By Nettie Millard
September 15, 2017
With every season, fashions change. Everyone has their own style. You need to know which style works best for you. When it comes to your career, does it provide a suitable fit for your style?
Whether you’re self-employed or working for someone else, you deserve to work in an environment that’s well-suited to your personality and preferences. When you do, you’ll find yourself in a career that inspires you and where you can inspire others. After all, across generations, career goals are not as different as we have been led to believe (Harvard Business Review). Across generations, people are increasingly pursuing jobs within careers and occupations that they genuinely enjoy. Making a living and making a life intersect now more than ever thanks in large part to technology and the entrepreneurial mindset inside (intrapreneurship) and outside of the workplace.
While hiring managers must exercise due diligence in hiring the best talent, today’s prospective hire at all ages is in a great place to seek employment for which s/he is the right fit. A career and occupation that fits your style leads to what I call an “Inspirational Career”; that is a career that speaks to your Strengths, Temperament, Yen, Lifestyle and Enthusiasm or S.T.Y.L.E. Your S.T.Y.L.E. takes into account not only your knowledge, skills, abilities and goals but also embodies who you are as person; your likes, dislikes and values. So you see, your S.T.Y.L.E. represents your whole self.
Let’s explore your Career S.T.Y.L.E.
S = STRENGTHS
It’s important to know in what skills you’re good, I mean really good. Not what skills you think, believe or want to be good at; but what skills for which you know you’re really good. Better yet, the skills for which are great! Those you perform with great panache and distinction. What is it for which you excel? What are those innate skills and qualities that not only you, but others affirm you possess at a high level or degree? Be sure however to explore fields for which you are interested or would enjoy using that skill. For example, I was an okay student in math, statistics and probability and was advised to go into actuarial science. Being an Actuary is an awesome and notable profession, however I knew it wasn’t for me. For one of my collegemates however, becoming an Actuary hit the mark. All of us have strengths…multiple strengths. Take the time to truly know yours and explore career fields, occupations and jobs that will leverage those strengths. A good self-assessment tool can help. There are numerous free and fee-based online assessment tools (Monster) available to assist.
Ah-h-h, the “T” word. Your temperament speaks to how you respond or think in certain situations. Think about emotions you tend to evoke or exhibit. For example, do you have a tendency to be easy going and patient or do you relish excitement? If you are more of an introspective type, a job that requires a person to function like they’re on steroids most of the day may not be suitable for you. On the other hand, if you thrive in a consistent fast-paced environment, you may be biting your lip out of boredom in a slow-paced job. Based on your tendencies, consider a career that will mesh with your temperamental preferences the majority of the time in order to find your happy place and contented space.
Y = YEN
Consider Yen in terms of your propensity or strong desire. What drives you? What is your passion? What do you have a strong yearning or desire to achieve? Though they might sound cliché, these reflective questions speak to your essence. Be mindful however that your desire to do something and your ability to do it acceptably and with excellence are not always in sync. For example, there are some people who want to be famous singers but can’t hold a note! So when thinking about your passion, consider what it is that when you’re involved, you not only excel, you soar and people other than you know it (it’s usually a propensity you demonstrated at a very young age). Be true to yourself and consider that which causes you to be fulfilled, satisfied and gives your life meaning. Every career meets a need in some way, shape or form and that need starts with you. Some people say that when you do something you love or enjoy, you’ll never work a day in your life. I say everything worth anything requires work, even if it doesn’t “feel” like work.
L = LIFESTYLE
In the context of lifestyle, think about your current way of life, the life you want and what is required for you to get there. Also, consider your present and future (to the degree possible) physical, mental, social and familial needs. For example, if your lifestyle involves responsibilities requiring you to be up late at night or if you’re a night owl by nature, do you really want a job that requires you to be up and at ‘em early in the morning? While you can train your mind and body to get used to getting up early, you will have added stress to your day before it started by just thinking about getting up before your internal clock is ready. If you’re ok with that, go for it. If not, you may want to pass on that type of job. Or consider the person who accepted a job that requires him/her to be on call 24/7 and then gets angry and is short tempered with everyone at the work site whenever they are called in after normal business hours to deal with an emergency. Wrong job. If your present job conflicts with your lifestyle, consider getting everything you can out of the position (knowledge, skills, connections, mentorship, training, development, etc.) while preparing yourself for your next level.
E – ENTHUSIASM
What is it that gives you a lively interest and sense of joy? That for which you have a genuine zeal or keen interest? Lock in on it and explore various aspects of a career which allows you to bring your enthusiasm. A person once told me they were excited about embarking on a career in nursing then at the same breath they said they weren’t going to “clean up anybody”. While this person has a genuine interest in helping people, they clearly need to explore other careers in the healthcare field. There may be aspects that are a part of any job within a career you’d prefer to forgo. If you can handle it and it’s a minor part of your duties, don’t let that zap your enthusiasm. If a duty you disdain however is a major part of a job and an expectation by the employer, your level of enthusiasm, quality of life and the employer’s bottom line will take a major hit.
Your Inspirational Career lies where your Strengths, Temperament, Yen, Lifestyle and Enthusiasm meet. The opportunities are endless. The world is your runway. Work your S.T.Y.L.E. and go for it!
Attend Career Couture’s upcoming Career Coaching Seminar. Click here to learn more. Seize the Moment!
Copyright 2017 Nettie Millard
Career Stylist Nettie Millard is a human resources professional with over 20 years experience in organizational development and professional and leadership development in the federal, state and private sectors. She is a certified Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) , Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Practitioner.