Since the pandemic began, I am finding that many professionals and business owners are stepping back and taking a hard look at their careers. The questions and concerns they are raising range from deeply questioning “Is this really what I want to be doing?” to a vague sense of “I’m feeling bored and restless.” Perhaps you have been having some of the same or similar thoughts.
Reevaluating one’s life during times of unprecedented change and upheaval is quite natural. When you get shaken to the core, any vague or significant discomfort you have been feeling in your career suddenly smacks you in the face. You recognize that life is short and you may choose to stop tolerating or settling for the current situation. During such pivotal moments that jar you out of your comfort zone into foreign territory, you are called to check in, reflect, take a pause, and explore what creates a sense of satisfaction and engagement for you. Being truly engaged in any aspect of your life is fundamentally based on how satisfied you feel. When you’re feeling satisfied, you’re happier, more fulfilled and more productive. What if you had the key to unlock the secret to your personal success? What might be possible for you?
Identifying and creating strategies to meet your core needs is the secret to your personal success. What are core needs? They are the types of energies that you need to have in your life. When your needs are met, engagement occurs. When core needs are not met, you become disengaged, drained, unhappy, perhaps even stuck. Unfortunately, you usually have no idea why you feel this way and, as a result, you are at a loss about what to do next.
Examples of core needs include accomplishment, creativity, teamwork, recognition, fun, contribution, and autonomy, to name just a few. In working with clients, I’ve found that the number of core needs that an individual might have can vary widely. Some have 8, others have 20. How few or many you have doesn’t matter. There is no perfect number. Rather, what is important is working through the process of identifying those that are the “must haves” for you, the ones that give you energy.
So how does someone identify their core needs? It’s not as simple as looking at a list and choosing what stands out. When there are many options, it can be hard to hone-in on the most important. Instead, we look to your actual behavior in practice as a better signal for identifying your core needs. To do this, we explore top experiences in your life and what made them so great for you. To facilitate this process, I use a tool called the Core Needs Navigator™ that gives you the resources and knowledge to allow you to feel fulfilled, productive, effective and satisfied in your work. You uncover your core needs and explore how they are working in your present work life and how they may best be attained moving forward.
The beauty of this process is that it allows you to step back and look more objectively at your needs. This broader view allows you to see more and gain greater insight into your core needs and what specifically is necessary for you to feel that need is being met. Armed with this information, you can develop strategies that will help you improve the match between what you really need and what you are getting.
Keep in mind, you may discover that all that’s necessary is a small shift. It may not mean a career change or a move to a new company. Once you are in touch with your needs, you realize, perhaps for the first time, what is truly creating dissatisfaction and now know what to ask for that can make a huge difference. In other circumstances, you may realize that, in fact, a bigger change is in order. Yet, with your core needs as the compass, you have clarity and a decision-making tool to guide your next career steps.
The Core Needs Navigator™ can be conducted virtually for individuals as well as for groups. If you’d like to learn more about how you can create a fulfilling career that meets your needs and identify the next steps to get there or help your employees become more engaged and satisfied, please contact me for a complimentary coaching consultation.
About the Author: Sherry Dutra is a Talent Development, Career and Retirement Coach and Facilitator who works with corporate leaders in small to mid-size businesses, across the span of their careers. She helps them to accelerate business outcomes and team performance, navigate their own career path, and transition to retirement with ease using proven methodologies and strategies that get results. If you would like to uncover and address hidden challenges that may be sabotaging your success, leverage your strengths, and accelerate your progress toward the results you desire, contact Sherry for a complimentary consultation.