If you’re feeling lost, or know that you need a change but aren’t sure how to make it happen - follow along as we help you develop a tool kit that will serve you for life!
Many of us have felt lost in our career journey at times. Sometimes circumstances change or you realize that the work you’re doing isn’t aligned with your values. If you’re feeling lost, or you know that you need a change but aren’t sure how to make it happen - follow along as I help you develop a tool kit that will serve you for life!
For some, a career plan means a detailed plan for the next 30 years. But more often, your career plan combines self reflection and a bit of research to help you bring focus and motivation to your current job search, and doesn’t have to be set in stone. Over the course of the next few articles I will share some career planning tools and resources to help guide you on your way. This first article will focus on a key tool in this process: self reflection.
Self reflection requires that you examine yourself without judgment to determine what motivates you, what interests and excites you, and what strengths (and weaknesses) you may have. These reflections will direct the route of your career journey.
First, recognize what drives you: lifestyle, salary, location, job title, or something else? There is no right or wrong motivation, but it is important to know your motivators to help you find fulfilling work. For instance, you may prioritize a flexible schedule to accommodate child care, or outdoor adventures - over salary. Or maybe it is important for you to have in-office or field work, as that is how you fulfill your social nature. People with these different priorities would likely be happiest in different roles; one in a remote-first company with flexible hours and one in an in-person job with set hours. This can play out in a million different ways depending on your priorities and key motivators.
Second, assess your interests and abilities. Are you excited about data analysis? Are you interested in being outdoors? Are you a big picture planner who can bring together ideas? Do you excel at motivating a team? An important aspect of this reflection is recognizing not only what you are good at, but what you like to do. You may be a stellar team leader, but if you do not enjoy having a leadership role - then it may be better to look for opportunities without direct reports.
Third, evaluate your skill-set: draw on your experience, but don’t limit yourself to what you’ve done in the past. Learn how to generalize your skill-set. Perhaps you have experience as a heavy equipment mechanic; you’re constantly problem-solving, which is a general skill that is useful in any field. I will discuss Transferable Skills in more depth in a separate post - but these skills, ones that cross the boundaries of many types of work, are important to identify so that you can promote them to employers.
Lastly, use free tools like the WorkBC Career Discovery Quizzes or the the Alberta alis Plan Your Career site to aid in self-reflection and to hone in on your skills, skill gaps, and what kind of work you’re looking for.
It is important to realize that what motivates you and interests you may change over time. This is normal! You can use career planning tools at any stage of your life and career.
Post by freelance writer Anna Kobb
This blog is funded in part by the Government of Canada's Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program.