Design Thinking — a smart methodology to solve problems and plan, efficiently, is used by any organization that respects itself. What most people don’t know is that Design Thinking can solve any problem, not only stuff related to big organizations. How can this process, which is mainly a team brainstorm on steroids, be leveraged to help individuals finding their next career challenges? Here are my 2 cents on how to do that, by changing a bit the Design Thinking workshop, using some innovative approach, to get the most out of it. Examples will be shown along the way.
This is a workshop you are having with yourself. No team is needed here. Your career is personal, so do the Workshop.
Goals (5 min.)
Hopes & Fears (5 min.)
Work Journey (20 min.)
Pain Points (10 min.)
Big Dreams (20 min.)
Prioritization Grid (10 min.)
Task Board (15 min.)
Overall the activity is ~1.5 hours. In the end, things will be clearer with what is your career direction and what are the steps needed to be there soon.
Duration: 5 min. Define what you would like to get from a career change/moving workplace. What is the value to you? What are you trying to achieve?
Hopes & Fears
Duration: 5 min. What are you hoping for in this career change? What are the things you are mostly fear of?
Duration: 20 min. Map the phases of your job-life today: Waking up, driving to work, having meetings, working, returning home, etc and for each phase declare your activities, feelings, and thoughts in a way that will define exactly your average work-day and its effect on your life. In each phase, state:
What are you doing
Your feelings (not only bad ones!)
Your thoughts (not only bad ones!)
Duration: 10 min. In each statement in your work journey, mark your pain points. Try to prioritize them from the one most painful in which you would like to change in your next career, to the least painful one. The prioritization is a must here, as it's easier to find solutions by focusing first on the most painful ones, rather than trying to find solutions for them all, hence your decisions about your next career path must solve the highest prioritized pain points first, and if it will solve the rest - that's a bonus!
Duration: 20 min. From the most painful item to the least one, try to bring ideas on how to fix them.
Duration: 10 min. On a Grid of the most wanted dream vs. most achievable one, rank your Big Dreams.
Pick the Big Dreams by category:
Do now - low hanging fruits — you can start change stuff already now to improve.
Strive to - start to ignite whatever needed to achieve them.
Dream of - get back to that in 6 months.
Duration: 15 min. Define the tasks to achieve the chosen Big Ideas. Focus on the "Do now" tasks and the ones in "Strive to" category that you chose. Identify for each task — what can be done now, what will you do next in the short term and what you will execute in the future.
The result - a detailed plan
We started the Workshop with a lot of indecisive ideas, a mess in our head and multiple routes to choose from - "what should I do first?". Design Thinking workshop methodology helped us by breaking our complex challenge into small pieces, investigating first the most painful pains we have today, then solving them using some “dreams”, prioritizing them and splitting them into real tasks → now we have a plan to get the ideal career opportunity for our needs and wills. Design Thinking takes a challenge, any challenge and help us to solve it by a methodic set of activities.
Use it, you will be amazed!