Champion Your Career: Winning in the World of Work by Halimah Bellows addresses the needs of a new generation of career seekers in a rapidly changing economy and job marketplace. Designed as self-paced career development workshop in book format, it provides self-assessment tools to enable individuals to explore their personal passions, values, strengths and skills along with sound strategies and resources for decision making, goal setting and networking to begin a fulfilling new career.
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At an early age Halimah Bellows became aware of her natural ability to listen to people non-judgmentally as well as her desire to be of service to others. In her life as an educator, a career counselor and a coach, she has been able to marry her fascination with people’s stories with her deep interest in the world of work.
A Pacific Northwest and California-based career/coach for more than 20 years, Halimah Bellows holds an MA in English Language Teaching from the University of Exeter, an MS in Counseling Psychology from San Francisco State University and received training at The Coaches Training Institute and Retirement Options to become a Certified Retirement and Professional Coach. Author of Champion Your Career: Winning in the World of Work and creator of CAREER QUEST CARDS, she is a seasoned workshop presenter, group facilitator and talk show guest.
In addition to assisting people through career transitions and supporting retirees to “retire with fire”, she also focusses on helping couples and business partnerships build powerful intentional relationships as well as empowering artists, entrepreneurs, and professionals to develop their business and achieve their dreams.
People change careers in America generally between five and seven times in a lifetime. This is just something to bear in mind so you don’t get caught up in the dead-end thinking of, “This is my choice and I have to stick with it for the rest of my life.” You don’t because you grow and as you grow you may change and you may find what was rewarding to you once may not be rewarding at a later time.
You have to embrace the change. But the career development process remains the same each time you make a change. The first question you need to answer is, “Who am I?” That’s the bottom line. Then you have to know what your interests are and what you are passionate about. You need to explore your values and assess your skills, your strengths, and your talents.
Champion Your Career
Strategy for Decision-Making
There are action steps you can take to gather information about the world of work. You can do research in the library, you can attend workshops, or you can talk to people. Through books, the internet, and talking with people, you can find a description of the job you’re interested in, how much it pays, and how the labor market is in that field.
It’s very important to talk to people who are actually doing a job you’re considering and to find out what the job is really like. We call these informational interviews. Most people are willing to be helpful if you say, “Hey, I’m going through a career change,” or “I’m a student and I’m interested in this field. Could I meet with you for twenty minutes and ask you some questions?” Go to that person’s office to see what it’s like.. Find out as much as you can about the concrete details of the job before you make a decision to enter that career path.
Once you have gathered information about possible careers that align with your passions, your purpose, your values, your strengths and your skills, you will need to have an effective strategy for choosing among the alternatives.
We all have different decision-making strategies. Many of us learn from the bumpy road of life experiences. We try something and we say, “Oh. I don’t like this.” Okay, so you learn from that experience and you move on to something else. Below is a list of some of the decision-making strategies that you might follow. Look over the list and note in your journal the ones that you use most of the time or some of the time.
I usually make my decisions:
1. By choosing the alternative that would lead to the most desirable result, regardless of the risk involved. (Wish Strategy)
2. By choosing the alternative that is most likely to avoid the worst possible result. (Escape Strategy)
3. By choosing the alternative that is most likely to have the highest probability of success. (Safe Strategy)
4. By choosing the alternative that has both a high probability of success and one which I highly desire. (Combination Strategy)
5. By choosing with little thought or examination of the situation, i.e.., taking the first alternative. (Impulsive Strategy)
6. By choosing to let circumstances decide for me, i.e., leaving it up to fate. (Fatalistic Strategy)
7. By choosing to let someone else decide for me. (Compliance Strategy)
8. By choosing to postpone thought and action, i.e., “crossing the bridge when I get to it.” (Delaying Strategy)
9. By choosing to collect too much data and to spend too much time analyzing alternatives. (Agonizing Strategy)
10. By choosing to make a mystical preconscious choice, i.e., “It feels right to me.” (Intuitive Strategy)
11. By choosing to accept responsibility for the decision, but being unable to start the process. (Paralysis Strategy)
12. By choosing a process which ends in a satisfying result, i.e.., a rational approach with a balance between cognitive and affective factors. (Planning Strategy)