The events of the past year have led to many of us re-appraising what we want to do for a living. Whilst for most the need to find something new is not from choice, it still gives an opportunity to think again about what is wanted from a job.
Whenever I’ve been asked for advice by people looking for a new role, I’ve suggested stepping back from saying “I want to be a...” and instead think about what the role contains rather than what the job is called.
To start, think about the things that interest, excite and motivate you. They don’t have to be work related; they just need to be the things that get you out of bed in the morning. That is the easy bit, but then you need to think about why and sometimes you need to ask why a few times until you get to the underlying reason.
I like talking to customers.
I like it when they ask for help with a problem.
I like the personal challenge to fix things.
It may take more than one “why”, but it shouldn’t take more than five (“The Five Whys” is the subject for another time!)
You should end up with a list of the things that make you tick, and you’d want to form the core of any role.
Next think about the tasks that turn you off. You don’t need so much analysis here but try and divide them into two lists.
The things you’d avoid because you’re not very good at but would like to learn.
The things you’d avoid because no matter how good you might be, you just don’t want to do them.
Armed with your three lists, you should look for a role that delivers as much as possible of your first list, a smattering of the second and as little as possible of the third. If you land the job then you’ll be somewhere that interests you, has a core of skills you can already do and the chance to learn more.
It’s maybe true that there is no perfect role, but by focussing on finding one that speaks to your inner being and plays to your best skills then you’re giving yourself the best chance to find it. So, if you’re reconsidering what you want to do, whether by choice or not, why not take the time to find the best fit for you in whatever the post-pandemic world becomes?
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