The Art of Starting in Your Career


in Careers, Coaching, Mentoring

Mark Twain once said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started,” and this sentiment echoes the wisdom of Goethe’s words, “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.” Often, the most daunting step in any journey is the first one—the moment of beginning. This rings especially true when considering our careers, jobs, work and the prospect of starting anew and never more so that in January.

In the landscape of work today, the idea of initiating a job search can be a labyrinthine maze, strewn with uncertainties, hesitations & pressure can be overwhelming and paralysing.  The comforts of familiarity in what we are already doing, or the fear of the unknown can often hold us back. However, the real essence of growth and evolution lies in the courage to go towards newness and change. Some embrace & seek out change naturally but for others including myself this is a muscle to be trained.

But why is starting so hard?

Starting is about movement and action and that momentum you get from taking that the initial effort. This first step into your job search might appear colossal, but it’s the foundation on which you can build future fulfilling experiences in your work. Those big experiences and goals might feel a long way off but with that initial step it takes you nearer them.  Here lies the magic of starting—a single act that holds the potential to transform our professional trajectory especially in job searching.

Where is your focus?

At this moment we are often guilty of focussing on what others are doing or more truthfully what we perceive they are doing. Found yourself reading about other people’s new and seeminly easily secured moves? I know I have. And whilst comparing yourself is a fool’s errand, but using that information can actually be useful….later. Hear me out we’ll come to that.

Turn the spotlight on you

But first the embarking on a job search requires both introspection and reflection, turning that spotlight on yourself. Time & time again with clients it is often the very first time they have given, space, time & energy on this. Yes, they’ve thought about their skills, experience, passions and aspirations before but usually through the lens of someone else; their employer, their boss, the performance review!! So, it can be tough, really tough, turning that spotlight on us getting to the nub of what really ignites our enthusiasm, what we are great but actually don’t like or no longer enjoy or even realising what doesn’t suit us to thrive. Grab that pen and paper or digital notepad asking yourself …..What 3 work things do I really enjoy (it could be a feeling, a strength or skill you get to do or a place that excites you. Keep this close.

If you find this so tricky you can look to others, not to compare but as a compass point to use as data and ask some great questions. There will be people or companies in the areas you find inspiring, so ask yourself what can I learn from them and what would I do differently. Again keep this close.

Keep going

Beginning a job search demands resilience and adaptability, because it involves stepping out of our comfort zones but this will stand you in good stead for what’s to come later. Remember it’s also an opportunity for growth, we don’t learn this stuff in traditional education so its up to us to build our vocational vocab. Every application submitted, every interview attended, is a step closer to new possibilities and opportunities.

In today’s rapidly evolving job market, the need to adapt and be agile is more pertinent than ever. Embracing change and initiating a job search is not just about seeking new employment; it’s a testament to our ability to navigate the dynamic landscape of our careers and this is a fantastic skill in itself to take to future work. It’s an acknowledgment that growth stems from stepping into the unknown.

If you can remember this when it gets tough or you are feeling uncertain, that with each start it opens doors to unforeseen prospects, leading to experiences that shape our whole professional story building skills that aren’t solely for job hunting.

The art of starting anew in our careers lies in recognizing the potential within that first step. Harness your courage, begin the journey and you’ll see the fruits of your labour in both new and unexpected opportunities.

So remember, the key to unlocking your future lies in the singular not simple act of starting.