This article originally published on the Greensboro News & Record on May 15, 2014.
Who Am I?
If you are in a career transition, before you do anything else, answer this question for yourself, “Who am I?”
Often people in career transition immediately start looking for a new job just like their last one. This is a big mistake. Spend time figuring out who you are before you start looking for that next great job. You will be much happier during the search and afterwards.
Being unemployed is often not a good feeling, however regardless of how bad you feel now, jump into just any job or one that you really don’t want and the unhappiness will continue.
Here are three tasks that will help yo answer the question, “Who am I?”
Task # 1 – Dream. There is no better time to dream about new ideas, new places, new ways to make money or create a business. Find a quiet space, relax, let your mind wander and dream. Dream about wild, different, interesting, enjoyable things in life. Don’t focus on a job or how to make money, just dream far and wide. Write down everything you dream of. Don’t discount any idea. Write them all down and keep dreaming about what all of the ideas could mean to you. Circle back to this step periodically and you’ll dream up even better ideas.
Task # 2 – Talk with your friends and family. Don’t talk with them about a job or a company. Instead let them know that you are working to figure out truly who you are and you want to get ideas from them. Let them know that you are dreaming (you can use the word “thinking” if you like) about different ideas, places, ways to be happy in life. Don’t talk about specific jobs, companies or money. Listen to their ideas. Write down the ideas they share with you. And don’t, I repeat – DON’T, discount anything they say. Let them ask questions and share ideas. Write it all down. Circle back to some of the folks who want to help as you hear and dream up even more ideas. Continue to share your dreams and ideas with others and even more wild & interesting ideas will come up.
Task # 3 – Look at what you have done in life. Don’t look at your past jobs titles, companies or industries. Instead dig deeper and broader. As you start listing these activities, turn them into PAR Statements. PAR Statements are used in resumes and LinkedIn Profiles, but their value is far greater in the “Who Am I?” discussions. PAR Statements are the “Problems/Projects” you were involved in, your “Actions” used to resolve or complete them and the positive Results your actions created. When you start writing PAR statements relevant to what you have done in life, community and business, you’ll start to see trends of the activities that you were (are) good at doing and most importantly, enjoyed. Work to write dozens of PAR statements and what you will discover could be very interesting and rewarding.
Take a look at the dreams you write down, the ideas your friends and family share with you and your PAR Statements. It is not unlikely that the job you need to start looking for will be nothing like your last job.
There is no better job to be looking for than the one that you really want and is most relevant to who you are.
Answer the question, “Who Am I?” and you will be far more successful in your career transition.
Teddy Burriss is a certified career transition coach, social media coach, author and public speaker. His social media articles can be found at burrissconsulting.com.