combine their expertise to help you find your perfect match, both professionally and personally.
Looking for a new relationship can be compared to changing career, with people often not knowing where to start and feeling daunted and overwhelmed. In this article, career coach, Grace Owen and relationship coach, Candy Jannetta, combine their expertise to help you find your perfect match, both professionally and personally.
Where are you now?
We have more choices and opportunities these days than ever before, but finding someone special or making a career change, by choice or through compulsory redundancy, can still feel daunting and overwhelming.
There are numerous internet dating websites, traditional dating agencies and even the old-fashioned ‘lonely-heart’ columns. Career-wise there are a myriad of options including working full-time, part-time, going freelance, being self-employed or even a mixture of these.
Before you consider all the options, have a think about where you are today. Perhaps you have come out of a bad relationship or been single for many years and are struggling to meet the right person. In terms of your career you may be burnt out, stuck in a rut, feel confused about where you are headed or be looking for work-life balance.
To be successful at finding a partner or the next step in your career you need to be specific and honest about who or what you are looking for, as you’ll stand more chance of attracting a long-lasting relationship or that special role. You need to strike a fine balance between being overly fussy and excluding possible partners or work opportunities or being so open that you’ll consider everyone and anything.
Although you may never admit to it many of us have, at some point, written down a list of attributes we’d like in a partner. Whilst people or jobs rarely conform to lists (but there are always exceptions to the rule) it is helpful to consider the following. Ask yourself which of these are most important and where you may be willing to make compromises and trade offs.
What is on your wish list?
One of the tell-tale signs of being in a successful relationship is when you share at least four core values with your partner. These could include integrity, health, adventure, security, having a good work life balance and even spiritual or political affiliations. When you are in tune with these, then the relationship will feel right. Remember there will always be highs and lows as you grow together, this is normal.
Similarly when making a career change, think about the company you are joining or the kind of clients you want to attract. Factors such as making a difference, supporting the environment or adopting ethical practices may be just as important to you as making money, promotion or enjoying a new challenge.
You may have an image in your head of the person you would like to meet, but look beyond that to their emotional or intellectual qualities. However, be open minded too and consider the whole person, in this way looks become less important.
Similarly, you may be seduced by a tall glass skyscraper with modern, hi-tech facilities, but think about if you’ll be happy in that environment and if the position also offers interesting work and opportunity. A desk in the corner of a spare room may not be glamorous but the rewards of being your own boss can far outweigh that.
Are you quiet or outgoing? Are you the romantic-type? Do you like to express your feelings or are you more reserved? Whilst you don’t need to find your mirror image, you want someone with whom you’ll feel comfortable and are able to be yourself.
Knowing yourself is important in finding a new working environment too. If you are the private-type then a large, noisy office may not be the place for you. Alternatively, if you are gregarious you may find running your own business becomes lonely.
Whether it is cooking, scuba diving, reading, current affairs or opera, you want to have things in common with a potential partner as well as being open to learning from each other and even discovering new interests together.
When making a career change you may want to develop your skills further and work in a different role in the same industry or transfer your skills and strengths into a new area, such as going from sales into marketing and/or new industry e.g. financial services to fashion.
Remember; be careful what you wish for!
What do you have to offer?
Financial stability and the sense of security that this can bring is something most of us want. If you are looking for someone who is affluent though, ask yourself if two houses and three cars will really make you happy or whether other things may be more important.
Equally you may be keen to earn lots more money, but think about whether you really want to work long hours or if you would prefer to leave work at a reasonable hour so you can see friends and family. You may even find that working for yourself is the ultimate lifestyle choice.
If you’re a city girl or boy, then you may not be looking for a partner in the countryside. That said if you meet the right person you may be willing to make the move to a new city or even a new country to be with them. The same could be said of a new work opportunity.
Our surroundings are important to us though and are often linked to the work we do, the interests we have and our friends and family. They can even give us a sense of identity or security. It is important to be aware of this when making relationship or career decisions.
Once you have a clear picture of what is important, you can think about practical ways to find that new relationship or make a career change.
Are you ready and willing to try again?
Most of us find confident people very attractive and this is an important factor in making any life change. If you feel confident on the inside then it will radiate outwards. If you lack confidence it may be because you have forgotten or are denying who you are because of work and family pressures or years of low self-esteem.
A great way to remind yourself of who you really are is to make a list of all your major achievements throughout your life, such as getting a degree, doing voluntary work, travelling to different countries, making a difference at work, renovating a house, having children, overcoming illness or caring for a relative.
From this list you can draw out the qualities that helped you to accomplish these achievements such as, strength, determination and passion.
You can do the same thing for your physical qualities. The media constantly bombard us with images of perfection, but it would be a very dull world if we were all the same. You may even want to consider a whole new image or at the very least a new haircut and a new outfit, which can boost your confidence and give you a fresh start, great for going on dates or to an interview.
Once you’ve done some research and have signed up to a few websites or agencies, you need to get out and start meeting people. You may be looking for a new relationship or a career change (or both!) and it’s often the chance encounters or contacts in your own network that can yield the most fruitful connections. Tell people what you are looking for and then be open to who you may meet whether at a networking event, a party, on holiday or even at the bus stop.
Remember to be interesting, but more importantly be interested in people you meet and what’s going on around you. You may even be able to help someone else looking for a partner or a new job. Ultimately, you need to go out and engage in life, rather than putting things on hold until you’ve met someone or found a new work opportunity.
Keep on Going
Whether you are looking for someone special or making a career change, you are likely to face rejection. This could involve difficult dates or unfortunate interviews, unrequited attraction or having someone pip you to the post for your dream job or turn you down for a bank loan to start your own business.
However, in order to find that person or next stage of your career you’ll need to be prepared for some rejection and you’ll inevitably do some rejecting yourself. Otherwise you’ll end up settling for someone or something that isn’t right.
The best way to deal with it is to move on and remember:
• Every ‘no’ that you receive is bringing you closer to the right ‘yes’
• Each date, relationship, interview or current work situation is teaching you something
• Comfort eating or drinking, moaning and shopping only brings short-term relief. Instead, do something that has a positive long-lasting effect such as meeting a close friend for lunch, having a massage or doing some exercise that you enjoy.
Remember that self-confidence, a positive attitude and a good sense of humour (GSOH) will help you to attract interesting people and new opportunities in your working life.
About the Authors
Grace Owen is a career coach, speaker and author of The Career Itch. For over fifteen years she has equipped thousands of leaders, managers, professionals, freelancers and business owners to excel in their work worldwide.
To buy Grace’s book The Career Itch – 4 Steps for Taking Control of What You Do Next, (£9.99 excluding p&p) or to find out about her coaching and speaking services, please visit www.grace-owen.com.
Candy Jannetta is a relationship coach, speaker and author of How to Meet Your Perfect Match. She has coached hundreds of single people to meet the partner of their dreams. To find out about her book, coaching services and workshops, please visit www.howtomeetyourperfectmatch.com
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