Three Keys to Keep Your Career Healthy & Exciting – Key 1

For most of us our work/career is where we will spend the most of our waking hours, plus give us most of our income, so we need to prepare, plan and adapt to keep our career fun, fulfilling and fit.
If you start full time work at 23 years old, work until 65, with a 40 hour working week you’ll work over 75,000 hours in your life time. That is a lot of hours; it makes real sense to make it rewarding and enjoyable. These keys will help make and keep a vibrant vocation.

Many people put more research, thought and planning into their annual holidays than their careers. Don’t leave circumstances determining your career direction, take steps to manage your future vocation.

Tip One: Know Yourself Very Well:

Hold on! Isn’t this obvious?
After all we have lived with ourselves all our lives.

Problem is most of us think we know ourselves well, in reality we see ourselves from our viewpoint, and this viewpoint has been biased by our thinking, words we have believed that others have said about us. Plus many other things that have influenced us.

Also, most of us compare ourselves with others, wrong reference as there is no one else like you! You have a unique and carefully designed set of abilities, personality and passions. You know what you look like in the mirror, reality is that is not exactly what you look like, and it is a reverse image.

There is part of us that we see and a different part that others see.

The three areas that we need to know and understand about ourselves:

a) Our personality:

This will show areas such as:
How we are energised, by other people or time alone.
The way we like to talk in information, detail or big picture.
If the way we make decisions is more fact or people focussed.
If we prefer to have things planned or go with the flow.

All these can be measured by a substantial and reliable personality assessment.

Our personality usually does not change through our life, however personality does develop, often giving the appearance of change.

b) Our natural abilities:

These are the things that we do naturally well, not skills we have learnt. For example, you may have a natural ability to work well with your hands, this is different from learning to touch type. One is a natural ability the other is a learnt skill.
When we are doing what comes naturally it is very easy, requires much less effort and is usually more enjoyable. It is like writing with your preferred hand rather than your non preferred hand.
One is easy the other is a lot harder.

These natural abilities cover a wide range of activity and tasks. Knowing which ones you do naturally well and the ones you would be better to avoid will give you the clearest and most useful indicator for your career.

Natural abilities are not measured by questions and some can appear to be very close to another but are a different skill. Finger Dexterity, the ability to work with your hands is different to Tweeze Dexterity, the ability to work with fine instruments. Close but very different.
Spend some time listing the things you are naturally good at doing. You may need some assessment to work these out, write down the ones you know and asking others for their opinion may help.

c) What we are interested in.

Things that we like or are interested in is important, you may have the personality of a doctor, the interest in biology but you dislike the sight of blood. Becoming a Doctor is probably not the career for you in that case, however you may fit well in nutrition, physical therapy or similar careers.

What are those big dreams inside? Maybe what you dreamed of becoming when you were a child.
The better you have defined yourself the easier it is to be able to match.

Find a list of careers and go through each one, eliminating the ones that you dislike, explore and research each career you think you would like. As you do this you will find there are some you will cross off your list, adding others that you never thought of.  This exercise will help in defining both the work you would like to do now, plus careers you would like to work towards.