One of the questions I am asked most when working with people on their careers, is how do I know and find the role that is right for me?
It is one of the most important decisions you will ever make, but it is also important to emphasise that you are not stuck in one career for life! Finding the right career will ensure some real satisfaction and prosperity for many years, but it is also alright to make mistakes along the journey until you land on the career path that fits best.
There are several key questions to ask yourself when trying to find the best job:
SKILLS: What are your personal strengths and weakness and what areas have you developed through your studies or schooling? If you struggled with English at school, maybe your dream of being an Editor isn’t for you, but there are other avenues in the media that may well be a fit. Don’t close off your options too quickly!
INTERESTS: What sorts of activities and subjects do you find interesting?
VALUES: What values are important to you in your ideal career? Consider your beliefs, ethics and morals? Will these factors influence the place you want to work? Some environmentalists may be opposed to working with mining companies, or parents maybe averse to working with organisations that promote fast food? You need to ensure you have a values fit with the organisation.
GOALS: Where do you see yourself in ten years time? Do you have a goal to find one career and climb the ladder? Do you want to set up your own business? Do you want to find a role that will accommodate your family needs? Do you want to run a company one day? Do you have financial targets, or monetary obligations to meet?
PERSONALITY: What sort of personality do you have? Are you someone who enjoys the company of others and would thrive in a team environment? Or do you prefer to manage projects on your own end to end? Do you need strong management, or do you enjoy working autonomously. Are you a leader or someone who prefers to take direction?
Answering these questions is often not as easy as it looks. Often times, I work with people over many sessions, sorting through answers and conflicts. Many times, people paint a picture for themselves of what their parents expect them to do or what their high school counsellor said they should pursue. Life events can often change our path, and it is sometimes helpful to work with someone who is independent to help you question and challenge what you are truly passionate about.
Once you have considered these questions and mapped out your responses, you will have a clearer idea of what roles are “in or out” for you.
The next most practical step is ensuring that the role you are looking for can be attained. This sounds logical, but sometimes we forget about the practicalities! Do I need to approach my networks to gain experience in this industry? Do I need to source some more training or qualifications to gain entry into this field? Are the roles easily accessible through job advertisements? Do I need to travel overseas where this job field is more prevalent? Can this role still satisfy my financial commitments and obligations?
Often times, people have worked or studied for decades in a field because that it was what they ‘fell’ into after school or life dictated they pursue that career, but their professional passion has always lied elsewhere. I work together with people to explore whether this passion can become a reality, and we break down the fear that often comes with a transitional change.
As someone who has been through the career transition personally, working with people on finding the right job is something I am really passionate about. Have a think about these questions above. Maybe it will cement in your mind that you are in the right role, or it might throw up some questions about career fit? Either way, finding the best job for you is a satisfying and rewarding process.
Given many of us spend more time at work than with our friends and family, it’s important to spend your days wisely!
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