My client, Lilly, was struggling to identify a new career path. She had researched career options and had completed several career research interviews but still had not identified a focus area. She felt like she had to make the “right” choice. This mindset kept her stuck in the information gathering phase of her process. She was fearful and couldn’t move forward.
Lilly had enjoyed taking the formal and informal assessments I had provided. Through the assessment process, Lucy became aware of talents and strengths she had. She felt like the general results of the assessments were accurate and affirming. I encouraged Lilly to revisit her assessment results in order to remind her of the talents and skills she had identified. We reviewed the results from her assessments. This was useful and provided validation. However, I felt it would be helpful for Lilly to take the awareness of her strengths and talents one step further.
As a result of the desire to go one step further, I created the “Discover, Internalize and CREATE!” exercise to help my clients keep awareness of their talents and strengths at the top of their minds. The results, a Word Cloud, are a constant visual reminder of who they are and what talents, skills and strengths they possess. The exercise, “Discover, Internalize and CREATE!” is explained in details below.
Lilly found the exercise fun, energizing and validating. She hung her Word Cloud next to her desk. When she started feeling the overwhelmed with the process of identifying a career path, she would look at her Word Cloud and be re-energized. By looking at her Word Cloud on a regular basis, Lilly was able to move from feeling fearful and stuck to awareness and motivation. Her momentum led her to identify her career “focus” areas.
In summary, Lilly’s feelings of anxiety about moving forward in her career search are common. Clients can feel immobilized due to the stressful nature of making a significant change in their lives. Motivational tools that help remind the client of their talents, strengths and skills can reduce their anxiety. Awareness of talents and skills such as connectedness, commitment and helping others can be the shift client’s need to take the next step in their career search.
Discover, Internalize and CREATE!
Give the client the following instructions:
Choose 5-7 words, from your assessment, describing your talents, strengths and skills. (You can also add your name to the list.)
Example: Connectedness, Unity, Embrace Humanity, Helping Others, Commitment
Open Wordle.net on-line: www.wordle.net/create
Click “Create Your Own”.
Enter the words that you chose into Wordle. Enter words that are most important to you several times. The more often a word is entered into Wordle, the larger the word is displayed. To keep phrases connected, use the ~ key (left of the #1 key), for example: embrace~humanity.
Click on Go!
The result is a Word Cloud, a creative visual illustration of your talents, strengths and skills.
Click on the Randomize Button at the bottom of page to change the display the results of your Word Cloud.
Print your Word Cloud and put it in a place where you can see it and be inspired!
Word Clouds can also be used as screen savers, bookmarks and in other ways.
Example from the words entered above.
Leslie Arnold, M.Ed., CDF, is a Career Counselor at Career Solutions Group in Fort Collins, CO. where she provides career identification, job search and interview preparation services. Leslie has a M.Ed. in Adult Vocational Education from Colorado State University. She recently completed her Career Development Facilitator’s Certification through the NCDA in December 2013. firstname.lastname@example.org