February 24, 2021

Finding Your Way Forward in Life and Work

Mental Health & Wellbeing

The surge in unemployment as a result over the unfortunate events of the past year has created a sense of urgency for many to find a way to close the resulting income gap. Additionally, these events have caused others to step back and rethink life. Many have been reflecting on the level of job satisfaction and the time and energy invested in their current job among other factors, as they contemplate switching careers or finally starting that business they have always wanted to have.

If you are among those seeking to find a new job, thinking about switching careers or wanting to start your own business, taking some time to reflect on yourself and your growth over the years is a good place to start. Five factors to consider in your time of reflection are: your personality, values, interests, skills, and strengths and weaknesses. Taking a moment to do this awareness check and answer questions related to these factors as you plan out your next career move can help you conserve time and energy and be more intentional in whichever direction you decide to take.

Points of Reflection

What makes you, you? Personality is a question of bent. Your bent refers to your God-given makeup. What are the unique characteristics and qualities that make you…you?

What are the core values that guide your life? Values are the things that are important to us such as kindness and integrity and that motivate and guide us in our decisions in all areas of our life. Knowing what your core values are will help as you align yourself with the right organization or establish the pillars on which to build your business.

What are your interests and passions? Identifying areas in which you have great interest and that bring you excitement can help you be more selective about the field of work considered and ultimately make whatever job you find or create more enjoyable.

What is your skill set? When it comes to skills there are three areas to consider: hard skills, soft skills and transferable skills. Hard skills refer to the skills that are taught through education, on the job and other life experiences such as computer programming, marketing skills, accounting and technical skills. Soft skills refer to the people skills a person has; skills that reflect their character traits and impact their interaction with others. Skills like teamwork, dependability and communication are examples of soft skills. Transferable skills are those that can be used in a variety of job settings and in different vocational areas. Identifying transferable skills is key to switching careers in that the world of possibilities are increased when you realize various ways to apply your skills.

What are your strengths and weaknesses? Consider the feedback you have received from past jobs to help inform your decision about where you want to begin investing your time and energy. What things did you excel in and what areas were more difficult and challenging for you? What have others noticed about you in terms of strengths and weaknesses in other areas of your life?

Resources for Reflection

There are a myriad of resources that address the factors mentioned above. Below I have compiled a list of books from my personal bookshelf that can help you gain clarity and further reflect on your future employment situation. These resources can aid you in not only finding a job, but being more intentional about leaning into your purpose, aligning your work with your values and enjoying your job while you are making a living.

  • Living Forward – Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy

  • Person Called You – Bill Hendricks

  • Facing our Fears while Pursuing Purpose – Dr. Deborah Gorton

  • Strengthfinders – Tom Rath

  • The Leap – Robert Dickie III

  • Love Your Work – by Robert Dickie III

  • What Color is Your Parachute – Richard N. Bolles

  • Do What You Are – Paul D. Tieger, Barbara Barron and Kelly Tieger

  • Business Model Generation – Alexander Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur

  • The Art of the Start – Guy Kawasaki

If you need help gaining clarity about your current situation and thinking through how to move your life forward, we would love to come alongside and help you. Call us today!

Written by therapist Roslyn Jordan

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