Interesting Career Paths: A Case Study
This month, we’ve been putting the pieces of career decision together. We’ve talked about the role of motivated skills, core values, personality, and expertise in making career decisions.
We’ve also talked about the macro- and micro-levels of this decision. On the macro-level, you’re using this self-knowledge to decide your career path. On the micro-level, you’re evaluating individual job opportunities against your criteria.
As we wrap this month’s topic up, I wanted to give you a case study of an interesting career path.
Yes, you quick people…we’re talking about me. Here’s my story:
As an ENFJ, it is important for me to do work that helps others achieve their goals (in my case, their career goals). I need to interact with people on the reg, and I need to be able to use my creativity and imagination.
My top Motivated Skills (what I’m really good at AND love to do) are Writing, Presentations, Professional Image, Coaching, Creative or Imaginative with ideas, and Organization.
My most important Core Values are Ability to Exert Influence, Ability to Serve Others, Ability to Teach/Train Others, and Flexibility in Schedule.
My Areas of Expertise include resume writing, LinkedIn (writing profiles and coaching people on how to use LI), career coaching, interview coaching, writing blogs and other career materials, podcasting, the MBTI, and facilitating training.
Let’s talk about the career path I’ve had. With an undergraduate degree in music education, I started my career as a public-school music teacher. (Loved the kids; didn’t love the lack of flexibility with my schedule.)
After three years of that, I changed careers to corporate training. (Loved the training aspect and the fact that I traveled extensively; didn’t love that I had no say-so into the curriculum.)
Three years after that, I went into higher education—first in continuing education, then 20+ years in career services. (This is where I cut my teeth on career development, but didn’t love the lack of flexibility or the bureaucracy of higher education.)
Throughout my previous careers, I’ve woven entrepreneurial ventures, including selling Amway, teaching piano lessons, and making jewelry.
Now, as a full-time entrepreneur, I have found a near-perfect fit with my skills, values, personality, and areas of expertise. I have a huge amount of flexibility in my schedule, get to help people every day, and frequently get to give presentations.
Can you see how what I do as a career coach and resume writer fit perfectly with who I am?
Why this Matters
Here’s the upside of this person/environment marriage: There is beautiful flow between “work” and “life.” I talked about this recently on a podcast – that melding of the various aspects of your life into a blend in which the individual components are virtually indistinguishable.
I invite you to do a similar analysis of yourself. If you love what you’re currently doing, this exercise will help you get crystal-clear on why. If you don’t love what you’re currently doing, you’ll gain tremendous insight into what’s missing (or what’s present that shouldn’t be).
To listen to this week’s podcast, “Career Decisions: Bringing it All Together,” click here: