You have to know WHO you are and WHY you want to work before you can know what you want to do and where you want to do it. Knowing yourself is the crucial foundational step in making any effective career decision. We tend to be a lot more successful and get a lot more satisfaction, not to mention have more fun and less stress, when we choose a career that fits WHO we are, rather than just what we are able to do.
To say that I love what I do is a huge understatement. It is truly an expression of who I am, and I feel inordinately blessed that I get to help people discover and confirm how they are designed, who they are as individuals, so they can find careers that are their best fit and love what they do too.
Let me share some important aspects you need to know about yourself and consider when you are making career decisions:
- Aptitudes and natural abilities – Do you know how your brain has been “hardwired” to do things quickly, easily, almost effortlessly? It is hard to really know what your aptitudes truly are without going through an objective assessment process where you perform tasks and activities to measure them. Since aptitudes stay relatively stable throughout your life, they are the key building blocks upon which to build your career. We tend to be happiest and most successful when we are regularly using our strongest natural abilities.
- Skills and experience – What things have you learned to do well through practice and use? Our skills tend to develop fastest when they are built upon our aptitudes and natural abilities, but they are dependent on our efforts and use.
- Interests – What areas particularly interest and fascinate you? What are your areas of concern and passion?
- Personal style – Do you know what your core personality characteristics are? We all have natural innate preferences for things such as how we relate to others, make decisions, get energy, whether we like to work independently or as part of a team, and what motivates us to learn and work.
- Family – Our families have a huge part in shaping our lives, both present and past. What have the role models in your family taught you about work and life? How do you want to integrate those things in your present?
- Values – What do you consider most important in work and life? What do you consider most meaningful? People are definitely happiest when their work aligns with their values.
- Goals – How do you direct your energy and efforts? What end or results do you want to achieve? Everyone has a natural way they set goals and a most comfortable time range for setting them that can be measured.
- Career development cycle – Where are you in the career development cycle? Are you just starting out or evaluating mid-career? Think through where you are in life and how this point in time relates to your past and what you want your life to look like in the future.
Get started by downloading the free 5 Things You Must Know to Have a Career You Love checklist!