Last week while I was working with one of my evening coaching groups a client, Dave, implemented a GREAT tool for brainstorming additional career ideas. Honestly in my 9 years as a career coach, I think this is the first time someone has implemented my advice so well. Rock on Dave! (Important note: Dave is currently unemployed. He has the most positive attitude I’ve ever encountered in someone who’s unemployed. As a result, he’s had two interviews in the past week.)
This is what happened, Dave had about 5-6 of his friends over last weekend for a career brainstorming session. They sat at his dining room table with a giant piece of paper in the middle, and each person had a pen. They brainstormed possible career ideas for Dave based on what they know about his past experience, his skills and personality. It was popcorn style – anything goes. All ideas go on the paper and you remove ideas that aren’t a fit later.
True brainstorming requires a no-holds-barred approach, because you never know what ideas will lead to another idea that actually is a fit for you. When I was looking at possible career ideas for myself, I stayed focused on teaching as an idea, that’s how I came across coaching. I stayed the course with my ideas and was open to others. If I had shut the idea of teaching down, I would not be doing what I do today.
Dave spent about two hours with his friends, and at the end he had thirty new career ideas he wouldn’t have had before. So invite your friends over, feed them some pizza, and brainstorm. Dave’s friends enjoyed this exercise so much, that they suggested they come back again in two weeks to give them a chance to think of additional career ideas. So brainstorm your little heart out. It can be one of the BEST things you do to define your dream job.
PS. Mindmapping is a great, structured way to help you brainstorm career ideas with others or on your own. Google mindmapping and you’ll find lots of resources that explain how this works.