Take Control of Your Career: Insights from Simon North
Finding the sweet spot between life and career is a lifelong struggle. To gain success in both life and career, we need to be certain of our goals and focus on achieving them. Doing so is no small feat, and sometimes, you need the help of experts to steer you through the development of your career.
One such expert is Simon North, the founder of Position Ignition, one of the UK’s leading career consulting companies. Position Ignition supports individuals by educating them about their careers and work issues and helping them through various stages of their career—from job searches to career development.
According to Simon, it’s impossible to look at your career and other aspects of your life as separate entities. His firm helps their clients by looking at things in a holistic way.
“This hyper-personalisation leads to intensive levels of client service and gives us the ability to provide extraordinary guidance in the world of work. Our work with clients is intensive because we seek to know a significant amount about their history and their future intentions. We can do a better guiding job the more that we know. We’ve developed processes, tools, and approaches that fit our overall approach.”
Read more about Simon’s insights on career development here at the Federal Resume Writer blog.
Three Stages of Career Development
Simon and Position Ignition identify three stages of career development: career change, job search, and career progression.
In changing careers, Simon advises people to think things through to achieve a smooth transition.
“We define career change as the process of moving into something quite different from what you have done with your working life so far. The idea of switching is one thing and actually achieving it can be quite a challenge – and take time. It needs to be thought through well, then planned and put into action.”
Job search has many elements and challenges. Most job hunters resort to using recruitment companies, but Simon thinks, “this may not be the only—or even the best—approach to take.”
Simon encourages people to seek help and coaching to overcome what’s difficult for them, such as interviews and giving presentations.
When it comes to progression in your career, Simon says many things have changed.
“The old escalators that used to carry us to higher career levels and rewarded loyalty and seniority don’t exist to the same degree. We help clients understand what progression in their career means to them and then how they can make that happen.”
Many of us go through that stage in our career when we feel that we’re doing something we don’t want to do. This can happen when “we launch into work without having a clear plan. Sometimes it’s because we change our thoughts and priorities about life and work as we grow older and wiser,” according to Simon.
He says there are two main reasons why people change careers:
“Two of the main reasons for a career change are getting more control in our lives—bringing better balance and working away in office environments less—and working in contexts with greater meaning and purpose.”
“When you feel like you need to change careers, the key is to be clear about what you are trying to achieve,” says Simon. For additional guidance on a career change, you can check out Position Ignition’s toolkit—available online.
Having a clear picture of where you want to take your life is crucial to career success. As Simon says:
“The employment market is more complex and harder to navigate. By getting clear you give yourself a better chance to plan, to target, to set up your profiles, to project yourself, and so on.”
In your journey to career fulfillment, getting a coach can be a big boost.
“Working on yourself and your agenda is very difficult to do—even when you have a high level of self-awareness. There is plenty to do and you want to be with someone who is familiar with the territory and is also going to give you strong, positive feedback.”
We all need help developing our careers. Fortunately, there are people like Simon who are here to help. Thank you for your insights, Simon!