“How do I find the right job/career for me?”
The above is an age-old question, right? Everyone has asked it at some point. I remember being a young person trying to figure out what’s the best job for me, and I did what most people do. I picked the wrong one. I so wish I had pondered the above question. *sigh*
Let me tell you my own personal career horror story – it’s scarier than “Silence of the Lambs.”
My first job was in a beautiful, yet stuffy bank in downtown Kansas City. Actually, I loved the … well… building. But, that was about it. I hated absolutely everything else about that place.
The rigid rules, systems, and processes left me with little opportunity to be creative – at least the sort of “creative” I wanted and yearned to be. I loved the people but hated the job.
“Numbers…that’s something you can count on,” a colleague said to me one day while pouting and dreading my day in that beige and gray world of banking. Well, he was right, I could “count on” or rely on numbers, but I certainly hated dealing with ’em.
Sadly, it showed in my reporting. I could NEVER get those dang financial reports right. Yeah, I hated all that stuff and that’s likely why I wasn’t as successful at it as I could have been!
Asking “what’s the best job for me?”
You gotta consider your core values.
I’d love to tell you the reason my career launched was that I did an in-depth self-assessment. Nah, that didn’t happen. As I mentioned, I didn’t even know to do that.
In pondering your life’s work, you must think of who you are at your core. Yes, ask yourself: what brings the most fulfillment and joy to my day? What core values govern how you behave or enrich your life?
For me, the answer was simple. I love learning, humor, and inspiring others. To this very day, those 3 core values (and a few more) drive just about everything I do. The most meaningful relationships in my life allow me to learn, inspire, and have fun! My hobbies do the same! Even when I volunteer, I want to be true to those core values. It’s who I am and how I carve out my “place” in the world.
How do you carve out your place? What directs your response?
Core values will guide you to the best job!
Your core values do the same for you.
In order to answer these questions, you need some options from which to choose.
Very often, I use the True Colors word-groups to help people find what’s most important to them. The descriptors are the perfect words to help you figure out your core identity.
When you consider “what’s the best job for me?”, think about the things you love to do, experience and that brings you joy.
Do this and discover your core values.
When you have a moment, I want you to read through the list of words below.
Ask yourself “is this really important to me?”
From there, I want you to write your top three core values from the list. This is a great list I found on Carnegie Mellon University’s website. They also have a simple process to guide you. Don’t worry. It’s pretty simple and quite similar to what I’m telling you to do now.
For years, I carried a small sheet of paper in my wallet. Guess what was printed on the paper. Yes, my core values!
Core values shape your decisions – especially your career choices!
Back in those days, should I ever find myself feeling frustrated or emotionally ‘disjointed” I’d pull out my teeny-tiny core value sheet inside my wallet. I can’t tell you how many “in the moment” self-assessments I did with that sheet of paper. I used it as a sort of a compass. It kept me on the right track. It also helped me say “no” to things that could potentially be time-wasters.
For instance, if something – even what seemed like a good opportunity – didn’t align with my core values, I’d quickly decline it. Knowing yourself, and who you are at your most micro-level, ensures you’re always “true” to your most precious asset – “YOU.”
This self-discovery process will give you the knowledge and tools to remain in proper alignment in every area of your life.
How to find the best job for yourself.
Let me tell you something illuminating, yet not surprising – if you want a job that will make you happy, find a job that does “stuff” that actually makes you happy. Ha!
In my twenties, clearly, reports and numeric systems didn’t do that for me. Had I done even a little bit of self-discovery, I would have instantly known that! I was so young and had no clue.
Anyway, back then, I knew absolutely nothing about temperament research or even what my temperament was for that matter.
All I knew was that the banking job made me miserable – as did the black, navy, and gray suits they expected me to wear every day.
Little did I know the missing link in my day to day work life was a sense of meaning and interacting with people. Had I taken the time (or even knew how) to consider my core values, I would have quickly discovered the problem at hand.
If you want to find a fulfilling career – I mean a really rewarding one – I urge you to start with a self-assessment of your core values and what you find important in life.
What actually saved me from the bank…
Fortunately, networking was my redemption I “knew someone who knew someone” and before long, I was in a terrific area of work that leveraged my skills and shaped my career.
Once I navigated to the nonprofit sector, my true colors (no pun intended) began to emerge. I landed in the field of training and development. From there, I was able to craft my career and shape my destiny in balance with who I was and what was important to me.
Training and development gave me the all-important missing link in my banking job – it gave me people. I needed people to engage and to interact with.
Let me back up. In addition to knowing your top core values, tell someone in your life how unhappy you are in your job/career path, and exactly why.
You never know who they know. Soon you may find an opportunity is right around the corner and all you have to do is seize it!
Know thyself…I didn’t.
You’ll have a HUGE advantage on me because I’m telling you right now to do a personal assessment of your core values. I wish I had such a person to tell me the same.
At any rate, ask yourself “what 3 things do I need in a job/career.”
I’m not talking about salary, location of the job, or even benefits.
I’m talking about at your core, what brings you the most fulfillment and joy? What core values govern how you behave and what makes life rich and meaningful for you?
Again, for me, I love learning, humor, and inspiring others. Those are 3 core values that drive everything I do.
The most meaningful relationships in my life allow me to learn, inspire, and have fun.
How about you? What are your top three core values?
Want to be captivated by your job?
Finding the right career is the key to not dreading Monday mornings. Well, maybe that statement is a bit of a stretch. But, if you choose a profession that aligns with your personality and your core values, you’re more likely to have fun at work and be personally fulfilled.
In addition to your core values, your temperament plays a huge role too.
Before you choose your first (or second, or third career), I want you to examine your natural talents, skills, and life goals.
You may not be able to attend one of my Kansas City career exploration workshops, but you can start your own journey toward self-discovery with an online session or a free assessment at my companion website.
Finally….you deserve a happy ending too!
Some of the things you may dismiss as “hobbies” or interests just may be linked to your life’s work.
As a little girl, I always pretended to be a teacher.
As a young woman, I often taught classes (yes, Sunday school) and in other venues that involved information-sharing. Those were more than “interests” or volunteering – each pointed to my life’s work of being a training facilitator. Your interest and passion might do the same.
Hey. I want you to be happy – every day. I know. I know. Some days will “blow”, after all, that’s life. Still, for the most part, I want you to enjoy the labor your engage in and find fulfillment in whatever it is you do for a living. Your core values and your temperament can play a tremendous part in making that happen.
Find out with an online TCB coaching session.
After this experience, you will have a clearer picture of your strengths and the careers best suited for you.
My ONLINE self-awareness module will help you:
• narrow and hone-in on your personal strengths, skills, and interests
• explore careers that align with those strengths and your life motivations
• create a personalized portfolio – complete with your key strengths, marketable skills, and more.
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more and catch one of my online sessions!
Leveraging the 4 personality styles to help you when working with different personalities in the workplace. I also discuss often how business personalities play a role in how you approach work and manage work personalities in general. I also answer the question” “how does personality influence communication at work?” Your temperament plays a role in everything. I love talking about it and exploring exactly how!