Career Choice - Identifying What You Enjoy
Once a year I take a trip to a spa. Relaxing in the steam I found myself contemplating the growth in popularity of mindfulness across so many areas. Coaching and personal development, parenting, stress management, sports performance, even executive board meetings.
Can this apply to career planning?
Is there a time and place for being present when you are: reviewing your past experiences, successes and failures; researching and imagining possible futures; predicting interview questions; any stage of career planning in fact?
Well, yes! There are times when I find asking clients to be in the moment (or a moment) brings HUGE results. Here is one you can try right now.
Recall a great experience, where you felt at your best:
Somehow everything flowed, you felt at home, comfortable with yourself, at the top of your game. You were energised, time flew and at the end you felt satisfied and fulfilled.
Now do this:
- Take some time in a comfortable chair. Relax, close your eyes and put yourself back there in that positive flow state.
- Now ask yourself: What was going well? What exactly were you doing that made it flow? How were you acting, thinking, being?
- Jot down whatever comes to mind. Perhaps: cutting through a backlog of receipts with laser-like efficiency, noticing others being persuaded by what you were saying, feeling that you were completely with someone feeling genuine empathy, speaking or acting with courage in a challenging situation, producing endless creative ideas to move something on.
Taking time to be back in that moment, I bet you picked up things about yourself that (quite rightly) you weren’t focusing on at the time. This is gold dust. You now know more about your motivators, values, personality and skills!
Some coaches and recruiters use psychometrics and other tools to identify these ‘strengths’. This is different to the common definition of strengths as activities you are competent or skilled at. Knowing what you can do well is great. Capturing what you love doing and why is magic!
Try this exercise and let me know what you identify. To help with identifying more of what you want to have and avoid in your career try the more detailed exercise here. Or if you struggle to articulate what you felt into something concrete to apply to your career planning, this exercise will help too.