The emotional rollercoaster of career transition can be discouraging, and it’s even worse when you’re not quite sure where you belong. Rest assured, there IS a place for everyone, and there is a job where you can be happy; you don’t have to be unhappy like so many people out there.
To find your place you have to know who you are – your passions, skills, strengths and attributes, and where you fit in amongst the competition. Yet countless people can’t articulate these things about themselves.
Today there are various tools and experts to help you uncover your strengths and position you for career joy and advancement. There are a multiple range of career assessments. Some can be done for free online, and allow you to download quite a comprehensive report.
Other assessments need to be administered by qualified career practitioners. These tend to be deeper psychological tests, with the most well-known being the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®, said to be the pioneer of them all.
These assessments tend to include multiple tests that each measure different skills, strengths and attributes. The reports can be lengthy and detailed. While they can be very thought-provoking and invigorating, they can also be overwhelming or confusing. That’s why it’s best to seek guidance from career assessment experts.
There are a multitude of career assessment coaches, just be sure they are qualified to help you. Do your due diligence and ask lots of questions about which tools they use and what their test results will reveal about you and your career path. Most importantly, be sure there is chemistry between you.
A career professional can help you make the link between your strengths and the jobs that best match those attributes. They can coach you from the basis of your test results and align your strengths to career possibilities and target sectors.
Aside from formal assessment methods, you can also try some good old-fashioned soul searching. There is nothing more sensitive than your own intuition. Ask yourself: Where do you want to go? Do you have the qualifications to meet the criteria of that particular function?
Cast your mind back to your childhood. What excited you? What thrilled you? What captured your attention so thoroughly that your mother had to call you three times for dinner? I wanted to be a policeman since I was about five, and that led to becoming a London “bobby,” and eventually a Scotland Yard detective.
Another good source of insights is your friends and close family. Ask them to describe your strengths and who they think you are, without mincing any words.
Note: Focus mainly on your strengths during this process, but do be aware of your weaknesses because you will always be asked in a job interview to identify those.
Your gut and your heart, along with honest self-reflection, research tools and career experts, can lead you into the right frame of mind and help you achieve your goals. There is nothing better than being able to control your own career direction. Do you control yours?