According to recent research by The Job Satisfaction Index over half of 18-35 year old's are looking to move roles within the next year despite the majority being fairly happy in their current jobs. We may want a change or pay rise, but how many of us can honestly know what the right next move should be, or what we really want to gain from it?

Juliet Fallowfield is an Executive Leadership Coach and Senior Consultant at Veran Performance. As a coach working with leading professionals from multiple high pressure industries she knows what it takes to make it to the top – and stay true to your own interests and ambitions.

As a young professional trying to work out my next steps and how best to prepare for them I asked Juliet how professionals from Generation Y can prepare themselves to climb that ladder!

Juliet, tell us a little about what you do as a Leadership Coach. 

As a coach I work with executive leaders in high performance, intense work environments, often supporting them through tough transitions. I focus on leveraging their strengths and challenging self-limiting mind sets to help them enhance interpersonal awareness and reach for possibilities that might not have been visible or seemed viable before.

You’re currently involved in a London based networking group for young HR professionals, can you tell us a bit about that?

myHRcareers is a community of aspiring HR professionals who meet to share and enhance their connections, skills and opportunities. I’ve recently joined as a board member and am working with the group to develop a variety of programs and events around personal growth and opportunity.

It works really well as I take all my experience of the industry at an executive level and work back down supporting our next generation of leaders in developing the skills and awareness they will need to grow within their profession.
 

What do you think is the biggest challenge young professionals face when building their careers?

I think one of the biggest challenges facing today’s young professionals is a lack of clarity about the options available within their chosen profession and the skills needed to perform them.  Beyond initial training there is a distinct lack of support for young professionals who have much to learn, not only about different roles, organisational cultures and industries, but also their own professional strengths and interests.

Does this have an impact on the choices they make?

Yes, I believe it does. Most graduates or “first bouncers” will leave their jobs within the first two years, but very often make the ‘bounce’ without a clear idea of what they actually want to achieve.  This lack of clarity can cause a lot of frustration and often means you end up in a role that just isn't right for you.
 

I think that is a feeling we can all relate to. But, how can we gain this kind of clarity?

One of the most important things to do, whatever stage of career progression you’re at is to spend some time reflecting on your core skills, interests and ambitions.

Focusing on yourself in this way isn't easily done alone though, and the conversation can end up being quite circular.

One of the best ways to gain such clarity is by talking with others within the profession.  Discussions with an independent party (peer, recruiter, experienced mentor etc), help to sharpen focus and devise strategies to overcome barriers. This month for example, I am working with myHRcareers to lead a workshop that will focus on exactly this – Workshops like this are an ideal way to get to the crux of your ambitions and find solutions to the barriers in your way.

That sounds great, can anyone come along? 

Our events and workshops are open to all aspiring HR professionals who want to share and learn in a fun way together.

Fantastic, what other things can readers do to find peers or mentors to have these types of conversations with?

The best thing any young professional can do is start building their own professional network. It’s important to make the most of mentoring and development opportunities at work but your personal network can offer you support and ideas for life.

There is a huge demand for peer-to-peer mentoring and a great number of senior professionals who would happily share their time and advice. The best way to find them is by attending different networking events held by communities within your profession and particular field of interest and sharing your challenges.

Best advice for any aspiring young professional reading this (re self awareness etc)?

Take some time.
Everyone has the answer the challenges they are facing – the key is regularly checking in with yourself and evaluating what you've been doing and how you're feeling and building your plans and goals around that. 

Thank you Juliet!

Achieving your Ambitions will be held on April 30th at ASOS headquarters in Central London.
Tickets are just £10 and can be purchased via Eventbrite.

For more information please email [email protected] or visit www.myHRcareers.com