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Changing Your Mindset to Finding Satisfying Work

13 jennifer

Changing Your Mindset to Finding Satisfying Work

Finding fulfilling employment, rather
than just a job, is not an isolated
process of steps, it is a process. An
important starting point in finding
suitable employment is eradicating
preconceptions or typical ways of
approaching this, the reason being
that they are limited and do not work.
Most people follow a reactive and
scattered approach to finding a job. A
young adult leaves school, decides on
a career option with no appropriate
guidance, completes a qualification, (if lucky enough to have
funding for this) drafts a CV, with little idea of how to do this, looks for
job adverts and applies. In most cases, no response is received and
feeling desperate and at a loss for what to do next, he or she settles
for whatever can be found. Often this is far removed from interests,
skills or training and thus begins a limiting employment cycle in which
one dissatisfying job is followed by another, due to lack of experience
in a specialist area actually aligned to individual suitability. This is
a self-perpetuating recipe for frustration and an unfulfilling career
and given that one spends most of one’s life at work, is certainly not
desirable. Finding a satisfying job is essentially an integrated process
involving proactive bigger picture focus, awareness of cohesive
elements and consistent application and follow through.
Career planning, the first essential building block, should
commence with your subject choice at school, then re-occur
prior to any qualification or study option being selected or before
career moves or changes at a later stage. School leavers should
analyse their specific technical, sporting, academic skills as well as
specific expertise. Ask yourself what you are good at and draft a list.
Secondly what do you enjoy doing? This is important, for a career
is likely to span at least three decades and it certainly helps if you
find the work that you do fulfilling, rewarding and pleasant. Thirdly
personality factors need to be considered. These are not easy to
view objectively and a basic assessment or profiling exercise will
produce more objective evidence. From the above you are starting
to build profile detail on essential information which is best discussed
with a person specializing in this field.
Linked to this is the necessity of conducting thorough research on
available study options – a process which requires time, energy and
effort and is sadly often rushed because school leavers start too
late. It is wise to have a first preference as well as a back -up option
with documentation completed and submitted for both, given that
acceptance in many tertiary institutions is based on testing and final
matric results and is often only confirmed at a time when it is too late
to commence an alternative option. Volunteer work, an internship or
two days spent observing someone in
the field in which you are interested
is never wasted as often a job title
gives little indication of the reality
of the environment or daily focus. A
gap year spent doing part time work
to clarify your focus and build on
your funding is also a positive option,
provided it is realized that discipline
and flexibility are essential in finding
work opportunities and in keeping
busy.
Older job seekers with some work experience should map out a
basic career path for a progressive two and five year period. To do
this requires a study of what is required in terms of the career pathing
envisaged, followed by systematic building on these qualifications
and skills. It is also important to realize that job security in today’s world
does not exist, hence the importance of a hobby or entrepeneurial
back up option which you start building in your spare time. With this
type of planning your qualification and skills base will have been
formulated, the next critical factor being relevant work experience.
A series of qualifications accumulated without balancing work
experience can be a limiting factor in a job market which prizes
specialist skills coupled with relevant experience. In approaching the
quest of finding a job, a good place to commence is by building on
your self- belief as well as on your understanding of how to market
yourself.
The latter too involves an integrated approach. A professionally
drafted CV with appropriate formatting, a well-written profile
comment and suitably worded detail is an excellent start. Clear
ability to convey your unique value add, strengths and differentiating
qualities with clarity yet humility require practice, as does networking
which will not yield results without planning and preparation.
Connecting with potential employers or starting to apply for jobs
requires understanding of the fact that responses to press or internet
adverts are frequently inadequate, due to a competitive applicant
pool and the sheer mass of responses generally received.
Final ingredients for success include well- honed interview skills
(only acquired with practice) resilience, perseverance and the
realization that effort pays off and that a successful and fulfilling
career ranks as a life priority due to the benefits on other areas of
your existence.
In conclusion, to land the right job takes understanding effort and
expertise. Because it is an area not formally taught, those who do
the groundwork and approach it systematically and cohesively
generate remarkable results.
A career coach and people development specialist, Jennifer runs voluntary workshops in her spare time
over weekends to assist unemployed job-seekers. Contact detail: jenniferj@cybersmart.co.za

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