Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Career choices that don’t clash with your personality

We spend most of our time at work – in fact it’s been estimated that we spend 12 years during our lifetime. That’s a really long time to be doing something that doesn’t suit your personality.

Happiness and well-being is not just a question of the profession you choose but, as it’s where you spend a big chunk of your waking life, it’s important you make the right choices.

Many factors come into play when it comes to job satisfaction – the role, the way we’re managed, the culture, our colleagues – and finding work that plays to our personality and ignites our interests is far more likely to keep us absorbed and feeling contented. Plus, as the lines between home and work become more blurred than they used to be, it’s even more important to make sure we're happy in our work, as all too often it spills over into our personal life too.

The benefits of feeling content at work are well documented. They include:

  • Improved health - people who are unhappy at work or under a lot of stress tend to suffer from a multitude of ailments, ranging from aches and pains to broken sleep patterns. 
  • Happier relationships – when people are feeling unhappy and unfulfilled, it can’t help but carry over into their personal lives. If you keep venting your workplace frustrations on friends and family, they’ll soon disengage, whereas happiness spreads.
  • Increased productivity – happy people achieve more. They find it easier to focus and concentrate and they like to get things done. And it’s by getting stuff done – or through feeling appreciated in the workplace – that you want to do more. It’s a positive cycle of productivity.

We’ve found a nifty little quiz that will really help you get under the skin of what it would take to make you feel happiest at work. The questions were created by a professor at Arizona State University. They’re designed to measure six personality traits, captured in the acronym RIASEC: Realistic (doers), Investigative (thinkers), Artistic (creators), Social (helpers), Enterprising (persuaders) and Conventional (organisers). The questions in the test may appear random, but answer honestly – you might be surprised at what they reveal…

Take the test >

And once you’ve taken the test, it’s time to reflect and decide upon the best career choice to suit your personality. The question is: how do you go about following your new path and making it a reality?

These three top tips should help you on your way:

1. Be patient

Nothing worth having comes easy. Having a clear path is a big step forward but remember – good things come to those who wait. Don’t be in too much of a rush to jump right into a new career path. Take your time, think things through. Do your research, then progress at a pace that feels comfortable.

2. Walk, don’t run

However unfulfilling your job may be at the moment, don’t run away and be very careful not to make any rash or drastic decisions. Work out a plan that takes you ever closer to your dream job, but not at the expense of all that you have learned and achieved so far.

3. Don’t let fear hold you back

So what if your dream career seems unachievable at the moment? We all have an amazing capacity to learn new skills so, in 99% of cases, it’s never too late to set your sights on something new. Most of the time, the only thing holding you back is your own fear. It can paralyse you and stop you from achieving your true potential. Follow steps 1 & 2 and you’ll get there when the time is right!

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