An effective job search during Coronavirus Pandemic is enhanced by these five tipsJanuary 14, 2021
We all have priorities in life. They help us distinguish how, what and who we spend our time on. Priorities in career design are no different. Career design looks at your life holistically and asks questions about those priorities. Questions like what does work/life balance mean to you and what form does your ideal day take?
Today, we are going to be talking about priorities in relation to career design using a tool found in My Career Design Studio (MCDS), aptly named, Career Priorities. To locate this section, find Raw Materials and, then, it is under The Napkin Stretch. Career Priorities occur after you have completed a lot of self-reflection in sections like your Personality Inventory, Life Balance and My Ideal Day.
Set your Priorities
What you are doing in Career Priorities is literally prioritizing the things that you have listed as the most important elements in your career design process. You are given a list of those elements then asked the question: what is a have-to-have element to my work environment, a nice-to-have element and an element that is really just icing-on-the-cake?
This section is where the rubber meets the road in your career design process. You are forced to examine and choose what will make you happy and fulfilled in your career. And, as an extension of that, what do you need to create a balanced life?
Choose to be proactive.
People often lament that they have to choose between a career and a happy life. This false dichotomy forces you to choose one over the other based on reactivity rather than proactivity. The result can be a career that leaves you unfulfilled and a life less than your ideal. Choosing in this fashion often leads us to choose the opposite of whatever career situation is causing us misery and we miss the bigger picture of what it takes to live up to the full potential of a rewarding life.
The online tool My Career Design Studio helps you think in a clear-headed manner and proceed in a step-by-step process that represents your values and your life’s goals. Career Priorities, specifically, helps you to identify those things in a career that you want and need the most.
What are my work environment essentials?
As you prioritize the most important components in the Career Priorities tool, you are asked to rank your have-to-have items and you are encouraged to choose just the top five from that list. Why limit yourself to just your top five? Because the likelihood of a career having all of your have-to-have elements in it is slim. Besides, those items that are still important to you but fall below your top five can be added to your nice-to-have and icing-on-the-cake categories. It may seem counter intuitive, but by being more selective about what is truly important to you will get you as close as possible to your ideal career as you can. And you can!
For example, let’s take an individual who lists “flexibility and being in control of your schedule” as have-to-haves. That person is not going to be happy in an environment that is unbending and highly structured and the reverse is also true. A person who values “structure and an unbending environment” is most likely not going to place a high value on “flexibility and being in control of your schedule”. In fact, people that list “flexibility and being in control of their schedule” as have-to-haves often find the route of entrepreneurialism most alluring and satisfactory.
Even if you do favor entrepreneurialism, the specific kind may vary. For instance, if you identified “encourages me to conceptualize new ideas, projects or programs” as a have-to-have element, a franchise opportunity, like owning a fast food restaurant in a national chain, is an opportunity where you are given the concepts and the projects are laid out for you. This is most likely not going to work for you. Conversely, if you have “flexibility and being in control of your schedule” and like structure, a franchise could be the perfect fit.
Begin to explore new careers.
Career Priorities gives you a list of specific items you want in a work environment. You can take those elements and begin to research and explore which careers have them. You can, also, begin to talk about what you need in a career to individuals who have a broader perspective or someone that may be in a career you think might be a good fit.
When individuals have no idea what they want to do, uncovering what that is can be a driving force. That is where comprehensive career designing comes into play. It allows you to think through which components you need to live a successful rewarding life.
Make time for career design.
Effective career designing is a process that is best when not rushed. When you go step-by-step through the process you build to the clarity of what you really want and need. If you rush ahead to a specific job title you may find you have overlooked some of your essential priorities. Then you may find, after a year or more, you are back where you started in a job that doesn’t fit.
If you focus on the career design process now and you still land in a career that ends up being unfulfilling, you can always go back to your Career Priorities list and revamp it. By rediscovering elements that you hadn’t considered as important at the time, or new elements that you hadn’t previously prioritized, it may bring to light what you missed and clarify what you want in the next job.
The Career Priorities tool helps provide clarity.
The Career Priorities tool can help you re-examine what is important for you to have in your work environment, as well as, what you have in your job. By getting clearer about your organizational needs, you can think about how you can get that need met either within the organization or something you do outside of it.
There are many different aspects of a fulfilling career. My Career Design Studio is a tool that helps you sift through these aspects and identify what is the best fit for you. Career design is like anything in life that is worthwhile. It takes some time and energy on your part. The result: A blueprint for a happy, healthy and successful life.
If you have not signed up for My Career Design Studio, take this opportunity for a free seven-day trial and get started on your own career design journey.