Job hunting can be stressful. Perhaps the only thing more stressful is finding a job you don’t enjoy. Spending time doing something you love, as opposed to drudging through a nine to five, can make a big difference in health and happiness. The trick to finding that perfect match of a job is knowing what you want to do, which can be harder than it sounds.
Here are some ways to discover your skills and strengths to help you better find a job that brings joy, every single day.
This first idea will bring your friends into the mix: Select a group of people whose opinions you trust. Ask them to write a short story about a time when you were at your best. Chances are that as you read these stories, you’ll find some common themes and elements. Are you constantly solving problems? Are you a great listener? Do you thrive under pressure? Knowing how you function when you succeed can help you identify why you’re succeeding.
The next exercise is similar to the first, but a bit scary for some: Ask acquaintances, perhaps friends of friends, to identify your strengths and weaknesses. It’s always nice to hear how people perceive you in a positive light, but finding out what others believe are your shortcomings can be just as telling. The things people say may surprise you. Maybe those who don’t know you that well are drawn to your positivity, or perhaps they think you’re a bit quick to anger.
No matter the feedback, it’s important to understand that both of these exercises only note how others see you, not necessarily how you see yourself. Take the feedback and plot out the common elements. Do you notice a pattern?
Here is something you can do on your own: Watch yourself for signs of excitement. It sounds simple, but this can be an invaluable exercise. As you go through your day-to-day life, you’ll find that you have a higher level of interest in some things than others. Often you won’t even be aware of it. Do you find yourself studying the clothes people wear? Maybe fashion is something you should consider. Are you enamored by every pet you see? Perhaps animal work is for you. Keep an eye on all of the things you’re interested in and try to determine why this is the case.
This last exercise is another one you can do on your own: Note your standout moments. Have you ever had an opinion different from those around you? Are there times when you appear to be marching to the beat of your own drum? These may be the times to recognize your strengths. Strengths are often identified when a person does something different than everyone else, whether it’s through confidence or just a different way of thinking about problems. Your strengths are going to make some activities easier for you than others, which may appear as though you’re the only one equipped to handle the situation.
All four of these exercises can help you find the job that is a great fit for who you are. When you combine your strengths and desires, you can begin zeroing in on a job that utilizes all of your strengths in a field you’re fascinated by. Once you figure out what you want to do, you’ll need to get that resume in shape to apply…
Need more help learning about your strengths? Check out Life Reimagined’s Reimagine Your Career for some more hands-on assistance.