What is the first step in building a successful and satisfying initial career?
You have to start with a clear and succinct career vision. When I started my own career, I knew I wanted to be either a lawyer or a teacher. Fate had it that I would take the second path. However, I never realized I'd later become as well an educational writer and e-learning specialist. There are some things that you cannot foresee. Teaching is my ideal "job."
In a recent career poll I gave to over a hundred college students, I found that many of them sought an ideal job that would make them happy.
In her book Brilliant Career Coach, Sophie Rowan talks about career happiness. She refers to happiness expert Ed Diener. His research shows that those who are happy at work create better career prospects and earn more money.
Happy workers are "more likable, better leaders and managers that are problem solvers and negotiators and are more creative and optimistic."
What is a career vision?
According to Rowan, a "career vision is a succinct and clear statement of what you want to achieve in your career and the type of person you want to be in your career." Having a career vision is the first step to having work happiness and success. You also must be able to:
1. Choose well: pursue a career based on your career vision
2. Manage yourself well: make the most of your opportunities and challenges
3. Work hard: invest time and energy in your career efforts.
How do you define your career vision?
Rowan asserts that a career vision is all about knowing yourself. In the blog post, How can these 3 personal branding activities can help you?, I suggested several ways to get to know yourself better. Here are other questions that Rowan mentions you can ask yourself?
Do you know:
- your unique talents and skills?
- what you want in a career?
- your specific career goal?
- what's important for you in a career?
- how best your personality matches with your career choices and goals?
- the type of person you want to be in your career?
A career vision activity
Rohan suggests that you build your career strengths and qualities using the prompts that follow. Follow these instructions.
- Think about a part-time or summer a job you had, or an apprenticeship you experienced?
- Write down a few ideas for each prompt.
- Best working relationship you had
- Key achievements
- Special talents and skills you showed
- Some great feedback you received
- A task or project you really enjoyed
- A manager or co-workers you enjoyed working with
- Special things you learned and won't forget
So go ahead and do the activity. Start creating your career vision.
Share a comment with me about one or two of the above points, such as a key achievement or great feedback you received.