There’s a reason they call it “work.”
To be successful in our everyday business endeavors requires a certain amount of dedication, perseverance, and commitment to doing what is not always easy. The good news is that work doesn’t need to be dissatisfying, overwhelming, or painstaking.
In fact, it’s quite possible to make a career of doing work that brings you joy, stimulates your thinking, utilizes your skills and talents, and is a good match for your values and lifestyle.
It’s even possible to find a professional role that feeds your passion, and I recommend that you do.
The first step in making a good career choice is to select a professional track that aligns with your personal motives, interests and values.
Motives are the reasons we do what we do. Are you working simply to pay bills, or is there a deeper life purpose that underlies your professional goals?
Interests are topics, issues, activities, skills and talents to which you are naturally drawn. Interests are developed over time and are unique to you and your personality. Most often, these are things you would pursue even if nobody paid you to do them. For example, do you like sports or writing? Are you more interested in working indoors, with a team, or outside in solitude?
Values are the set rules by which each individual lives. Values are generally established early in life, most often learned from key role models like parents or teachers. Your values may include things like a strong work ethic, or a commitment to sustainability. Whatever they are, your best career choice will provide a way for your values to shine.
Once you’re clear on the motives, interests and values that guide your choices, there are other important considerations.
Lifestyle is an important consideration when choosing a career path. How many hours do you want to work, and do you prefer a flexible schedule or something more predictable or regimented? Is travel important to you, or are you someone who prefers to stay close to home? There is no right or wrong answer to these questions. Choosing the best kind of work for you is all about discovering what is the best match for your lifestyle, goals and desires.
A certain level of Responsibility comes with any kind of work, but high levels of responsibility are not always the best measure of success. Do you have a high tolerance for risk? If not, executive level positions or business ownership are probably not the best fit for you. You’ll discover your level of comfort and satisfaction by trying out different levels of responsibility. You may find that you earn a promotion only to discover that additional responsibility does not equate to greater satisfaction for you. Likewise, you may be the person who gains enormous satisfaction with each increase in responsibility. Rather than falling into the common trap of rating your success based upon a certain level of responsibility, I encourage you to give strong consideration to your level of satisfaction with your work… not matter your position. It’s never too late to change course.
What kind of company culture is most comfortable to you? Is your personal style more formal, more relaxed, or somewhere in between? Are you attracted to a more traditional type of top-down hierarchy, or a structure in which everyone shares equal responsibility? Can you see your values reflected in the culture in which you are working? I encourage you to investigate the kinds of companies and cultures represented in contemporary business and see what appeals to you.
Discovering one’s ideal career path is a process you may navigate more than once during your professional career. There is, unfortunately, no magic wand when it comes to finding the “perfect” path. This is where the right kind of resource such as a career coach or business consultant can really help streamline the process.
Making the right career choice will make a positive difference in every aspect of your life. You don’t have to go it alone. I am here to help you discover your path.
Your success is my business,