Wondering what career to invest yourself in? It’s hard to figure out what you might want to do for the rest of your life. It’s a very daunting task. Lots of people drown in the overwhelmingness of it. Kids in college struggle with whether or not they’ve made the right choice & wandering from major to major can be costly.
Women who have finished raising their kids is another category of people trying to figure out new ways to make meaning in their lives. They have skill sets but how to translate them in new ways can be confusing. Many people drift for years not knowing how to find a clear direction for their energy & talent.
There are two tools that I offer clients to begin narrowing down the field, both can be found online. Think of these tools as a way to jump start making bolder choices that fit who you are instead of coasting.
The first is called a strength survey:
The noted psychiatrist Martin Seligman has done a tremendous amount of research on the issue of happiness and has created a website. On his website he offers a number of questionnaires. The questionnaire on personal strengths is nine pages long and takes about forty-five minutes to complete. It’s called the VIA Survey of Character Strengths & measures 24 character strengths under Engagement Questionnaires.
The idea is that after completing this VIA Character Strength Survey, you will know your top five strengths. You can then ask yourself how much a part of your life works from a framework that appreciates these five strengths. Here is the link to this valuable website: www.authentichappiness.com.
Seligman says that the more your work incorporates your top 5 strengths the happier you will be. This makes sense. The financial investment in college requires more thought about in what to invest in that will realistically pay off & help you get a job.
The second tool is The Campbell Interest & Skill Survey:
Over the years I have had many people invest hundreds of dollars in career counseling tests. On line there is a test for $18.75 that I think is the best of the lot. Here is a link for this reasonably priced tool from Pearson. You have to register, then call them & pay, which is very fast. Then they give you a password to sign in: www.profiler.com/ciss/login/
Sometimes it’s easier to just float along & let life happen to you. I don’t believe that things work out very well by being passive. Read any novel by Ann Tyler to learn more about the price of passivity. Her male characters often end up quietly miserable because of their lack of action. While it can be very uncertain or scary to experiment, take risks, try new things & make choices; it’s worth finding the courage to push forward.