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See Your Career As A Fool’s Journey

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Nobody reading this post would be happy to imagine their career or even their life as a Fool’s Journey, I wouldn’t.  
Mind you, the Fool is not foolish. In olden days, the court jester was always by the side of the King and had the right to say whatever came into his mind. He often saved many a Nobleman from beheading though on occasion was beheaded too! It takes a certain amount of intelligence to keep someone as powerful as a King in good humour.

Here I am referring to the first card in the Tarot Deck, The Fool and the Fool’s Journey is a metaphor for the journey through Life. 

 

Old Tarot Cards by Tania Felix
Old Tarot Deck
The first card of the Major Arcana the Fool card shows a smiling person with his belongs wrapped in a piece of cloth and hung at the end of a rod with one foot stepping into the abyss below. He is followed by a dog that might be following him playfully on his journey or perhaps even giving him the gentle nudge forward. The Tarot deck shows the journey of the Fool through Life, his mentors, the people he meets, the events that the Fool encounters, the big decisions, the everyday situations until the journey is completed and he comes a full circle with The World card.
Coming back to Careers, the job market has changed immensely in the last twenty-five years and the concept of a job for life is fast disappearing. Visions of a gold watch and retirement party from the workplace where you would have joined straight after graduation do exist but for many, caught in the middle of the recession storm and redundancies, or being perceived as unemployable with irrelevant excuses of being too old or over qualified, the new world is a harsh place compared to the one that they grew up in.
The workplace environment too can be stressful with organizational changes, restructuring, changes in employee roles and responsibilities and a host of other actions that companies take to adapt to changing times. Mitigating employee stress and uncertainty depends upon transparency, quality of working relationships, effective communication and counseling.  
While good companies do implement procedures and policies to help the employee cope, one size does not fit all and quite often, it can take just one small incident to set off the alarm and a wake up call that it might be time to move onto something that makes the employee feel whole, capture that elusive work life balance and a sense of personal and professional development challenge rather than just a tiny cog in the corporate machinery.  The employee starts to look with fresh eyes at his Wheel of Life and the length of the wheel spokes to regain balance.
You and Your Wheel of Life - Vatsala Shukla
Your Wheel of Life

The Fool Card as a wake up call

I have often thought of this wake up call and the aftermath as being similar to the appearance of the Fool card in a Tarot reading and the call to action that is conveyed.
The Fool in the Tarot deck represents a free spirit with a lust for life, knowledge and adventure and who is not afraid to take risks. The Fool represents the innocence and naivety of a child who is curious and ready for new experiences and change. The Fool does not sit on a fence waiting for Life to come to him; instead he takes the first step. The Fool is effective and proactive. He does not make choices out of fear and does not doubt himself.
As often happens, progressing through life, instead of using our past experiences and knowledge to help us make changes for the better, we become cynical and resistant to change and new experiences.
While I do not suggest taking The Fool Card literally for the purposes of managing your career or your life, I do recommend imbibing the enthusiasm for life that the card represents.
Like The Fool, be open-minded, eager for new knowledge and accept your experiences, the twists and turns in  your career or Life for what they are, whether pleasant or unpleasant as opportunities to learn and grow.
When that moment of clarity hits you, the first question that you need to ask yourself is, how are you feeling in the now? Whether it is a situation brought on by redundancy, the desire to have your own business or the sudden realization that your current job is not giving you what you need, a whole host of questions do come to your mind. Be intuitive and think about your feelings. This is a key to further logical introspection and getting to the root of the issue. Getting it right is important because a wrong decision can have far reaching consequences taking you two steps back rather than one step in the right direction.

Asking yourself the right questions about your career
 

 Assuming that you have come up with an option, some questions that you might wish to consider are:
Is this the right option for me to follow?
Will this option help me to gain a better balance in the various aspects of my life? 
Have I understood the advantages and disadvantages of the option?
Where do I stand in the SWOT Analysis vis-a-vis this option?
Do I have a plan to make things work?
Do I have a plan B? Plan C? Essentially do I have a back-up plan in case things don’t work out the way I want them to?
What is the worst case scenario for me?
What is the best that can happen?
When things are going bad or in the dumps, it is human to focus on the negatives rather than the positives of the situation. If working out what you do want is difficult, then cheat a bit and perhaps start with a list of what you do not want and take it from there.  Look at the various areas on your Wheel of Life and determine what is missing and what you want to correct, where the balance is missing and what you have been neglecting at the peril of your own happiness.
That one baby step will help you to identify your driver and might just set you off on a new adventure, a new career or a move that will give you a chance at job and self-satisfaction. Knowing your goal, it is easier to focus on the goal setting process and emerge a winner.
When you go through the process of introspection and finding the answers to the questions mentioned particularly for career decisions give a thought to what action would help you to rediscover and harness that youthful enthusiasm with which you started your career and the goals you had back then.

The Fool does not throw caution to the wind so do consider and think about your motives in terms of the big picture, your life. If you are motivated for the wrong reasons, then step back, plan more, gather additional information, consult people who are affected by your decision and then take the leap to change with confidence.

When was the last time you thought about your career? Is it time to introspect so that you can move on? I’d love to read your perspectives in the Comments Section below.

 

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What happens when we receive our Wake Up Call

Written By: Vatsala Shukla

Old Tarot Cards by Talia Felix

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2 Responses to “See Your Career As A Fool’s Journey”

  1. I love these self-reflective questions! I think they are good for many situations, not just for your career.

    There have been many times that I’ve automatically said yes to someone even when I didn’t want to. If I was completely honest with myself and answered these questions, I might have had a different response!

    Thanks for the food for thought.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      I’m glad you found the self-reflective questions useful for situations other than for our careers, Jennifer. More often than not, a bit of honest self-introspection can yield a decision to take a very different course of action but one that is more aligned with our core being. Good to have you visit The Karmic Ally Coaching Experience Blog after such a long time!

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Meet your coach

I believe the world would be a better place if high achieving professionals accepted setbacks and challenges to their careers as Wake Up Calls to embark on a Journey where their empowered course correcting actions create a New World Order that encompasses achieving their career aspirations & potential with authentic life balance.

Using a combination of intuition and analytical skills, I help my clients identify their real issues with exercises to still their mind and allow their inner feeling to emerge in a place of confidentiality and trust.

I work with driven, passionate, talented and ambitious professionals who’ve hit a speed breaker in their business or career create their desired breakthrough reclaiming control of their situation with customized strategies and tactics that work.

When my clients first come to me, they are not in a very happy place and need clarity about themselves and their chosen vocation. Their professional problems are playing havoc with other areas of their life. They know they need to take radical steps to change the status quo but they also know that they need support and accountability to get them their desired result.

I really get it, because at one point, I also experienced getting lost in my work rationalizing decisions that were detrimental to the other aspects of my life. I’ve struggled with and won battles of stress management, life balance and career decisions to emerge in a place where I can confidently say that I live my desired life according to my personal Manifesto and have created a business that provides me with a platform for my desired lifestyle and self-expression for myself. I want that for you too!

I adhere to the Certified Coaches Alliance Code of Ethics and Standards. A copy is available on request.
1st place BCB 2012
Email: Vatsala(at)karmicallycoaching(dot)com Phone:91 9818517664
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