I discussed last week how career crisis points can often be avoided if you take the time and opportunity to thoroughly explore the world of work and really discover who you are before you narrow your interests or make a decision on a major and career path. You can read that post here.
If you are a parent, be proactive by encouraging your kids to take part in a wide variety of activities rather than just specializing in one or two. Have fun as a family trying out different activities together.
If you are a student, be intentional about trying out a diverse set of hobbies and work activities and exploring a range of career paths before you are faced with making any college major or career decisions.
If you are at a career crisis point or turning point of any kind, take the time to step back and really focus on discovering or re-discovering who you are and thoroughly assess different career options and the job market before making any moves.
As a first step in this discovery and exploratory process, I recommend you try out a variety of activities in all six areas of the world of work using the RIASEC hexagon, the framework of John Holland’s theory which divides people and work environments into six occupational areas: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional.
I will highlight one area of the RIASEC hexagon at a time and suggest some activities that represent the focus of each area. You can do many of the activities in a short period of time, so they can easily be incorporated into busy schedules.
So here’s my challenge for you – choose at least 3-5 activities in each of the six areas. Focus on one area for a month or two months, or less time if you need to accelerate the process. Try out the activities with an open mind, have fun, and this is most important – pay attention to what you liked and didn’t like about each of the activities. I recommend keeping a journal or career exploration notebook to keep track of what you experienced and learned about yourself.
This week’s area of the world of work is the Realistic area. These people are “The Doers.” To try out and explore the Realistic area:
- Go camping
- Go hiking
- Play a sport
- Plant a garden
- Work with tools
- Drive recreational vehicles
- Build something
- Repair or tinker with machines/vehicles
- Work outdoors
- Work on a hands-on project
- Be physically active
- Take care of/train animals
- Refinish furniture
- Coach a team sport
- Grow plants/flowers
- Build models
- Take exercise classes
- Go hunting/fishing
- Go target shooting
- Do woodworking
- Work with computer equipment
These ideas are just to get you started – I bet you can add a lot more to the list. I would love to hear your ideas and what you discover!