Navigating your career path to a place of happiness can be a journey wrought with challenges. When we make career defining decisions, rarely do we consider the corporate culture and community that would suit us best. Usually, we make career choices based on job description, salary, job title etc., but these things in and of themselves don’t make us happy, as many people with them will often attest.
Work happiness is not a situation or a destination. It’s about experiencing the fulfilment of our own personal values at work that is fundamentally important.
This post is the first in a series of articles developed in collaboration with our good friend and career-coach Alison O’Leary, adapted from her e-book; “New Year, New Career”.
Our first theme is entitled “Cracking the Career Conundrum”. We’ll be exploring the questions and considerations that come with a career move, and introducing a number of exercises you can do to figure out your next destination.
In so many words, we’ll be helping you find your career path, giving you the tools to assess your values and understand your strengths.
So, without further ado, let’s get started.
Exercise 1: Dare to Dream
This exercise is a simple but often a revealing one. Get a piece of paper and answer the questions below.
Don’t hold back or judge what you write. Be as wild, unusual, ostentatious or as challenging as you can.
“If I knew I couldn’t fail I would…”
“If I didn’t care what other people thought I would..”
“If I were sure I’d succeed I would…”
“If I had the nerve I would…”
When you are finished, read through your answers and mull over them for a while. They might just give you food for thought.
Exercise 2: Find the Feeling
Imagine for a moment that you are already in a career or a job role you love. If you have an idea of what that is, fantastic.
Take a moment to really visualise yourself in that job; be there for a minute or two. What adjectives would you use to describe how you’d feel in that space?
These descriptors give clear indicators on how you want to feel in your new career or job role.
Exercise 3: Identifying your Strengths
Strengths are the natural talents you individually possess. Often we don’t consciously recognise them because we tend not to value what we are good at, and we are taught to spend our time trying to plug the gaps and focus on our weaknesses.
By identifying your innate talents and ensuring a career or job role that enables you to use those strengths every single day, you are much more likely to feel engaged and motivated, and ultimately, be successful.
Suspend your natural instinct to dismiss your strengths. Instead, pinpoint what they are, and consider them in the context of the following questions;
How does this strength play out for me in a work environment?
How and where have I used this strength to achieve things at work?
How has this strength served me in my job roles so far?
What kind of career/role will allow me to use this strength and bring it to the fore?
As you consider different career paths and job roles, view them through the filter of your strengths, looking for roles and environments where you will be able to put them to work every single day.
These are just a few of the fantastic exercises that Alison recommends in her e-book, so if these have enticed you to delve further and discover what matters to you in your career, please visit her website and download the free PDF, which is on her blog page!
We will continue to build on these themes of self-assessment and workplace happiness in upcoming articles!
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Alison O’Leary is a certified Martha Beck life coach, specialised in career coaching through her Live True coaching practice. She has a 17-year career holding senior management positions in the digital communications and marketing field, where she specialises in people development, retention and management.
Alison is highly experienced in coaching, training and mentoring. She combines insights from corporate and personal coaching work to help bright and spirited people find a way to a career that is meaningful, purposeful and fulfilling. @