As much as we want to have a solid guide book on how to find your ideal career, careers are complicated and things are so different from the way they used to be. People no longer spend decades at the same job, and there's more opportunities and options than ever before. There’s no single handbook that gives every single person a proven step by step on how to make sure they end up with a career they’ll love for the rest of their lives. After all, we are ever-changing. So if you’re about to get a life coaching certification but are unsure of your exact direction or niche, or you want to find a job that suits you perfectly but you’re clueless on where to start, we've got you.
One thing that matters so much to us as people and as life coaches and something we work through in The Catalyst Coaching Intensive with our students is this: discover your strengths. Your strengths are going to be your compass. Next to your story, they're the most important thing about you as a person and your strengths will guide you to understand and find your ideal career. So, how do you discover what your strengths are?
How To Discover Your Strengths
See patterns of happiness and excitement
This may not sound hyper-professional but this is a surefire way of tapping into your own sense of joy. Observe the way you’ve been living and notice the things that make you happy. Pay attention to those that fill you with genuine joy. Find the activities that inject so much excitement in your heart. Cheesy, yes. But when you start seeing patterns of happiness and excitement, you’ll discover the strengths you have. Strengths you may not notice normally because they’ve been a part of your normal, everyday life.
The things that bring us joy may hold clues as to what our jobs should be, so look closely at your own moments of happiness. If you're considering becoming a coach, your happy place might be talking to others, helping people find direction and reach goals, keeping others motivated and accountable -- if you start looking and writing them down, you might be surprised how many instances there are!
Refrain from comparing yourself to others
It's one of the easiest things to do, and the most destructive, as Teddy Roosevelt said -- comparison is the thief of joy. We’ve met so many people who are still in the early stages of becoming a coach but are already comparing themselves to life coaches who have been working on their business for many years now. As hard as it is, DON’T.
One of the best ways to discover your strengths is to refrain from comparing yourself to others and instead, compare your today to say, your three months ago. See how far you’ve come. Notice which aspects were the easiest for you, or the ones you enjoy the most. Keep moving ahead.
Talk to people you love and trust
Having someone else talk about your strengths is super helpful, especially when you feel like you don’t have one. And yes, some people do feel like they're not good at anything. But everyone has different skills and gifts. You have something that you’re already good at. And if you talk to your close friends and family, you could easily discover your strengths -- ask them for insights into your skill set. Others can often see us more clearly than we see ourselves.
What do you do that’s different?
At JRNI we believe wholeheartedly that YOUR story is YOUR gold. Who you are and the history you have makes you uniquely suited to specialize in a specific niche and to help people who can benefit from your unique perspective.
There’s always that one thing you do differently than most people. To find your ideal career, it’s not just about following the money trail or knowing which job you think you can hold long enough to make X dollars. Your career will be a major part of your life thus, it’s highly important to discover your strengths and let your strengths guide you.
This comes into play when thinking about your own coaching niche as well. Once you’ve narrowed down your list, see what about this niche you do differently. For instance, you want to build a floral shop. What about designing flowers do you do differently? Perhaps you’re most passionate about sourcing out from sustainable flower farms, or maybe you choose to work with a particular kind of flower only… whatever it is, there’s always something you do differently than others, and knowing what sets you apart is your strength.
Be honest with yourself
There’s no way you're going to discover your strengths, much less find your ideal career or actually building a business if you can't be honest with yourself. And one of the best ways to discover your strength is, when you’re in the process of finding it, be honest with yourself. If you think you have good communication skills but turns out you don't, accept that. Know it as your truth and move forward and continue your journey to discover the skills and characteristics you’re truly good at. Getting rid of false ideas of ourselves makes room for the real thing to flourish.
Taking Tests Can Help
Talking tests is yet another way to help you understand and find your ideal career. There are many credible websites out there that offer useful and helpful tests that are meant to guide you in your journey to finding your career. These tests may not give you the absolute answer but they can greatly help narrow down your options or introduce new ideas. Many tests on career websites are backed with science, and one we like particularly is the VIA Strengths, which can help you begin to understand what you hold to be important and how your character strengths can help you move forward.
VIA Character Strengths Test
On Finding Your Ideal Career
Jump right in but calculate the risks
Finding your ideal career is about self-discovery and risk-taking. That said, we want to remind you to take calculated risks. We’re all big on taking risks and we love it when people put themselves out there, try out new things and learn more about who they really are. It’s a good thing. However, it’s vital to know which risks are worth taking and which aren’t. Most importantly, is this risk you’re about to take a calculated one? Do you have a back-up plan?
Balance money and passion and value
Whether you want to work for someone or you’re considering building a business, it shouldn’t be all about the money. Obviously, money is a necessity and we all need to make enough money to live the kind of life we want. But balance it with passion. You wouldn’t want to keep working on a job you’re unhappy with simply because you make good money. Chances are, you'll end up killing your soul and your creativity. Moreover, balance money and passion with value. In the process of discovering your strengths, you will also discover the things you value the most. These will also serve as your compass in knowing which career path you should take.
Know your ideal lifestyle
So, what kind of life do you want to live? Are you a stay-at-home person who is okay with a few vacations every few years? Do you want to actually go and explore the mountains as often as possible? The kind of lifestyle you want to live is also a great help in discovering the career you want to take. If you’re an adventurous person who wants to climb mountains or do outdoor sports as often as possible, you can either (a) find a career in this field or (b) find a job that gives you enough free time to do this while paying you enough as well. Again, it’s all about balance and understanding what kind of life you want to live.
Ready to know how to discover your strengths and how it can help find your ideal career?
If you're ready to learn more about how to become a life coach, take a look at The Catalyst Life Coaching Intensive. Vibrant community. Evidence-based life coach training. Lifetime support.