- Bamboozled by what career to choose?
- Unsure of your suitability to various careers?
- In a career that doesn’t excite you anymore?
- Dreaming of change?
If your answer is yes to any of these questions, then these simple steps are for you!
To live a life you love, it’s very important to have a good work/life balance. When our lives feel balanced, we are better able to handle what life throws at us and we are in a much better position to enjoy the simple things, be present with our families, make quality decisions and want to grow as a career woman.
To reap the rewards of having a successful career, you must love it or at a minimum, thoroughly enjoy it. What is career success you may ask? Well it’s different for everyone. For some, it’s simply being part of a great team, or it could be an outlet from the responsibilities of home or it could be about money. Some people want to grow and develop, others want to create, help, care for, instigate, build and explore.
So, how do you choose a career you will love?
I’m not going to tell you what you should do and I’m not going to go through a university course book with you. What I work on with my clients is self-awareness. I teach and mentor my clients to find out who they are and what makes them tick. They learn what they like and what they don’t like. They find out what motivates them and what triggers them. They retrace their childhood interests and strengths and compare them to now. They dream without restrictions about careers they will love. All of this reflection, learning, education, analysis and self-development leads to a-ha moments and finding the answers to their career questions.
The following steps are a snapshot of the self-awareness journey that I lead my clients through. More than six steps exist, but I’ve chosen a few tried and true steps for you to try now. It’s important that to get the most benefit out of completing these steps, you purchase a journal and write down all of your answers, thoughts, reflections, decisions and a-ha moments. If it’s not written down, it won’t be remembered and is not considered or utilised when reflecting at the end of these activities. It’s just like goal setting – a goal not written down is a dream! A career, thought or reflection not written down will not be remembered or prove useful when it’s time to look for patterns and analyse all of the information that makes you, you!
The six steps to finding a career you will LOVE
- Create a mind map of your motivators, key interests and loves
List your favourite hobbies, what you like to read, what you take notice of, what you spend your money on, how you fill in your spare time and what you dream about.
- Think back to your school days or reflect on your current schooling if you are still at school or are a school leaver
Consider the following – favourite subjects, least favourite subjects, elective subjects chosen, work experience undertaken, extra curricula activities you participated in and what your teachers said you were good at and also what you needed help with.
- Complete a skills appraisal
Write down the skills you have and the skills you wish you had, the knowledge you have and the knowledge you’d like to have and the skills you really enjoy and skills you least enjoy.
- Notice your beliefs. Beliefs are statements that we believe to be true about ourselves and our world. We all have our own unique beliefs that go back to our childhoods and continue to be shaped by our environment and experiences.
Brainstorm – what are your beliefs about work, your career and yourself? Write down what you believe to be true about yourself. Often our beliefs are statements that start with sentence starters like: I am, I have, I like, I am not, I do not like, I believe, I am good at and so on.
Remember – our beliefs can support us and propel us forward or they can hold us back. It’s important to believe in yourself to have a career you love.
It’s time to dream
If you could have any job or career in the world and there were no restrictions and nothing holding you back, what would it be? What would it look like? What would it sound like? What would it feel like? What would you be telling yourself when you are working in your dream job?
Reflect and analyse
Re-read everything you have written down. Take time to take it all in and reflect.
What have you learnt about yourself?
Are there any patterns or consistencies from your childhood to now?
Do you still like what your enjoyed as a primary schooler or teenager?
Have you neglected any interests, likes, passions along the way?
Are your dreams similar or different to what you are currently doing?
Think about the little girl in you: what special qualities does she have? She may be able to point you in the right direction?
Our career plays a significant role in helping us to feel balanced and living an enjoyable, memorable and happy life. We need to enjoy what we do and it’s important to want to show up every day. We need to feel valued and respected in the workplace and of course, participating in stimulating activities and having positive relationships with our colleagues helps to ensure we love our job. Our careers can single-handedly give us a zest for life and fulfil lots of our needs, if it is the right career for us!
Make the second half of 2017 the time to love your job and career. For some of you, you already do and that’s wonderful. For those of you that are not satisfied with your current career, make the necessary changes now. To achieve new results, you must take action and change something. You won’t believe how much difference even one small change can make.
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