5 Steps To Finding A Fulfilling Career
Defining your values, setting your priorities and following your passions are three actions holding the key to finding your dream career. Where you find yourself professionally 20 years from now depends on how well you know and understand yourself today. Here are 5 steps you should take to set yourself on a path to a fulfilling work life.
Step #1: Define your values
Values are the things you believe to be most important in life. They determine your goals and shape how you act in different domains - work, family, friendships. When our values are met, we feel a sense of happiness, pride and fulfilment. To identify your values, think of the times when you felt:
- proud of yourself
- fulfilled and rewarded
Once you’ve established your core values, do a thorough audit of your short-term and long-term priorities – are they in line with what you care about most in life? The challenge here is to be brutally honest with yourself – you may not be pleased to discover that materialism is your most fundamental value, but if that’s the case, then your action plan for life will have to include a well-paying job and access to high-quality goods.
Step #2: Know your strengths. Scott Dinsmore, creator of Live Your Legend, gives a great tip for getting to know yourself better. In the morning, after waking up and while still in bed, think about the things you are really looking forward to on that day. What is it that makes you jump out of your bed? What will people thank you for today? What is unique to you that also brings value to others? Reflecting on these questions will help you identify your key strengths – it may take more than one morning!
Step #3: Follow your passions. Knowing what matters to you and what you are good at it are two of the three main ingredients in the recipe for a fulfilling career. The third one is understanding what feels good to you and choosing activities that induce these positive feelings. Ashley Stahl, an award-winning career coach, urges us to reconnect with ourselves on a basic physical level. By paying close attention to the way your body reacts to different ideas you can identify what feels good to you and what you ultimately want out of life.
Step #4: Set your goals. Once you have a clear view of your values, strengths, and passions, it’s time to set your goals. Your goals should be meaningful, that is they should:
● reflect what you care about
● play to your strengths
● enthuse and excite you
Apart from being personally relevant, your goals should also be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. Commit to your goals and hold yourself accountable by setting micro-objectives and reviewing your performance against expected outcomes. It is also important to allow for some flexibility – the future has never been more uncertain and it is essential that your goals can adapt to the changing reality.
Step #5: Choose your surroundings wisely. Who you are surrounded with determines what information you get exposed to, which beliefs you develop, what actions you take, and what life path you follow as a result. Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you – those who inspire, motivate, and enable you to realise your full potential. Networking, when done shrewdly, has tremendous potential to drive us towards our goals.
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