For most of us, 2018 was likely filled with some highs and some lows. While we would probably like to block out the bad and never think about it again, career expert Allison Colin Thome of Career Off Script tells us why we should take some time to reflect on the lows as 2018 comes to a close.
One great thing about the holiday season (aside from the time off of course) is that workplaces tend to be very quiet. It’s a great time to reflect on the highs and the lows of 2018. These experiences can point you towards the place you’re supposed to be, the career path that will actually feel like the right fit.
The wrong jobs with the moments you’d rather forget, the tasks you hate doing and even your decisions to move on from them, can all work together to steer you to the right place.
Take a Trip Down Memory Lane
Go as far back as 10 years. Your past decisions can point towards some pretty revealing patterns that can help you understand how you have been making choices in the past. Chances are you have not been basing your decisions on what makes you happy. And that’s OK – most people, like the vast majority, are right there with you. But you are more than capable of stopping the cycle.
The Suppressive Experience
Next we want to start pulling out your Core Values. And no, it’s not some gushy corporate lingo that you’re going to start spewing. These are the fundamental principles that guide your decisions, outlook on life, and ultimately reveal who you are. And they are so, SO important to finding your Right Career Path! When you’re doing work that is aligned to your Values, you experience true happiness – your job is great! However when your Core Values are not in alignment, you experience severe frustration and lack of motivation; your Values are quite literally being suppressed. Continually choosing work that is not in alignment with your Core Values, means a lifetime of banging your head against a wall and expecting it to stop hurting.
The Personal Inventory
This is where you’re going to find out all about your dislikes at work. I’ll bet you’ve been on autopilot for a while, completing the most mundane and unchallenging of tasks without giving it a second thought. We need to shake that slumber up if you are going to get clear on what is actually not serving you at all. Then you can ensure the task is limited (or removed completely) from your career path going forward. The devil is in the details and for this exercise that is who you are looking for!
Please keep in mind though that the intention here is not to help create the perfect career for you. Every kind of job is going to include annoying tasks that are actually necessary, because they allow for something more important. You have to distinguish though between the annoying but useful and the annoying AND useless. Personally I hate having to track my expenses but, it allows me to get paid, file my taxes correctly and generally continue to have a working business. So it’s useful!
You need past experience to inform your future experience. The wrong jobs with the moments you’d rather forget, the tasks you hate doing and even your decisions to move on from them, can all work together to steer you to the right place. The journey to a career path that is a better fit for you takes time. But you can rest assured that every hiccup will always be taking yourself one step closer.