Do you love your job? Is going to work each day, something you look forward to? You spend the majority of your time at work, so if work is not something that you enjoy, it might be time to assess your career path and whether or not it’s right for you. There are a number of tools and approaches available for finding professional fulfillment at every step of your career.
The Formula for Your Perfect Job
If you haven’t found professional fulfillment in your career just yet, there’s still hope. While fulfillment will differ from person to person, there’s a simple way to uncover the perfect career based on you and your unique goals. Professional fulfillment in the form of the perfect job lies at the intersection of one’s Values, Interests, Personality and Skills (VIPS).
Why Career Decisions Are So Critical
While each decision you make may change the course of your professional path, the key is to have confidence that each decision is the right one for you, and at the right time. Knowing your VIPS when considering a career move is the best way to be confident that each move will be a fulfilling one. The more you can develop your VIPS, the stronger your sense of self will be. This will serve to guide your decision-making in the direction of professional fulfillment for your entire career.
How to Develop Your VIPS
So how can you learn more about your own VIPS and where to start? One way is to truly pay attention to how you feel with each decision you make and each opportunity you experience. Is the feeling “right’? If not, can you identify the reason why it is not? With each decision, you can learn a bit about yourself and feel confident that the choices you make are deliberate and worthwhile. Furthermore, each decision you make will bring new opportunities you may not have considered.
A Scientific Approach to Fulfillment
Another way to find career fulfillment is through career assessments. Career assessments such as our favorites, MBTI, SkillScan and StrengthsFinder, help to develop a stronger understanding of one’s VIPS. Even if you might be able to accurately describe your VIPS due to a strong sense of self-awareness, assessments can provide a much greater awareness of several key professional areas (all of which contribute to your fulfillment. These key areas are:
- How your values were shaped
- How you might be able to incorporate your interests into a future career
- The type of environment that would be a good fit for your personality
- The skills you want to use in your job (not what you’re good at, but rather, the tasks you would want to perform).
In a sense, taking one or more assessment is a bit like taking a shortcut to self-discovery.
The Payoff of Taking Career Assessments
Self-discovery is just one of the benefits associated with career assessments. This self-discovery is the first step to finding a job you love and experiencing professional fulfillment as I’ve seen through so many of my clients. These clients are energized by their work; not drained like so many professionals I meet. Even when working with clients who have started out with a bit more self-awareness, assessments have played a critical part in rounding out the full picture. The key is learning to recognize when your Values, Interests, Personality or Skills are not a match for your particular role/career path and then making a change. Other benefits include increased self-confidence, stronger relationships with co-workers, stronger communication, better decision-making and better relationships (to name only a few benefits).
Steps for Getting Started on the Path to Fulfillment
If finding fulfillment is something you know you need to focus on, try this simple approach:
- Make a decision, and reflect.
- Ask yourself: Does this fit in with my values? Does this interest and energize me? Am I enjoying this? If the answers to these questions is “no”…
- Make a change. This may seem scary because of the effort involved, and potential risk, but learn to trust you gut and take the risk. No risk, no reward, right? Again, think about where the risk can take you and how much better your life will be as a result. You might also ask yourself what the risk will be if you choose what might be the easier path and accept your circumstances (despite the indication of needed change).
If you repeat these steps with every new experience you will eventually know intellectually and intuitively what feels right. This knowledge is how you will start to grow and flourish.
Getting Started With Assessments
If attempting this process is something you’d rather not try alone, there’s always support in the form of assessments and assessment experts. The self-awareness you will gain by taking one or more assessment will help determine if the path you are on is the right one for you. Assessment results will also serve as your virtual compass to guide you throughout your career journey. This is how you will develop your VIPS and make better career decisions. Just think – if each decision you make is truly the right one, it will be just one step in a series that will ultimately lead you to your goal – professional fulfillment.