A client recently connected with me because he’s finding himself cast adrift in his job search. “Every time I think I’ve figured out which direction to go, I find out it doesn’t work after all,” he said. RELATED: Need some job search advice? Watch these tutorials! He’s taken career assessments, gone on informational interviews (I really dislike this term and the process underneath it, and I have a different framework – but that’s another blog post), and even landed interviews. He’s got a pretty impressive list of ideas he’s considered and discarded, so he reached out for help with this process. My first reaction was to acknowledge his courage in getting support for his career exploration. Many people don’t overcome their concerns that they should just innately know what’s a good fit for them, and they spin their wheels and sink deeper into despair. Whether you connect with a career coach or access other resources such as powerful books, online forums, or circle of friends, it’s vital to get input so that you don’t stew in your frustration. Second, I listened as my client confessed in our first session, “I’m afraid I’m like the princess and the pea and I’m hyper sensitive. Maybe I’ll never be satisfied.” Fair enough. That’s a valid concern. It’s also the voice of your fear, which isn’t the best springboard for career exploration. To get the ball rolling on tackling this quandary, I asked my client three questions:
For most of us, the first and only time we ever take career assessments is in high school or college. But, if you are unfulfilled in your current job, unsure of your motivated values and talents, looking for confirmation on a possible career passion, or in search of ways in which you could make money using your natural skills, taking a self-assessment—even 5, 10 or 20 years out of college—just makes sense! While many valuable career “tests” costs money, there are several that require only your time and focus to generate results that—depending on the test—can help you clarify your values, skills, or even specific job titles that may be a good fit for your next career!