For most of us jobs are more than just a way to make money – they’re a way to express ourselves and use our talents in the world. That’s why it’s so important to find the right job for you, one that fits your interests and personality. (By the way we all agree here that the money part is usually pretty important too!)
To support creating a future career plan something that can be really helpful for anyone who struggles with coming up with ‘what next thinking’ is to create an ‘Ideas bank’
An ideas bank simply stores all of the great ideas that come to you so that you can keep referring back to them when you are ready to make a career move and need some inspiration. This can be a physical notebook or journal that you keep with you at all times, or it can be a digital document that you save on your computer or phone. Personally, I prefer to use the Evernote app on my phone because it’s always with me and I can easily access it whenever I need to.
So, how do you actually go about creating an ideas bank? Here are a few tips:
1. Keep it with you at all times.
A crucial tip. If your ideas bank is not easily accessible, you’re much less likely to use it. So, if you’re using a physical notebook, make sure it’s a size that you can always have with you. And if you’re using a digital document, be sure to save it in a place where you can easily find it and add to it whenever inspiration strikes!
If you prefer a creative approach you can also create a vision board with inspiring pictures and statements.
2. To support creating your Ideas Bank
LinkedIn has a great facility in Hiring Guides which can be accessed by job seekers, ‘Your guide to job descriptions’ listing a vast array of job roles along with job descriptions and the skills needed. Beware you can get very engrossed in checking out roles you have never previously heard of!
3.+ Write down EVERY job search application
When you’re job searching, it can be easy to feel like you’re constantly hitting a wall. No matter how many applications you submit or networking events you attend, it can feel like there are just no great-fit opportunities out there for you. This can be immensely frustrating, and it’s only natural to feel despondent so If it’s not working…..change direction :
Instead of an ideas bank have an ideas bank! Essentially, this means taking a break from brainstorming new ideas and instead narrowing down and focusing on executing the ones you already have. This may seem counterintuitive, but hear me out.
By not allowing yourself to come up with new ideas or by following too many ideas, you force yourself to focus on the ones you already have. This means that you’re more likely to actually take positive action on them, which is what will ultimately lead to results. And who knows? Maybe one of those ideas will turn out to be your perfect next opportunity or maybe you recognise a long-held ambition isn’t the way forward after all.
4. Delve through your old ideas
If you’ve been keeping an ideas bank for a while, it’s a good idea to go back and revisit your original ideas from time to time. This is especially true if you’re in a period of transition, such as changing careers, pivoting, starting a new business, or side-hustle.
When you’re in the middle of a big change, it can be difficult to see all of the possibilities that are available to you. By looking back at old ideas, you may find some hidden gems that you hadn’t considered before. So don’t be afraid to dig into those old notebooks – they just might contain the golden key to your next great opportunity.
5. Share your ideas with others
An ideas bank is that it’s a great way to get feedback from others. If you’re struggling to come up with new ideas, ask a friend or family member to take a look at your Ideas bank and see if they have any suggestions.
You can also use your ideas bank as a starting point for discussion when networking with potential mentors or colleagues. By sharing your ideas, you open yourself up to receiving valuable feedback that can help you refine your thinking and ultimately achieve success.
Whilst the job titles or careers you write down in the Ideas bank may feel incredibly diverse there will definitely be patterns running through which may relate to Leadership, a particular sector or category, people/ organisational development. Find the patterns as these are key to identifying the right roles and opportunities.
5. Be persistent
Remember an ideas bank is not a magic solution – it’s simply a tool to help you be more focused and successful in your change planning. So keep adding to your bank of ideas and eventually, something will click and you will know how to bring the idea to life, whether that be through networking, LinkedIn, job applications, or social media connections – and of course adverts.