What’s The Right Professional Fit for You?

Your guide to discovering your most authentic career path.

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Your guide to discovering your most authentic career path.

By Lindsay W. Kindschy

How do you picture your life unfolding? How would you like to live, what would you like to do? From a professional career standpoint, how do you know what job is the best for you? These aren’t easy questions to answer, but that’s no reason to feel lost or frustrated.

After all, finding the right job doesn’t always happen right away. It takes days, months and even years to find and cultivate, for example, a best friend, a significant other, a hobby, an exercise routine, a new habit…and this same agenda also applies to curating a career. The attributes you hold in highest esteem are the ones that you work the hardest and longest for; they don’t come easily, and that is exactly what makes these relationships and various aspects of your life so rewarding! Collectively pieced together, this is the mosaic of your life that is unique to only you.

Not sure where to start? These tips should help you in discovering your most authentic career path.

First, know yourself to know your professional fit. If you have the opportunity to test out different careers along the way this will help you understand what the best professional career is for you; the type of work that plays to your strengths and a work environment that fits your personality type. For example, if you are an introvert, you may not want to work in an office with open cubicles and instead work in a single office all to yourself with a door that you can close so you can think in peace and quiet without distractions and overstimulation. If you are an extrovert, you may thrive in a bustling and boisterous work environment where you fly from one project and meeting to the next and feed off the energy of your peers. The more you know your own rhythms, the more you will thrive and the happier you will be in your work life!

Second, work with what you have. Don’t compare yourself to the person sitting next to you. They have their own path to take. Some life circumstances have been pre-determined for you and others are dictated by the choices that you make. Work with what you have at the moment and use that to create where you would like to be professionally. For example, surround yourself with people you admire and utilize your network of contacts to learn about job opportunities and highlight your strengths and experiences. Self-promotion is a good thing, and you have your own set of unique abilities to offer an employer. Learn how to brand yourself for the job you’d like and you’ll be one step closer to your most fulfilling career.

Third, you can tweak your ‘fit’ when you think it’s necessary. Nothing is permanent.  Switching professions and jobs has become much more acceptable and normal in present times. Understanding that jobs and careers are not static, but rather constantly in motion based on the flow of your life, is important to remember. As your values, interests, and circumstances change so do your professional interests. Try to be flexible and as open as possible to change in order to make an informed professional move that will make you happiest! This may also mean learning a new skill to make you more marketable for a new career path. Websites like Lynda.com and Skillshare.com were created to help you do just this.

When it gets down to it, finding the most authentic career path for you is all about knowing yourself, working with what you have and tweaking that as you go along! The possibilities are waiting for you. It will just take some reflection and hard work to get there – but you’ve got this.

Lindsay is an entrepreneur and freelance writer who currently works as a college admissions counselor for Galin Education. She lives with her husband, dog, and baby son in Madison, WI.

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