Concern yourself with who you truly are—your personality and talents. Understanding yourself can be the foundation of a rewarding career.
For many people, a career is simply their way to make a living. After all, there are bills to pay and fun things to buy. Of course, your main goal may only be to make some extra cash.
On the other hand, you may be someone who wants more out of life, perhaps to follow a passion.
That is when your job search becomes more than finding a job—it becomes a quest for your passion.
At that point, it becomes important to dig deeper—into what you want from your working life.
At times, self-examination can be difficult, even painful, but a sincere look into yourself and your motivations will help understand what role is best for you. You will always have choices; now you need have details.
Starting on the way to your perfect career is simple. Just grab pen and paper—and ask one essential question:
Who are you, really?
Think about the person you are and who you want to be. Imagine living a life at the fullest of your potential.
What would that look like?
In time, there will be the moment of clarity—one of frank and painful realization: Not everyone can be an astronaut or President of the United States.
It may be a nice to think we have the potential for to do anything, and a little bit hurtful to think you are not able to live your wildest dreams.
However, it is time to be realistic.
From a young age, children are told they can be anything they want. The fact is, that is not reality. Some people embrace higher math, others are more creative or artistic. Not everyone can be good at everything. We are bound not as much by our dreams, but by our potential.
Desire to achieve is only part of the complex calculation of our lives. There may be a genuine career path, something ruled by fate. Potential is an even bigger part of our success.
Once realized, knowing who we are gives us great freedom. There is less pressure to be something that we are not, just because we want it. Concern yourself primarily with skills and strengths; craft objectives around them.
By doing this, you can incorporate these new insights into your career—and your life.
Think about your personality.
This exercise is to help you learn what kind of employee you are and what would the best job be for you.
Companies are increasingly looking at a candidates soft skills—such as personality and character—in making the hiring decision. That means the candidate that is a good fit to a corporate culture is one more likely to get the job.
Assessing your soft skills will help you develop the best career strategy for you:
• Are you an introvert or extrovert?
• Do you work with intuition, or is logic more your style?
• Do you want to think of new projects, or do you prefer the challenge of completing assigned tasks?
• Are you intuitive, or do you go by logic and reason?
• Honest answers to these questions will have a strong influence on the path that is a perfect fit.
If you are introverted, then working in a busy, lively and people-filled location will be a poor fit. An extrovert will find working in a secluded office uncomfortable. If you are visionary, then a function where you are assigned projects to complete may not be fruitful.
So, finding the right profession has much to do with your character as well as your talents.
Time for self-reflection:
Back to the list—what are the things you really want to do, enjoy doing, or could be good at with a little support and training?
• Do you see yourself as passionate?
• What are your interests?
• What are the things you love?
• What makes you angry or sad?
• Are there things that attract—or repel—you?
For this to work, you have to be hard on yourself. Self-reflection must be sincere and honest; weigh your strengths and limitations, both physically and mentally. Consider social and emotional abilities and restrictions.
Now for some inspiration! Do a little brainstorming! Your designs, your passions, your talents and qualities… just write! No criticisms; nothing is off-limits! Don’t be stressed out by this exercise; you can always go back later and fine-tune the list. Filter out some of the things that do not apply.
For now, all you need to do is write them down. Perhaps you can ask a friend to help; the bottom line is to see yourself as others see you–and bring the two into alignment. What would you like to achieve, as the person you really are?
Have a clear vision!
It is a question heard it almost every interview—where do you see yourself in five, ten or even fifteen years from now? What will you be doing; where are you and what have you become?
Stay grounded on this one; don’t hold back. Be realistic. For example, if you are not proficient at math do not imagine yourself as an astrophysicist.
Let the best fit for you come to you naturally—organically!
Take your time and reflect on what you have written, your dreams your plans and what makes you happy. What do you see?
On the paper in front of you, is there a common theme? When you look at the list, are you excited for the future? If you are—you are on the right track!
If you are still stuck, relax! With faith in yourself, it may take some time, but inspiration will come. Be persistent!
Research, talk and ask questions.
After listing your dreams and ambitions through intense self-reflection, the time has come for you to set goals. Put your priorities in order, even if you aren’t completely sure what they are.
Still have questions? Start researching. Talk with friends and teachers. Go online, or the library. Choose related websites, books or other related sources for motivation.
Talk with leaders in the field. Request a meeting with successful people in your chosen field. Think of it as writing an article on the winning strategies of famous people. You may be surprised how an executive will open up about themselves to interested up-and-comers.
When all is said and done… create goals!
When you have a career in mind—congratulations! You have just made one of the most important life decisions.
Now comes the fun part, making it so!
Do you need more training? Will you need to rework your résumé, to appeal to potential employers in specific industries?
From here, establishing concrete goals will be a snap. What steps must be taken to achieve these goals?
Take those milestones—five years, ten years from now—and use them as a blueprint. Write them out as a user manual for your career—step-by-step, even one day at a time. What do you have to do in a month, six months or one year to get there? Yes, these are your goals to the life of your choosing.
You do have a destiny! With a little effort on your part, you will be able recognize the career that fits your dreams.