coaching, Uncategorized

Career Check-Ins

In setting up my clients for success, beyond any coaching engagement, I thought — why isn’t there more of a career check-up available? What would work assessment look like if someone wanted to take a pulse check? I dug into some of my coaching resources and readings to share questions often ask my clients. If you want to think more deeply about your career and life — specifically how you might want to make your next professional move— then these career exploration questions might be a solid place to start your own reflection.

How you doing, career? How are WE doing?

I used to do a monthly check-in tied to a planner for my own work life and projects — thanks to my Get To Work Book. There are monthly prompts to “reflect and goal set” on a regular cadence to ask what is going well, what’s still in progress, what needs attention/focus, and what could/should I let go of that’s not getting done. I love dedicating space and time to think intentionally about what I am working on — and more importantly to look at the bigger picture: Career Direction. Maybe it’s time to set up some regular appointments to review and ask, “How’s it going with my career?” Here are a few questions I tend to ask coaching clients when they start on this career check-in journey.

Explore Your Career Interests

  • How did I get here professionally?
  • What do I want to stop doing? What deflates you at work?
  • What do I want to start doing? What excites you on the job?
  • What do I want to continue doing? (E.g. transferable skills)
  • What are the verbs or actions I enjoy doing at work?

Define What Work Means to You

  • What work excites you or makes you feel alive?
  • What are the things you love to do at your job?
  • How do you define meaningful work?
  • What do you want your career growth to look like?
  • What skills do you want to build and grow?

Ponder Your Career Possibilities

  • What do you find interesting?
  • What topics do you often talk and/or read about?
  • What issues or ideas do you genuinely care about?
  • What do you want to learn in your next role?
  • If work was not required, what would you do?

Transfer Your Talents & Skills

  • How do you want to expand on our professional experience(s)?
  • How would you like to use your talents and skills?
  • In what ways can another industry utilize your expertise?
  • What are the problems you want to work on?
  • What impact would you like to make in your life/career?

Want to learn more? Check out these reads resources to help you think deeper about your career direction: Find Your Fit, The New Rules of Work, and Designing Your Work Life. If you want to talk more, feel free to book an exploration coaching session to learn if/how I could if support your career plans.

How are you checking in with your work self? What ways are you checking in with yourself and your career?

#FemEdTech

Reflecting on #FemEdTech Voices: How To Amplify One Another

Last month, with the #FemEdTech network, I was really excited to curate and amplify some of the voices that we know in the field of educational technology — who are feminists, who are proud women, scholars, educators, learners, and more. The purpose was to tweet, retweet, and amplify those in the community and others we should maybe hear about. The rest of this reflection (written; as you can hear it all above) can be found on the femedtech.net website here. Thanks for the encouragement and support Frances, Lorna, and members of the #femedtech network.

#femedtech Challenge: We need to HEAR and SEE more audio and video voices of women in ed tech. These lists are far too share. Let’s amplify women+ in our community, this includes those who identify as women and non-binary, to share our voices! As I was curating the podcasts, episodes, interviews, panels, talks, and presentations of women+, I realized there are few of us in ed tech, specifically in higher ed, sharing audio/video presentation about our work, practice, design, research, etc. If I’m wrong, then please let me know by ADDING to this open spreadsheet #FemEdTech VOICES:

http://bit.ly/femedtechvoices

Here are a few suggestions of what YOU can ADD to the #femedtech Voices curated lists:

  1. Recommended Podcasts for the #FemEdTech Network: This tab of the spreadsheet is curating podcasts that #femedtech network might want to subscribe and listen to. Please include the podcast name, URL link where we can find or subscribe to it online, and the brief description of the pod. We would like to know about podcasts created for/and hosted by women+ involved in teaching, learning, ed tech, academia, or general issues impacting feminism. More ABOUT #femedtech network at: femedtech.net/about-femedtech/
  2. Suggested Podcast Episodes & Interviews: This tab of the spreadsheet is sharing SPECIFIC podcast episodes that the #femedtech network might want to hear. This could be an interesting interview, with a member of the #femedtech network, or perhaps a conversation/topic relevant to this community.  Please include the pod’s name, episode number and direct URL to the SPECIFIC episode. Thanks!
  3. Amplifying Your Talks, Presentation, & Panels: This tab of the spreadsheet is linking us to the audio/video archives of #femedtech presentations. This might be a conference session, workshop, webinar, keynote, panel, etc. Please include the speakers names/Twitter handles, conference/event name, title of the presentation, and link to where this presentation can be viewed (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo, Google Slides recording, webinar archive, etc.) Feel free to share where we can hear/watch this presentation online.

