1. Find out what specific jobs are a good fit for you, and which specific work settings offer such jobs.
You probably have some ideas already about what you want to be doing, what you’re good at, what you liked and didn’t like about previous jobs, and what you like or don’t like in the cultures of those organizations.
But these ideas need to be supported with evidence. That is the purpose of a career assessment—to provide you with proof and clarity about what really works for you. Proof builds the confidence that you need to take actions that will move you from where you are now into that better fit through efficient and effective job change.
2. The faster and cheaper you validate this career hypothesis, the sooner you will find the right fit and start earning more with it. You can validate through first-hand experience by trying something (including bite-sized projects), or second-hand by visiting people already working in similar jobs and asking them specific questions that will help you evaluate a fit for yourself:
• How did you get into your field? Is that still a good way?
• What are the major responsibilities of your position?
• What is a typical workday or week like for you?
• What do you like and dislike about your position?
• What are the critical skills and personal characteristics needed in this kind of work?
• What are some of the major problems or issues that someone in your position faces?
• What are the prospects for someone entering your field today?
• What are the career paths of this profession? With experience in this field where can a person move?
If you get into a discussion about your background, you can ask:-
• Given my background, what do you think I need to do to become competitive for a job in this field?
• Can you suggest anyone else I might talk to?
3. Focus on a target or goal and use proven, effective actions to reach it. Your work is a sizeable chunk of your human experience—you are likely to spend 80,000+ hours in jobs, so finding and securing work should be a “grand” adventure.
I use the word “grand” in every sense of the word. Your work should tap into your highest aspirations and deepest values with a rank and appearance that announces who you are to the world and what you will do for it.
But we shouldn’t take it so seriously that we lose sight of living…when we say we had a grand day, we are using the world informally to indicate we had an enjoyable day…so we should also have a grand ol’time with the work we do.
And, like a grand piano, or a couple grand in your pocket, our work should have weight, or gravitas, something that adds value to us personally and to those around us…our work should enrich the world!