Do you want to find a job that you will love? If so, the key to is first discovering where your Values, Interests, Personality and Skills (VIPS) intersect. The self-awareness you will gain from getting to know these areas will help you make decisions that will lead you towards your career goals. 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 in that moment of your life. The more awareness you have of your VIPS, the stronger your sense of self will be, which will guide your decision making toward professional fulfillment.
So how can you learn more about your own VIPS? One way is to truly pay attention to how you feel with each decision you make, each opportunity you experience. Is the feeling “right’? If not, can you identify the reason why it is not? There are many opportunities to make different kinds of decisions. With each decision you can learn a bit about yourself and to understand that the choices you make are deliberate and worthwhile. Each decision brings you to the next immediate step which will present opportunities you may not have considered.
Another way is through assessments. Yes, there are assessments you can take through the Career Development office that will help you develop a stronger understanding of these four areas of yourself and provide you with a much greater awareness of the following key areas necessary for professional fulfillment. The four areas to consider are:
- Your values and how they were shaped.
- Incorporating your interests into a future career.
- The type of environment that would be a good fit for your personality.
- The skills you will want to use in your future job (not what you are good at, but what 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 people I meet now who love their jobs have found professional fulfillment. They are energized by their work. Someone said to me once that to truly understand if you love your job is to ask yourself, what parts of my job would I do for free and for which parts do I need to get paid. Some of these people had a plan that they followed because perhaps they had started out with a bit more self-awareness. But others have learned to recognize when their Values, Interests, Personality or Skills were not a match for that particular place or role and made a change.
My advice? Try something, and reflect. Ask yourself… does this fit in with my values? Does this interest and energize me? Am I enjoying this?
Then, when the answers to these questions become “no”…
Make a decision, make a change. This is scary, it’s effort, and it’s a possible risk. Again, think about where the risk can take you and how much better your life will be. Also ask yourself what the risk will be if you choose what might be the easier path and accept your circumstances.
If you repeat these steps with every new experience you will eventually know intellectually and intuitively what feels right and that is where you will grow and flourish. The self-awareness you will gain by taking one or more assessments will help determine if the path you are on is the right one for you. If not, your assessment results will serve as your virtual compass that will guide you. This is how you will develop your VIPS. If each decision you make is truly the right one in that moment, it will be just one step in a series that will ultimately lead you to your goal –professional fulfillment. Right now you may not know what that will look like. And that’s OK.