Networking Interview #11: How To Choose a Career

by on May 1st, 2012

Today in my networking challenge I am interviewing Dennece McKelvy.  Dennece is a Career and Executive Coach and the Founder of My Path Now and I am so excited to share this video with you today! Thanks so much for the interview Dennece!

YouTube Preview Image

In case you are reading this at work and can’t watch the video, you can read all of the great advice below instead!

1) How should someone begin to go about their job search to figure out the right career path for them?

One of the most valuable steps in looking for a job is knowing who you are and what values you have in life.  Our interests may change over time but our character and our value doesn’t.  So who you are and what comes naturally to you is what I call your core self. So before you start your job search on the outside, you should really focus on the inside to really understand who you are naturally.  There is many ways you can do this, you can hire a career coach or you can do it yourself.  There are a lot of online assessments that can help you really look inside.  We tend to do a much better when we take a look inside ourselves a and what we value rather than listening to what other people have told us about ourselves and what we are good and bad at.  I think it is also important before you go to college and pick a study as well to figure out or coaching in college.  I encourage women to take these assessments and look inside before they pick what they want to do.

2) What is a value?

We tend to describe ourselves by the work or the activities we do.  So for instance, I am an accountant but this only describes what we do not who we are.  So when I talk about the core self involves your natural character, your natural values and even your passions.  Your values would be traits like independence or open mindedness or adventuresome.  A good way to understand what your values are is to ask yourself what games did I play as I child and what did I enjoy?  And as you go through them and start naming things that you like and those are what your values are.  So did you love to play team sports?  Another way to look at it is to ask yourself, what is a perfect day for me?  Have I already had a perfect day?

3) What can happen if you aren’t in the right job for your values?

Say you work in sales, if you take a job and in reality you don’t like to manage and you like to analyze and be on the computer inside.  Then you take a job where you aren’t aligned naturally with the job and you are unhappy.  You don’t do well at the job because it isn’t a natural thing for you.

4) How can we align what we do on the outside and our skills and abilities with who we are on the inside?

It seems it’s very simple but we need to integrate all aspects of ourselves. If we know who we are, we can do some assessments online. There are some free assessments that are really good. I’ll give you a couple of them. One that I always have my client do is www.authentichappiness.com and those are intrinsic strengths around truth and integrity and they’re real core strengths. When you get your top five you’ll really resonate with that. So once you go and you find out what those core values and skills and strengths are, then you look at what you’re good on the outside like math or speaking with people. Once you have those aligned meaning you know what you do well naturally inside you have what your skills and talent are. Really know your core self is and what you do talent wise. Once you have those, then you actually look for a job that will meet those career satisfiers that you put together. And really you can put your top career list together and as you go through jobs you can say what meets your career satisfiers.

5) Do you also do an assessment on what your purpose and your meaning?

Yes, most of the time your values and your core self will help guide you in terms of what your purpose is. I am finding that people want to help other people no matter what their job.  It makes going to work you know so much better when you have purpose and a meaning behind that definitely.  For example, an accountant can help other people with their finances.

So let’s see somebody’s not happy at work and they’re they think they’re ready for change and I need to leave. That’s typically not the best time to be looking for a job because that energy surrounds you. I don’t know what I want to do , I don’t know what I like, my job pays pretty good so I’m going to stay there. And that’s typically when you’re at that point, that’s the perfect time to say what is it that this job isn’t meeting. What is it? Am I working alone too much or I work with people too much? Isn’t it challenging enough? And if you know who you are and what that core self is you could quickly identify what’s not being met and I advise my clients every time don’t quit your job. Instead, find value in your current job, meaning if you’re not living the value in your job that’s important to you then live it.

You know typically when people are unhappy, they are not living through their values. So you start living those top values that you have identified and then it’s much easier to say OK this job doesn’t have my top values that I want to live and it’s time for me to look for another career. And the energy around that is much different than – I am really unhappy I need to find something else.

6) What is your advice to someone who is stuck in a rut and looking for a career change?

I hope it doesn’t sound like hard work cause it really isn’t and I’m seeing a lot of younger generations really are in touch with what is it that I like to do. I would see the baby bloomers would focus on money and financial and I was when I first started out. And it’s not the same. Many of my clients are graduating with humanities degrees and want to save the world.  But it’s not that hard. There so many books out there. Another one that I’d like to recommend is strength finders 2.0. Those really tapped on your natural talents so anything like that would help you really get aligned with your values and the character that’s deep inside.

7) How do we know when it is the right time to make a career change?

Well, there’s a big difference between changing jobs and changing their career. So this just depending on where you are. Let’s talk about changing a career. Changing a career means I’ve been doing this for so many years and I am done. I’ve done it enough! Meaning you’re bored with what you’re doing and maybe you’re living your values, you love people at work, you love the company and you love the benefits. Its not really anything like that but its just not challenged and it’s a different problem on a different day but its all the same. You’re just done with it! And again we talked about that happens when possibly your values shift. So, I recommend when you are finding that there’s just no desire to get up in doing that job. Not so much the environment but doing that job. Then you need to reassess what’s changed. What did I like about this career before versus where I am now? So that’s a career change.  As my values shifted, I no longer need some of the things that my previous engineering degree had.

A job change again goes back to I hate getting up to the phone and doing cold calls. I just don’t like doing it. I don’t make enough money at it. You know when you’re looking in at values that you aren’t respecting and things that you need to do that you don’t value. That’s the time to say Okay, what is it that I do value? What can I apply that I do naturally in another job and start that process?

This isn’t taught int college.  You find that it’s a new concept about you know I always say live from the inside out and I find it it’s a new concept with the in your life.  So just being an awareness that’s we’re we really headed. And today’s job market, employers can tell right away where you’re in energy is and if you’re just wanting the job because you need money or this is a job that is completely aligned with you and they’re willing to take you on regardless of your experience in it because your energy around is exactly what they need. Somebody that loves and its aligned with what it is they have a position they are looking for.

8 ) This question I ask at the end of all of my interviews, what do you wish you would have known when you were a young professional woman just starting out in her career?

This exact thing! If I would have known why core self much better my core values it would have maybe my choices wouldn’t have been different but my choices would have been more intentional. I think it would have make my career flow a little easier rather than having a lot of resistance to pushing and trying make things happen.  What I call your core self is like you’re intuition and many of us learned that if we quiet that intuition.  If I would have trusted my intuition, I think my career would have gone a lot smoother and maybe I’d have ended up in a place that that I am now just more aligned with who I am.

9) If people want to learn more about you, where can they find you online?

My website is mypathnow.com. It’s my career coaching transitions website. I do coaching for professionals. I also have students that are seniors that are looking to get into corporate or in a business.

1 comment

  • Some things . While Taylor isn't Purdue or Notre Dame, its foramt is far superior to other programs and the camaraderie I built with my classmates has carried on past our Blackboard chats.

Ask a Question or Leave a Reply

The author Classy Career Girl gets email notifications for all questions or replies to this post.

Some HTML allowed. Keep your comments above the belt or risk having them deleted. Signup for a Gravatar to have your pictures show up by your comment.