I realized my “ASK” for podcasts and presentations might be a bit more complicated and challenging. I started wondering: “Are women+ creating, making, hosting, or producing audio and video representations of our work? If not why not?” Here’s my take on the barriers for women+ are not leading with our voices:

  • No Humble Brags Given: For women, often they are too modest about their accomplishments or remain silent about the amazing work they are doing. This downplay about our practices is serving no one and does not help anyone advance in our careers. Some may claim imposter syndrome; whereas, most just don’t speak up to highlight milestones and wins on campus or within their field/discipline. Women definitely need to make ourselves heard at work. Literally.
  • There Will be Epic Fails:  You are trying new things, so there is a high chance that you will mess up, make mistakes, and will not get the results you want on the first try. You might be experimenting with new platforms, practices, and tools — but really, these failures will allow you to learn and it might even help you overcome imposter syndrome. Be prepared to not be perfectly polished, find editing audio of yourself awkward, and cringe at the physical ticks only you notice from your video presentations. We all have flaws — that’s what makes us human.  Get over it and share!
  • Developing Skills Take Time: You will need practice and dedicate TIME to get through the above failures — to eventually share your audio/video presentations. Deliberate practice over time will improve your skills. Like any craft, editing and production of audio and video does take time.  I suggest teaming up with a friend or even collaborator to learn and support your skill development, give honest feedback, and perhaps introduce you to a workflow or resource to enhance the podcasts or videos you are creating. You don’t have to do it alone! And, realize you will continue to learn and improve the art of planning, recording, and editing as you go.
  • Digital Tensions: Others have expressed concerns of “presenting” or being “seen/heard” digitally — as it increases their professional/personal anxieties and fears. It is scary to put things out there that you can’t edit (words) or augment (images/slides). Podcasts, videos, and more area digital records archived online that can be discovered, shared, and disseminated to a wider audience. By capturing moving images, verbal/non-verbal cues, and live expressions — you are open and vulnerable to others who stumble upon your work online. Audio and video has presentations not only capture your skills, knowledge, and practice — but these mediums also offer others an impression and digital trace of who you are, how you represent these ideas, and where you reside online (White & LeCornu, 2011).

All that being said, I really do want to HEAR and SEE what other women+ have to say online. I really appreciate and enjoy learning about what we are doing through podcasts, videos, and webcasts. By watching videos and hearing your voice, these mediums offer an intimate connection to you, your passions, your interests, and your ideas. These resonate and linger more for me in audio/video format — and these recorded archives allow a wider audience to stumble upon your work. Moving beyond text or flat visuals, I get some insight into your experiences and I feel a deeper connection to you!

Over the last few years, I’ve been thinking more about amplifying voices that don’t often get heard. This is why I co-host a podcast for/by women (#InVinoFab) and openly share resources for how to get started with podcasting. I hope to encourage others to think about how to “present” ourselves, skills, and knowledge digitally with more explainer blog posts, like  multimodal approaches for teaching/learning, virtual teaming for collaborating, and strategies for conducting interviews. I think explaining our process (e.g. animated explainer video creation) of HOW we create this type of audio/video work might be helpful. So, expect more posts from me that pulls back the curtain to show my process. Finally, I know my 1:1 coaching and work with professionals for conference events (e.g. Pecha Kucha talks), pitch meetings, and keynotes have been helpful as I share resources from a “technical presentation skills” course I’ve taught at the university the last few years. I hope to do a bit more of this with other peers to give them the support they need.

Are you interested in developing your digital presentation skills? Looking for a way to amplify your voice through podcasting or video talks? Let me know — I’d be happy to support and welcome your voice to the conversation online.