The famous ancient Greek philosopher Socrates was known for his spectacular ability to help others achieve their objectives. He was also honest to the point of bluntness, so there was never any danger of him telling people what they wanted to hear as opposed to what they needed to hear.
Socrates would help individuals gain an insight into their own lives by asking them a series of questions, not so much to illicit articulated answers as to make a person reflect upon a specific issue in their life. After all, it was Socrates who said, “The unexamined life is not worth living for a human being”,
To this day, this process of asking clients probing questions about themselves and their lives is a popular methodology in career guidance and coaching. At Position Ignition, our Career Guides ask clients questions about anything and everything that’s relevant to their career transition, from what their parents did to how they envisage their own life in five years’ time. And in our eBook, 100 Essential Career Change Tips, we have a list of questions you can ask yourself to help determine whether or not you should change careers.
Socrates’ most celebrated “client” was fellow philosopher Plato. What’s interesting about the relationship between these two is that Socrates was able to help shape Plato’s path as a philosopher to such an extent most probably because he himself was a philosopher and could therefore understand the world from his charge’s perspective. Similarly, at Position Ignition, our Guide Matching policy ensures that each of our clients is paired with a member of our team who is in the best position to support the individual in their next step. Your Guide’s background, personality, style, experience in life and in their career will be chosen to match and complement yours in terms of what you’ve done and where you want to go.
We could argue that Plato was the first person of note—or at least one of the first—to be “career coached”. Obviously the term “career coaching” wasn’t around then and neither were most of the structured career guidance tools that Position Ignition uses, such as visionboards, StrengthsFinder and The Wheel.
If you’re facing a challenge or period of transition in your career, be it:
- Finding your first job
- Attempting an executive job search
- Putting yourself forward for promotion
- Changing careers
- Recovering from redundancy
- Returning to work after a career break
- Transitioning to retirement
why not follow in Plato’s footsteps and look for support and guidance imbued with the wisdom, experience and honesty that will give you the feedback and inspiration you need to make that next step?
Whilst none of our Career Guides can claim to be a forefather of Western philosophical thought, they have between them a variety of life and work experiences that even Socrates would be envious of. This practical experience is what puts each of our Guides in the perfect position to empathize with our clients whilst getting to the heart of the matter.
What do you think? Do you know of anyone that predated Plato in terms of receiving this form of guidance? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @PosIgnition!