Pick your career path wisely

Road sign reading the other way and that way

Would you believe we spend over 25% of our adult life at work and that 80% of people say they hate their job? That means 4 out of 5 people wake up every day dreading to get up and go to work.  It’s sad to think the average adult will spend a huge chunk of their life being miserable.

I get we all need a paycheck, so just deciding to stay home isn’t going to fix the problem. I’m also not advocating career jumping just because you’ve had a bad day or week. Not everyday will be perfect, not even when you find your dream job. But you can start now, making a plan that puts you on a path to a career you enjoy. In fact, here’s a FREE CAREER ASSESSMENT for you to help guide you in the process.

What do you value?

The best job for you lies where your values and skills intersect. What do I mean? Well let’s look at each separately first.

Ask yourself, “What do I value?” not “What am I passionate about?”. Passions can change, but values are lasting. Values and meaning go hand in hand. Really take time to drill down into this question. Look at the big picture and make a list of issues you care about. Would you like to bring awareness to a certain issue? What do you feel people need to know more about? Are some traits or characteristics more important to you than others?

These don’t have to be world changing missions either. Look around your neighborhood, do you see problems you can have an affect on?

What Problems Do You Want to solve?

Do you enjoy solving some problems more than others? What can you provide that improves the life of others? What do you do when you aren’t working? Do you build spreadsheets to help your favorite charity track participants, volunteers of donations? Do you spend your afternoons walking dogs for the local shelter? Think about how you can combine these things and build a career that surrounds you with these same opportunities.

It doesn’t matter if you’re into politics or the environment, if you can tie what you enjoy into what you do for a living, you’re bound to experience a more satisfying work life.

What skills do you have?

Now, look at what you are good at – or rather the skills you possess. Make a list of the technical things you can do like cut hair, create graphics, code apps or manage money. Then there are the softer skills like being detailed oriented, empathy, communicating, integrity and problem solving.

Now put it all together

The key comes with the combining of the two sets. For instance, if you feel strongly people need information or help managing their finances, plus you have tons of experience building spreadsheets for a local charity and you have strong communication skills with a sprinkle of empathy thrown in for good measure, you might consider a career in financial planning. Or if you have more of an entrepreneurial bend, you could start a financial or personal budgeting coaching program.

Make sure your final list of potential careers reflects something the world would value too. You’re got to be able to support yourself doing it. For example: if you love walking dogs, but live in a neighborhood that doesn’t have a large pet population, starting your own dog walking business probably won’t pay the bills. However, if you looked into become a tech or aide at your local veterinarian’s office, you still get to be in the environment you enjoy and make a living doing it.

Whatever path you choose, don’t quit your current job without a solid plan in place. Do the prep work. Update your career marketing materials. Soon, you’ll find yourself in the interview seat of the perfect career choice. For more information on a successful job search, check out chelliephillips.com.