner selves become our own bespoke compass that serves us throughout our lives.
If we trust that these inner selves have value than how do we learn to hear them. Having practised ignoring our own resources for so long, how do we access them now. That is the real question.
Firstly there are some absolute givens. We need to create space in order to hear ourselves. The rest depends on your learning style.
Visual (spatial): You prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding.
Aural (auditory-musical): You prefer using sound and music.
Verbal (linguistic): You prefer using words, both in speech and writing.
Physical (kinaesthetic): You prefer using your body, hands and sense of touch.
Logical (mathematical): You prefer using logic, reasoning and systems.
Social (interpersonal): You prefer to learn in groups or with other people.
(intrapersonal): You prefer to work alone and use self-study.
The interesting thing is that each one of us uses more than one of these styles. We have preferences, we also have varying amounts or each in different combinations. Then we reconfigure them in different situations. These preferences are not even static. So, whilst these ‘learning styles’ are advocated as ways of accessing external information, they are equally important in assessing yourself. You are THE font of knowledge about yourself if only you can identify how to access this Well of inspiration.
What Do You Need to do to Hear You?
Here’s a suggestion: take yourself back to a time, and be specific, that you really enjoyed learning something. A time that the learning that you did really ‘stuck with you’? It could be yesterday, it could be decades ago. immerse yourself in that memory, what could you hear and see and smell and taste and touch. Allow yourself to be there for a while.
Grab a piece of paper and write down the first five things that were the most important or uppermost in your mind regards that memory. Then revisit the list above and see if any of them resonate. You might just be surprised what works for you. When you know what works for you then do that again in order to learn about yourself.
It took me a while to learn that I was a kinesthetic learner, trapped in a ‘head-teachers-daughters’ body. By that I mean I had a childhood where I had been made to ‘sit and learn’. Now I know that moving and experiencing new knowledge is the best way to get it into my head. … now whenever I have questions, I walk, or write it out or run in order that I can hear what it is that needs hearing… So my career coach advice is to ask this “What is it you need to do in order to hear yourself?”
Please feel free to share anything you find useful here, and, I would adore it if you would credit me when you do. Thank you!