Finding Career Direction
Discover how to find career direction, with
James Manktelow & Amy Carlson.
James Manktelow: Hello, I'm James Manktelow, CEO of MindTools.com, home to hundreds of free, career-boosting tools and resources.
Amy Carlson: And I'm Amy Carlson from Mind Tools.
When was the last time that you really examined the career you're in?
Are you happy doing what you're doing, or do you sometimes feel that there's another career path that might be a better fit?
All of us have unique talents and skills. And when we're in a career where we can use those skills on a regular basis, our happiness and productivity soars.
However, many people aren't sure how to go about finding their perfect career.
It's a process that can take a great deal of thought and contemplation, but can ultimately lead to rewarding, exciting work.
JM: There are three questions that you need to ask yourself to find the right career.
The first question is, "Who Am I?"
We know this is an incredibly broad and complex question. But you can start by identifying your talents and strengths.
Which of your skills do people respect the most? Which skills have lead to your greatest achievements?
You may also want to do a personality test such as Myers-Briggs, or a strengths-finder evaluation. These tests can help you to see personality traits or strengths that you might otherwise overlook.
From this, write down your top three talents.
You can then use your findings to write a Who I Am statement that lists your key talents and strengths, and the activities that you most enjoy.
AC: The next question you need to ask yourself is, "What do I want to do?"
Look at your Who I Am statement. What kind of jobs would be best suited to your talents and strengths?
Which of those careers also match the values that you hold?
Then look at the career you're in right now. Is there any way that you can adapt your role to better fit your talents and strengths? Are there any openings available in your organization that would allow you to use your strengths more?
A tool such as Schein's Career Anchors can help here, as it will help you understand what you enjoy about your current career.
If there are no options in your organization, then you might want to start researching other career paths.
You can discover potential careers by attending trade shows and job fairs, reading trade magazines, and talking to people who work in the roles that you identify.
It can be a time-consuming process, but the more you analyze other industries and careers, the likelier you are to find a field that you're really excited about.
JM: Once you've found a field you're really interested in, the last question you'll need to ask yourself is, "How do I get hired?"
Start by writing out every step that you'll need to take to get into this new field.
Will you need a different degree? Are there any certifications you need? Is there any place where you can volunteer to get some valuable experience?
Set short-term goals to keep yourself on track. And, then start working to achieve those goals.
You can learn much more about finding career direction in the article that accompanies this video.