Your career, like any journey, has a
beginning, an end and a direction. For many people, the present
direction of the career is probably not a result of entirely their
own choices. If, for some reason, you are not happy with the
direction of your career, there is a way out: Take charge of your
career and change its direction.
1. Know yourself
Has it happened with you that after desperately looking for
something (e.g., keys) all over the place, you eventually found it
right in your pocket or drawer?
That's exactly the case with finding a new career direction.
Usually, we try to search for a new career direction by looking all
around, for example, at hot jobs, emerging fields, prestigious
companies, friend's career, what's safe and so on. Ironically, we
fail to look for the answer where it actually lies: inside us.
The secret of finding the right career
direction is not to look outside but to look inside. Know yourself
and you will automatically know the right direction for your career.
2. Dig deeper
Most people define themselves is terms of what they write in their
resumes. That's just the tip of the iceberg. To really know
yourself, dig deeper and uncover your:
Your strength is what you do well and enjoy doing it. We never fail
to admire strengths in top athletes, painters, writers, leaders but
fail to ask "What is my strength?"
Strengths have a solid connection with a person's career. According
to Peter Drucker, a person can only perform from his strength. In
other words, mediocrity is guaranteed if we fail to use our
strengths. So know your strengths and get into a career that allows
you to leverage your strengths to the maximum.
Discover your strengths by asking:
What am I good at and also enjoy doing?
What makes me feel energized?
What comes naturally and easily to me?
Personality is the sum total of a person's behavioral, temperamental
and emotional traits. For example, some people are by nature
extrovert and enjoy meeting other people. But some people are born
introvert and feel more comfortable when left alone.
Studies show a direct link between a person's personality and his
career. Indeed, if you are an extrovert person, you would do well in
roles such as sales, marketing, public relations. But an introvert
person would be better off in roles that do not require public
To know your personality in detail and its implications on your
career, appear at personality tests such as Myers Briggs Test
Values are what you consider important and valuable. Values differ
from person to person and can range from things like money, prestige
and power to more subtle things like respect, harmony and
Your values hint towards the kind of work that will suit you. For
example, if you value "achievement, "you would do well in roles that
regularly throw challenges at you. Someone else, however, may value
"helping others" and, therefore, would do well in occupations that
provide an opportunity to serve others.
To know your values, ask yourself what is important to you, make a
list and prioritize the items. You can also use value inventories on
the Internet to identify your values.
Should the work be interesting? Yes, for an important reason: If
your work arouses your interest, you are going to do well. History
shows that great achievers always pursued what fascinated them. Akio
Morita shunned the option of joining the family business of sake
brewing to pursue what he was interested in: an electronics
start-up. And he created Sony.
Doing the work that interests you can have a lasting impact on your
career. To uncover your interests, find out what fascinates you and
draws your attention.
Knowing your strengths, personality, values and interests is like
having a compass with its needle pointing towards the right
direction for your career.