After being laid off from his job in a declining industry, Alan knew it was time to "reinvent" his career. He did what many people do: he began his search for a new career by seeing what's "out there." He scoured Internet job postings, read articles about "hot" jobs, and talked to people about which careers had the best salaries. While there's nothing wrong with these activities, they're not the right place to begin a career change. By focusing first on the job market, and not on his own God-given design, Alan was making the most common career transition mistake.
When it comes to finding a new career, most people begin by looking externally at career information and jobs that are found online or through friends or relatives. Most people jump into a job search with a limited idea of what kind of work would be a good fit. They may only know that they want something that's different than what they have been doing. The result is often "falling" into jobs that are unrewarding and a poor fit.
If you are seeking a new career opportunity, a better approach is to start by looking internally at who God has created you to be. He designed you the way you are for a reason! You will find the most satisfaction-and success-in your work when you are doing something that fits your design. To assess how well you currently are aware of your unique design, ask yourself questions such as:
• Which five transferable skills would I most enjoy using in a work setting? In what ways would I enjoy using them?
• Which are my five most marketable transferable skills? Are these the same skills as my most-enjoyed skills? If not, how does using skills I don't enjoy impact me in my work?
• What are my most important work-related values that impact my career decisions?
• What are my interests? How do they relate to work that I would love to do?
• What are my key personality traits? What do I need to look for in a job to make sure it's work in which I can be myself?
• What factors do I need to have in a working environment to do my best work?
• Besides the salary, what will give me a feeling of satisfaction in my work?
• Besides the salary, what are the three most important things I need to have in a job for it to be a great fit?
Many people have a general understanding of their design. They may tell us "I know I like to work with people" or "I am creative." To identify the best career path for yourself, however, you need a much more detailed and specific knowledge of how God has "wired" you.
What Is the Best Way to Discover Your God-Given Design?
You already have information about your design from your work and life experiences, as well as from feedback from others. You may also have taken self-assessments on the Internet or in other situations. If, however, you aren't sure of the answers to the previous questions about your design, you could likely benefit from professional career testing. Alexandra Levit, with the Wall Street Journal, says "Many experts agree that assessments are best used in conjunction with an experienced career counselor who can hand-select tests for you -- and help you interpret the results."
A skilled professional career counselor has access to sophisticated career tests that are not available to the general public. The quality of the information you receive from a career test is directly related to the quality of the test itself. To make good career choices, you need accurate and in-depth information about your design so that you can quickly identify the types of career paths that best fit your interests, personality type, skills, etc.
You also need more information about your design than one test can provide. No one career test will capture enough of you to be sufficient for making a career decision. You are a complex being, comprised of many "puzzle pieces." Thorough career testing will look at many aspects of your design, help you focus on the key work-related elements, and identify the strong themes or patterns in your God-given design. A good career counselor will make sure all the important aspects of your unique design are examined, provide an objective perspective on your strengths, and guide you in connecting your design with good career options.
The Benefits of a Thorough Knowledge of Your Design
Investing yourself in developing a thorough understanding of your God-given design will pay off throughout your life. Here are a few of the benefits you will experience:
• Ability to find or create work you love to do;
• Skill in assessing how well specific job options fit your design;
• Knowledge to make a lifetime of wise career decisions within God's will for your life;
• Confidence in marketing yourself and interview effectively;
• Contentment that comes from knowing you are doing the work God has created you to do.
These benefits can be yours in a short amount of time! Professional career testing is expedient, helping you significantly cut down the time it takes to find a new career direction. If you would like a free consultation to determine if professional testing and assessment can help you reinvent your career, please complete our free consultation form. We look forward to helping you become all that God has created you to be!