How to Find the Right Fit.

Start With a Question

When I joined CareerVillage as a Career Coach, the first question I was asked was…


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Biting Right In

Allexis is amazing. She sees the options ahead and is starting to question what is and isn’t right. The only thing missing is experience. She’ll never know if these jobs are right or wrong until she’s experienced them first hand.

So, I wrote her back and said…

Hello Allexis,

Finding the right job is a lifelong pursuit. So, I’ll start by saying that you are not alone. Most people ask themselves this question intermittently throughout their career journey, and the answer will likely change over time.

The best way to answer this question is through experience. Taking personality tests and exploring your options is a great first step. But, you won’t really know if you like or dislike a job until you do it.

Use the results of your personality test as a starting point to build on. Pick the first job on the list and reach out to someone who does that for a living on LinkedIn and see if they would be willing to talk with you about what they do. Ask if you can shadow them at work to experience the role in person. And see if they will allow you to volunteer to help.

This hands-on experience will give you the perspective you need to start identifying what you like and dislike. Then, you can go back and do the same thing with the next job title on the list, and so on.

Once you’ve gone through these options, hopefully you’ve found something you enjoy and will continue to pursue. But, if not, and nothing on the job list feels right, start looking at jobs outside that list. Think about what you are naturally interested in and reach out to people that work in industries related to that topic.

Over time, you will find people and roles that you like and your career path will become clear.

Hope this helps. Have a wonderful day!

-Martin 

Allexis’ Next Steps

  1. Reach out to people on LinkedIn who have the job titles listed in your personality test and talk to them about what they do.
  2. Ask if you can shadow them for a day at work and see what the workplace is like.
  3. Volunteer to help and get hands-on experience doing the work.

Getting Out of Your Head

I love this question because it really hits on the mental gymnastics that we play when trying to choose the right career path. We sit and “think” about what is going to be a good fit, rather than going out there and getting our hands dirty.

The sooner we can get out of our own heads, the sooner we can get out of our own way and figure out what the right job for us will be.

Stepping Into the Shadows

An advantage that Allexis and her peers have is that they are in high school. This may seem like it puts them at a disadvantage, but in reality people want to help students figure it out and make the right choices in life.

Owning that student mindset and thirst for knowledge is an asset when reaching out to professionals. Talking with them, job shadowing, and interning will give you the experience you need to know what role is right for you.

As a matter of fact, I’m advising a group of high school entrepreneurs at Catapult Ideas, who are working on this exact problem. They are building a network to connect professions and experience seekers in order to broaden the scope of career options for themselves and their peers.

What About You?

What would you say to your high school self if you could go back?

Leave your thoughts in the comments and share this with someone you know who is trying to figure it out!

Thank you for reading!

Much Woof,

-Martin

Are the People You Report to Excited About Their Work?

If you don’t know, ask.

My first job out of college was at a credit card company in the suburbs of Chicago. The place had great job security and lots folks I worked with had been there 10+ years.

I am constantly worrying about the future, and about what my life will look like 10, 20, 30 years out. So, I decided to get out of my own head and ask.

I reached out to people that I reported to, worked with, and respected at the company. Fifteen of them to be exact. And asked them all the same question…

“What are you most excited about?”

I got a lot of different responses, but none of them were the right-side of inspirational.

The best answer was from someone a few years older than me. They said, “I guess I kind of like my grad program…”

The worst answer was from someone 10-15 years ahead of me. Who said, “I just got divorced. I want to quit. But, now I’m stuck.”

Woof… I was stunned.

These were not glowing visions of an exciting future.

Having these discussions gave me insight into how I was feeling at the time and helped me realize that I was looking for something different. In my early 20’s, I wanted to be working on something more exciting.

Soon after, I quit. Beginning down a new, less-stable, but much more exciting path.

Stability vs. Excitement

Jumping ahead – I am not nearing the end of 20’s, with 30 right around the corner and look back at these early conversations and the impact they’ve had on my life.

It shaped so much of my early career, but now I try to look deeper. I try to read between the lines.

I still love asking this question, but I know that life doesn’t always have to be exciting.

Now, I think of it more like a scale, balancing stability and excitement.

stability vs excitement

There are ups-and-downs in every career path. There are boring, difficult parts to every job. What changes is the balance that is right at the time.

Everyone Has a Scale

The people that I chatted with have gone on to find new spouses, take on more responsibility, and find their own balance of stability and excitement.

And I continue to tip the scales back-and-forth, finding the balancing rhythm that’s right for me.

Thank you for reading! Share this with a friend who is looking for balance in their own life!


Much Woof,

– Martin