Do you love the job you're paid to do? Wake up everyday with a sense of enthusiasm and wonder, excited about the day ahead? If so, congratulations. This article isn't for you. Go and grab a coffee and celebrate.
Many of us, unfortunately, aren't in that fortunate position and, increasingly, our job defines us. How many times have you met someone new and asked, or been asked, what you, or they, do for a living? Doctors and nurses will be received better than journalists or bankers, for example, purely on the job they do. Unfair it may be, but that doesn't make it any less true!
The average person also spends almost a third of their life - when not asleep, anyway - at work, so this matters. It's important to get a job which reflects you as a person, rather than become a person who reflects the job. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is a job which aligns the two - what you do, and who you are.
Ask yourself what kind of person you are. A people-pleaser, or a leader, or an ambitious kind of worker who wants to reach the top. No-one is born that way so, somewhere along the line, your surroundings have shaped you. But all is not lost. There's still chance to get a job that's more 'you'. And the first step - wait for it - is to be more you.
It's a paradox in itself, step one, because 'being yourself' sounds the easiest thing in the world but, as most of us can testify, is sometimes one of the hardest. To help, come to terms with the parts of you that you keep hidden away. We're not quite talking about that Taylor Swift album you keep hidden in your car (although that's OK, too) but more personality traits. So you're always day-dreaming of big projects when you're faced with a spreadsheet? Good. You're creative. Do you lunge from task to task and throw yourself into every one? Bingo. Hello passionate and committed.
Things you perceive as weaknesses in your current role will be strengths in others - probably, in most cases, the one you want.
Ever looked at a friend, or colleague, go about their day and wish you had their way with words, or numbers, or spreadsheets, or painting, or whatever it is they do? Chances are, they'll have looked at you and thought the same. Only you won't know it. Things we do well, that come naturally to us, aren't seen as our strengths, so we tend to downplay them. Stop that. You are a living, breathing, talking, walking mix of abilities and strengths. Recognising them, and playing to them, is key.
Take a second now to imagine the fun things in your life, the things you love doing, and then ask yourself if you'd make a living out of it. Whether it's cooking or writing, knitting or fishing, your brain will probably stop you right in your tracks. How can you make a living out of that, it'll ask. You'll dismiss it as a bad idea and never think of it again. But what if you ignored the devil on your shoulder and pursued the idea? Meet up with like-minded people at a class, a conference or an event and you'll soon realise that yes, people do, people can make a living out of things they enjoy. It'll give you a whole different perspective.
Yes, the prospect of changing careers can be daunting but the idea of finding a job that's really YOU should make it worth the while. Just remember to start small. Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel from scratch; as he went along, the bigger picture began to emerge and a masterpiece was born. If you don't know your hidden strengths, or the things that you keep hidden away, then start with what you do know. The bigger picture will soon begin to emerge the more pieces you fit together.
If you would like to chat about your options and sound some ideas out with our friendly career advisors, pop into our Pitman Training Centre on North Street, Swords. Or give us a call on 01 8404075 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.