If I had a nickel for every time I was asked about the following, I’d be a rich woman. But, since people keep asking me about it, I’m going to post on this then I’ll have a spot to refer them to. Yippie!
Who are you? What do you love? What are your strengths, and what do you value? What skills do you have that people will actually pay you to do? If you don’t know the answers to these questions right now in your life, then read on – I’m going to share with you the best tools I’ve seen thus far to get you at your best life intersection – at least for your work (I can’t really state if this works for your entire life or not…but I know it does work for work!)
The slide above is how I represent your best career intersection. It lies at a 4 way intersection between: 1. What you love to do, 2. What your values are, 3. What your strengths are, and 4. What someone will actually pay you to do. You’ll be pretty good if you can hit a couple of these at the same time, but I think it’s best to go for all 4 in this life. After all, life is short and why not enjoy the ride?
1. What do I love? Think back to the last day you had where you never looked at the clock, yet time flew by. You were so entrenched in what you were doing, time really didn’t matter anymore. WHAT WERE YOU DOING? That is a hint on the stuff by which you love to do. Another way to look at it – I call it the lottery test. If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would you do differently about your life? Would you quit your job(s)? Would you travel? Would you move? If you have radical ideas to change your life based upon the lottery test, I’ll go ahead and ask–WHY AREN’T YOU MAKING THOSE CHANGES NOW? Again, life is short!
2. What do I value? I never was taught about this one, but it is absolutely CRITICAL to do work that matches your values. If you choose not to, there’s always going to be this nagging feeling in the background that’s eating at you. Trust me, I’ve been there, I’ve done that, and it’s not pretty over the long haul.
So, what to do about it? Go to Google. Type in “values card sort”, and up should pop this card sorter
that you can print out, cut out and start sorting. Rank the values against one another. What are your top 3-5? Next, go to your employers’ websites and look up THEIR values.
The big reveal: do any of your top values match those of your employer? If not, why not? If not, are you happy with your work? I’ll bet the answer is no. Maybe if they are radically different, it’s time to start shopping for a new job….? I’ll let you decide.
3. What are my strengths?
Pretty sure 98% of the planet has heard about What Color is Your Parachute?
and Strengthsfinder 2.0
by now, but just in case, run out and get these books, take the quizzes in them and figure out what your strengths are. In the first slide, there’s even a link to a free strengthsfinder-like quiz. I also really like the new release, The Episodic Career
, because it also has a quiz in it that points to certain careers and it nailed mine for me!
For me, my #1 strength as I’ve stated on this tiny blog several times is far and away “futuristic.” I love talking about the future. So, future based projects for me? SIGN ME UP. But this post isn’t about me, it’s about you. So, what is your #1 strength, and tie it back to your values and that last day you didn’t notice time going by–see any patterns or connections here?
4. What will someone actually pay me to do?
This one is the kicker, because not everyone will pay you to do everything that you love, that you’re good at, and that you value. If you love something, but no one will pay you to do it, that’s called a HOBBY. But hey, even hobbies these days pay
with sites like Etsy and Ebay!
And, I’m sure there are other things that comprise this best life intersection. I’ve even given you a link in the first slide above in the upper left corner of the slide to all the other tests I’ve used on myself over the years to discover what I should be doing with my life. Friends, family, travel, other books, podcasts can help you get to your very own best life intersection. But for now, at least I’ve given you part of the map to get there. Now it’s just time for you to plug the address in on your personal GPS and get navigating!