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Want To Know How To Have The Career You Want? Here are My 3 Top Tips

Written by: Joanna Stokes, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

I have re-invented my career 3 times over a period of 35 years.


I am on my 3rd career, and definitely my last but I am exactly where I want to be.


The first 15 years were spent in Hospitality and Catering, managing hotels and restaurants and I loved it.

The next 18 years were spent in Further Education starting as a Teacher in catering, moving through Employer Engagement, Assistant Principal, Ofsted Inspector and ending up as CEO.


My current and final career see me as the founder of My Coach Joanna, delivering coaching, mentoring and training to education professionals.


Want to know how I have done it?


My top 3 tips are:

  1. Keep focused on doing what you love and getting paid for it.

  2. Expand your network and your horizons, work in a diverse range of areas.

  3. Regularly review where you are, where you want to be and plan how you are going to get there. Work with a coach to get yourself from A to B quicker than on your own.

Here's more detail.


Keep focused on doing what you love and getting paid for it.


Life is too short to not be happy at work. Once you stop enjoying your work, it's time to make changes. Whether it is the job role, the organisation or the sector that is no longer a good fit for you makes no difference, change is needed. Ask yourself:

  • What's most important in my life? What really matters?

  • What is it that you no longer enjoy? Are you no longer finding the work challenging and have become bored? Or have you been at the organisation a long time and outgrown it? Or maybe you want to move into another sector or industry.

  • What gets you jumping out of bed in the morning, excited to start the day?

Expand your network and your horizons, work in a diverse range of areas.


The more diverse your experience, the more attractive you are to potential employers. It's good to have worked in different departments of your organisation, worked in different sized companies or types of sectors, as you can then see multiple perspectives, and this definitely helps you progress in your leadership roles. For example, in my 18 years in FE, I worked in colleges of different sizes in curriculum, employer engagement, 14-16 direct recruitment and an adult education charity. As an Ofsted Inspector, I had the added privilege of experiencing multiple colleges and training providers and picked up much good practice along the way.


Your network is crucial. Having connections with people outside your current organisation is invaluable when you are looking for new opportunities. If you only surround yourself with people who look like you, talk like you and have the same background as you then you will limit the opportunities coming your way. Can you expand your current network by joining professional groups, linking with people you wouldn't normally meet, building your connections on Linkedin?


Regularly review where you are, where you want to be and plan how you are going to get there. Work with a coach to get yourself from A to B quicker than on your own.


I am a goal setter, always have been and always will be. It's the way I like to live my life. It also works. I have achieved everything I set out to do in my career and in my life.


If you are not a goal setter, then now is a good time to start. Settle yourself in a comfy space where you can think without distraction. Ask yourself:

  • Where do I want to be a year from now? What do I want to be doing?

  • What do I need to do or learn to get there?

  • What am I doing to renew, reinvigorate and reinvent myself and my life?

I have used a professional coach twice in my career when I was stuck. I knew it was time for a change, but I couldn't work out how to do it on my own. Both times I was catapulted into my next career stage the results are amazing when you work with a great coach.


My bottom line. Don't stay stuck in a job you don't enjoy, you deserve to be happy at work. When you know you want to make a change, seek help to move you on.


If you would like to have a conversation with me about where you are in your career, then click this link and book a call with me I would love to meet you.


Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

 

Joanna Stokes, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Joanna Stokes is transformational leadership and career coach, and a trainer and mentor to further education leaders. She has 18 years of experience in Further Education, the last 8 years as a senior leader in a variety of organisations including the CEO of an adult education charity. She was an Ofsted Inspector for 5 years. After experiencing the powerful impact coaching had on her career her mission is to spread the power of coaching across the sector. She coaches education professionals and trains workplace coaches and mentors. She qualified as a personal performance coach in 2020 and is now on a mission to help education professionals create the freedom to live the life they want.

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