Unfortunately, due to the way our society structures education and career-seeking, many young women find themselves walking down a very specific path in life. They make what they think are small and insignificant choices about which subjects to study or majors to pursue only to find out that they have a direct impact on what career and life path they pursue. This might work well for some women, but for others, it could go completely against the grain of who they are deep down.
And, it’s not as though society teaches us to seek a career around our personalities when we grow up. It’s more about skills, expertise, and what will bring the highest salary. What if we taught children from early on to seek education and experience that reflects their personality? Additionally, what if school counselors, admissions reps, and other mentors encouraged this throughout the preparation time for higher education? Let’s take a look at some ways to do just that.
Know Who You Are
People can spend large amounts of time embroiled in their careers, so it makes sense to choose something that fits basic character traits and passions, right? So why don’t more women do this? Well, I suspect that one reason lies in the fact that they don’t really know who they are at heart. They may also have been told to steer clear of their passions if they didn’t fit into a “mold” that parents or mentors set for them.
If this has been the case in your life, hopefully, you haven’t spent 30 years in a career you really don’t like. But, if you have, don’t worry, you can always change your life at any age. I recommend that you set the intention to make changes that will allow you to fulfill your dreams and a career that makes you happy. Listen to your intuition and follow your heart where it wants to go. It may help to take a personality quiz or core job skill test to get a better idea of what you’re suited for. Also, if you are a mom, teach your children to know themselves from an early age. Encourage their passions and dreams even if they don’t seem to make sense.
List Your Values, Dreams, and Passions
Take some time to express your inner feelings regarding your desires and dreams. I find that physically writing down my thoughts and feelings helps to bring out my truth and gut instincts. If these observations don’t resemble your actual life at all, this is a clear sign that you haven’t exactly followed your heart.
For this exercise, it’s important to not filter anything but jot down whatever comes to your mind no matter how out there it is. Try not to think about money, prestige, or job title but focus more on emotional satisfaction and what truly makes you happy. Perhaps you enjoy solving puzzles and working out riddles. Maybe you enjoy listening to people and having long conversations about their lives. Perhaps you have a penchant for lifting people up and sorting out their lives.
Create a way to list your findings that speaks to you. I find that using color pens and creative doodling helps to get the juices flowing. But that’s my personality…kinda the point. No matter what your “list” looks like, it will provide you with a starting point to tweak your career or find a new one. The more you understand what you truly want, the closer you will come to your dream career.
Do Something That Doesn’t Feel Like Work
Have you ever wondered why people differentiate between work and pleasure when it comes to their careers? From today’s modern perspective, the answer seems obvious: work is something you do because you have to. And, unfortunately, when you work in a career you dislike, you constantly live in the future, hoping to arrive at some imaginary destination in the future. Ideally, choosing a career path that doesn’t feel like work or limit the amount of fun you can have would help you to be happier and more fulfilled.
Be Informed about Potential Career Paths
Look for information about what it is like to do certain jobs that interest you. If you desire to work with people, for instance, research the possibilities and specific social groups that you are good with. Perhaps reading a social work degree guide might help you understand exactly what you would need to do to begin such a career. Or if you want to turn your hobby into a job, interview people who have done it. There are thousands of sports enthusiasts, camping experts, artists, and musicians who turned the love of their craft into something that made them money.
Get Experience First
In order to build the right career for you, you might want to actually get some experience in the field you are interested in. Volunteering or interning would allow you to test the waters doing a job that you’ve never done before. You could do this part-time if you’re working or going to school, or full-time if your situation allows it.
Building a career based on your personality and dreams is something that can boost your joy and even health. If you’re still unsure about making a change, consider how you feel at the beginning and end of your workweek. If you’re tired, resistant, and regretful, there is something amiss. Give yourself the opportunity to realize your deep dreams and truth. Take steps to make those dreams come true.