The majority of us have never been given the tools to figure out one of the most important questions we could ever ask ourselves, which is,“who am I and what do I want to do with my life?” The good news is that it is never too late to align your career with your life choices.
We all seek meaning and alignment in our lives. This can look different for different people, depending on their unique interests and abilities. If there is misalignment with career and life choices people are apt to feel miserable, which will impact the work produced, negatively affect the people around you, and even lead to becoming physically ill. Since the majority of weekday waking hours are spent working it should be a priority to enjoy your work. Finding the unique right fit for your life and work is key to living a vibrant, fulfilled and happy life.
To uncover the best job fit, you first need to understand the key attributes that make you distinctly who you are. The more awareness you have of yourself, the more ability to properly discern and analyse best career options. As you uncover each layer of who you are and what is important to you, you create filtering mechanisms. The deeper your self-understanding, the more power you have to allow in only opportunities that are most closely aligned with who you are and filter out career options that are out of sync with your core attributes and interests. Knowing your personal indicators for living a fulfilled life will place you on the path towards the right goals, and you will spend less energy and time on mismatched targets.
It is also important to take into consideration that the world we live in and each of us individually are intricate and constantly shifting. The core of who you are typically remains constant, but as you gain new perspectives and skills, or when experience shifts in your personal life, these variables can influence your career choices. It is also worth noting that as the future of work reveals itself, there will be different types of opportunities and jobs created that never existed before. Understanding the foundation of who you are serves as a framework, providing structure and tools to use when considering future career or life changes. Knowing who you are allows you to adapt more easily to new situations. You can choose to revisit this framework at any time.
Some people stick with one career their entire life. Others will experience a handful (or a couple handfuls) of careers. Whether you have one career or many, both can lead to a fulfilling life. Putting in the work to get to better know yourself will gift you the lifetime guaranteed tools to be able to help you avoid not stumbling into the wrong profession or making misguided personal decisions. Like with any other tool, if you leave it in the toolbox it won’t work. However, if you use the tool you will be in the driver’s seat of your career path and personal life, living with more ease and congruence.
Given that the first step to career fulfilment is understanding yourself, below are some thoughts to give you a taste of the process for examining your core foundation. Please note that self-reflection takes time and can be challenging to do on your own. The misstep many people make is trying to find a quick fix by doing an assessment or two. It’s recommended to go deeper with self-examination in a group workshop or setting, going through a guidebook or program with friends or hiring a career coach. Taking the time to get a solid idea of your foundation will set you up for continued success in your life.
Some key factors to consider:
Ask someone who knew you as a child about your temperament. You can then reflect on what elements seem to be consistent, and how you might harness these attributes in your daily life.
Create a timeline of major events. Start at birth and work your way to present time, writing down the most significant events that have shaped your life.
Create a list of things that light you up, activities that make time fly by, and things that make you happy. You can also track your daily activities to become aware of when you feel depleted or energized. It is just as important to know what doesn’t work, as well as what does.
Write down a list of your hard and soft skills, plus skills you’d like to acquire. Circle the skill you enjoy engaging in the most and underline the skill you are best at.
There are many kinds of values. This includes: the environment you work and live in, content that you engage with, the dynamics of professional and personal relationships, personal needs and wants in work and home life, etc. Document what values matter to you.
There is an array of different kinds of personality assessment tests available. I recommend getting a book on the Enneagram to uncover which pattern you are most attuned with.
How You Want To Feel
Identify what feelings and emotions would you like to experience in your professional and personal life,
A company setting can be just as important as the job itself. What kind of company practices, policies, values and settings are important to you?
As the architect of your life, you must first create a blueprint to follow. I hope you enjoy the journey you are about to embark on; where you are bound to discover the multifaceted layers of what makes you who you are and the gifts you have to offer to the world. Bestowed with this information you can build a happy life.