Time For a Change of Direction? Part 2
In Part 1 we looked at your skills and strengths, but now we need to find out what actually makes you get up in the morning. It doesn’t have to be work related it can be linked to your hobbies and interests, your passions or the things that you naturally seem to know a lot about. So, I would like you to consider some of the following questions.
What do you love learning or reading about? If you are constantly drawn to a particular subject, then this might suggest that you have a calling in that area. I have a friend who was always reading and researching articles about farming. Instead of just wondering what it would be like to take a completely different career direction she did something about it, and yesterday she started her three year degree in Regeneration Farming. She is living proof that you can follow your passion. I might add that she lives in the heart of London, so fields and farming are not conveniently on her doorstep.
What activities make you feel alive and time just flies past when you are doing them? When we really enjoy something, we tend to forget time as we are so immersed in what we are doing. Wouldn’t it be great to have a job that did that for you?
How do you spend your leisure time? Maybe you have a hobby that you can turn into a career. Dragons Den member, Sara Davies MBE, turned her love of crafting into a a hugely successful business when she set up Crafters Companion.
Have you thought about volunteering? Volunteering is a great way to test out new areas that you might be interested in moving into. One of my school mum friends volunteered for the charity Home Start and soon realised that the area that she loved the most was showing the families she worked with how to cook. She has since gone on to work for another charity where she teaches groups of people about healthy eating.
What sort of things do people regularly ask your advice and opinion on? When you are seen to have a real passion about something, people often think you are an expert in that topic, even if you don’t feel that way.
What are your weaknesses? If there is something you hate to do, look at its opposite. For example, if organizational ability is not one of your strengths, you may be better suited to a less structured environment where creativity is a higher priority than organization. If working in an office makes you feel claustrophobic, perhaps you would prefer working outdoors.
Do you like meeting new people, or would you rather work alone?
Does your heart pound when someone says, “let’s get creative” or when the words “let’s start talking numbers”? When I hear the latter, I tend to run and hide.
Could you sell ice to the Eskimos, or are you a blunt and direct communicator?
Can you motivate a group to perform, even when circumstances are less than perfect?
Do you catch every little mistake or overlook the detail?
Hopefully by going through this process you will start to develop a clearer idea of who you really are and what your strengths and skills are. Have there been any surprises? Have you realised that you have been in the wrong career all along and that it is time to take that leap or have you recognised that you are just where you need to be? If it’s the former, then it is time to start researching and finding out what new possibilities are out there for you. Remember, most skills are transferable and fit a broad range of roles. So, don’t let job titles scare you. Remember it’s just a title and it’s the detail underneath that is the important bit. It’s also good to remember a role in one organisation may come under a different title to a role in another organisation, but they are actually the same job, just simply wrapped up differently. So always read further than the first line as you don’t know what you might find.
You can do this!You have the skills you just need to find the confidence to make that move. Good luck!