Find your element!
The most viewed TED talk on TED.com is by Sir Ken Robinson on Creativity, and how education systems across the globe struggle to bring out our best and most creative selves.
After formal schooling, the emphasis to find a career where we can use our talents and skills (if fully known) rests completely on our own shoulders. Sir Ken talks about finding the ‘element’. The element being the environment where your greatest skills and talents are used, and where you feel completely fulfilled - both intrinsically and extrinsically.
Unfortunately, most people are not working in their element. What seems to be apparent from my experience working in recruitment, is that most people who do feel fulfilled in their careers, do so because they continue to grow, day by day, year on year. They work within environments that support their need to grow, to contribute and to learn. This is a very important factor - to be working in the right environment that matches their needs.
Looking for opportunities?
I often see people work in roles where they feel their talents could be better placed, and where they could enjoy a larger sense of purpose and fulfillment. For many people, they strive for a job where they can build strong working relationships and contribute to successful teams across all levels. It's common therefore that people experience stagnation at work which brings dissatisfaction and potential job moves (which can be scary).
If this relates to you, my advice is:
1 Question yourself (self-assessment).
Do I want a new role in my current organisation? Or a new employer? Or perhaps even a career change? Identify what you like and dislike about your past/current job. Determine what interests you, what excites you, what motivates you. It is also important to think about your ideal work environment: What type of manager would bring the best out of you? What type of team do you want to surround yourself in? This step is all about self discovery, getting to know what you want and what makes you tick.
2 Plan! Ask yourself these questions:
How am I going to get there? What are my strengths and weaknesses for this new position? It is important for you to identify the necessary skills for this position and how can you gain them (e.g transferrable skills, training, take a new course).
3 Network! Talk to people who know the industry.
These people are the best people to seek advice from and inform you on the current state of the market. You might even be able to get job leads or be recommended for a job!
How much should you be getting paid?