If your career is a journey, are you going the right way?
`Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?'
`That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat.
`I don't much care where--' said Alice.
`Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat.
(Alice in Wonderland)
Only when you know the place you want to go will you know what directions you should head. It does not matter if it is right or wrong, as long as you know what lies at the end of your desired journey.
Thinking about career orientation, the above retains the same value. None of us wants to veer off-track or have to U- turn due to a false start.
Therefore, the very first step is to discover yourself.
Each of us has particular talents that, when expressed or exercised, make the world a better place. By taking a talent-based approach to your career search right from the start, you keep yourself heading towards the right career even when the actual direction shifts over time.
This approach consists of sequentially answering three questions:
- Who Am I?
- What Do I Want to Do?
- How Do I Get Hired?
For an easier approach, think about planning a trip or a vacation. First, you decide where to go, then what you need to earn for this vacation (the budget, the time, the companion, the place, the hotel…) and finally, what you need to do to get all of these. Are you listing down these things on paper and preparing for it?
It would be perfect if what we enjoy doing is what we are capable of. But what if it is not? What if what you like is not your talent (or strength)? Then you may have two options:
1. You are free to do what you enjoy, but hardly reach the top of a career that requires true talent. With the right effort, maybe some days you will get far with your passion. However, that way, the world has neither had your supposed talents nor the talent you want to become. I believe it’s such a pity.
2. Try to love what you are good at.
For example, you love singing and your dream is to become a super star. Unfortunately, you were not born with a good enough voice or music sympathy. You happen to have talent at craft instead. So, you can chose to practise a great deal of effort in singing and most likely end up an singer, not super star; or you can develop your craft technique to be famous worldwide.
There are dozens of professional assessments with easy online access that allow you to answer these questions quite well. All you have to do is make sure that it is a reliable and comprehensive assessment.
Your life is a car of nobody but you. If you let others decide for you, you are wasting gasoline for a car heading to places you don’t want to go. So tell us where is your location in Career Wonderland now?
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