Always remember…The road to a successful career starts with a draft.
Finding the right career fit is by no means easy. It takes a lot of environment exploration, and experimentation. What you need to know is that it can be done. You start by getting to know yourself and then ensuring that you are in the right environment.
Wherever you are right now, take a breath and start looking around you. Take another breath and register the place that you are in. Ask yourself what you enjoy most about the space you are in and what you don’t enjoy.
If you are reading this article at home, take the time to look at your surroundings and decide which items reflect who you are. For example, when I look around my family room, I see the sofa. It is a very comfortable sofa and since I love to read, I have spent countless hours reading on that comfy sofa. I have read many books on that sofa and yes, I consider myself a book nerd.
Following this line of thought, I move on to the book genres I enjoy reading. I quickly realize that I mostly enjoy reading travel, self-improvement, and career management books. If I dig deeper, then I would guess that besides reading time, my life and career have to encompass the three genres I read about in lived-in experiences.
If you are reading this article at work, look around you and ask questions that are relevant to your workspace. What items stand out as important? Why? Try asking these questions and let me know what you find out.
This process of exploration can be used for any space or activity you find yourself a part of. Environment exploration will lead you in a specific direction and the next step for you would be to start experimenting.
Where did your environment exploration lead you? Go ahead and build on that direction.
My dad always used to say, if you ever find yourself thinking that the grass is greener on the other side, be sure to go inspect the other side. This becomes particularly important if you are feeling that the grass on your side is dry, crunchy and yellow.
Once you explore the other side, you may find that you like the other side and feel the urge to figure out a way to move there. However, you may also decide that the grass is not as green as it seemed and decide to stay where you are.
It is an experiment worth considering. Start where your environment exploration took you.
Building on my example, I have worked very hard and missed out on, what in others opinion, are golden opportunities to ensure that my environment includes what is important to me.
- Upon finishing my doctorate degree, I did not follow up on opportunities that would have provided me with a prestigious academic position at an esteemed university. My friends and colleagues were horrified. Do you know why? I completed my doctorate degree because it was on my dream to do list. However, the expected transition after completing a doctorate degree, which is securing a permanent academic position was not. My love for travel was a priority in any role I was going to take. I needed to ensure that my future role included flexibility to travel as well as build on my educational experience.
- Continuous learning and self-improving opportunities give me a sense of accomplishment and pride. Hence, when considering career pathways, professional career development needed to be part and parcel of that pathway. As a business owner, attending and presenting at conferences is a valuable business expense. Attending conferences ensures I fulfill my need for continuous learning. Presenting at conferences puts me in a position to receive feedback on my work and to improve my teaching, coaching and consulting approaches.
- I am a Career Professional and so reading career management books should not be surprising. And as long as I continue to enjoy reading this genre, I know that I am working in the right field.
As you can see, in ensuring that I know what my priorities are, I was confident enough to not pursue the path that everyone expected because it was not the right path for me. Follow this line of thought in your experimentation.
- Which activity is valuable for you?
- When do you feel accomplished?
- What is a topic you read or can talk about for hours?
Responding to these questions will build on your exploration and help you move forward in your experimentation to find the right career fit.
Start Your Draft NOW
It is never too early or too late to write your draft to success. NOW is a good time.
Follow the transition from environment exploration to environment experimentation till you find yourself on the right side of the green grass. Real life tests and tribulations are sure to come in the way and stall our progress, stay focused and persistent in your opportunities to experiment and explore and your journey is guaranteed to be a lot of fun.
I can assure you:
- It will not be easy. It will take several attempts to find that perfect balance.
- You are going to have repeat this transition multiple times. And you should continuously check in to ensure that you continue to be on the right side.
- You can find the right career fit.
Try it out and let me know. Not sure where to start??? Let’s chat.