Articles about Career Development

Building a Career from Your Heart
(Part 2 of 5 - 1998-2012 Carol James)

Your Natural Intelligences

Everyone is gifted at birth with natural talents, abilities, intelligences and knowing. They are those things that one does well and easily, without even thinking about what one is doing, and often are those things that one loves doing the most. Sometimes the intelligence is obvious right from the start, for instance, Beethoven and his musical intelligence. In others, the intelligence lies dormant until something triggers it. There are many tales of people who, in the later years of their life, began to explore their talents for writing or painting and ended up being more famous for these newly-revealed talents. Can you think of someone who you know or have heard about who was a "late bloomer"?

Some people have a natural talent for working with numbers, often being able to calculate figures in their head. Others have a natural propensity for all things visual, excelling in artistic and creative endeavors, while others have a knack for understanding and relating to people. While everyone wants to believe that s/he is perfect and can do it all, you will want to be realistic about your natural abilities. For example, pretending to love working with numbers when you find it boring or a struggle can only interfere with your finding the career of your dreams.

There are many facets to careers and life that require a variety of intelligences, and knowing your strengths and weaknesses for these intelligences will help you to further define that perfect profession. In the following experiential activity, you will be introduced to some major intelligences in life and be given the opportunity to identify the ones for which you have a knack.

Experiential Activity

The following is a list of life-based and beingness intelligences for you to ponder on how well you believe you embody that intelligence. The purpose of this exercise is to identify your strengths and weaknesses in very defined aspects of dealing with life at large. It will serve to identify those areas of beingness that are most comfortable to you, which in turn will help you to identify which types of careers are most aligned with your comfort zone, which is a necessary ingredient to doing what you love.

I have noticed a strong correlation between the intelligences that I am strongest in and the things that I love to do. For instance, my Verbal-Linguistic and Interpersonal intelligences are strong and I love to write, to teach people and to talk. In fact, some people would say that I talk too much. And I admit that sometimes I do, but I get so excited about what I know sometimes that I can't help myself. It's like I have this encyclopedia about life and beingness floating around in my head begging to be shared, and once the door is opened, it just floods forth.

Most people would say that I have a knack for communicating with others, both verbally and in writing. I would tend to agree, which is why I was always a top salesperson and which is why I almost always get an excellent rating for facilitating workshops that I have written. That which we love to do we tend to do the best.

On the other hand, my Mathematical intelligence is weak. I'm not number illiterate for I can easily balance my checkbook and spent 13 years teaching others basic accounting principles and computerizing accounting systems, but I've never been inclined to expand my knowledge beyond simple math calculations. I don't care about Math or numbers, therefore I give it none of my attention, therefore I have not expanded upon that intelligence.

It is important to note that while I spent 13 years of my life working in a field that required I work constantly with numbers (teaching basic accounting and computerizing accounting systems), I did it because it gave me the opportunity to express my Verbal-Linguistic and Interpersonal intelligences (giving presentations, selling, teaching and writing), not because of working with numbers. Plus I made a comfortable living, had incredible freedom and flexibility in my work schedule and got great satisfaction and acknowledgement (I constantly won sales awards and never had to cold call because all my business came from customer referrals). But, and this is a huge "but", I was bored, unstimulated, and unsatisfied with the nature of my work. Something was still missing, so I quit. Everyone thought I was crazy. Again I ignored what they thought.

So, getting back to you, if after reading each intelligence listed below you believe that you are naturally inclined toward that intelligence, note your intelligence as being strong. You can tell if you are naturally inclined toward an intelligence because you will resonate with the description and have ample evidence in your life to demonstrate your proficiency with that intelligence. Plus, you will notice that you tend to love expressing that intelligence. For example, if you have a strong propensity for Visual, you will notice that you are always decorating your home or that things must appear visually organized and appealing or that you remember what people look like before you remember their names. Or you might love to dance, finding that your body moves easily and rhythmically to the beat of the music, so you would have a strong Rhythmic ability.

If you are not naturally inclined toward an intelligence, note your intelligence as being weak. You are weak in an intelligence if, for example, you are all thumbs when invoking it or if you couldn't care less about it. Other examples are: Some people just don't have a head for figures and would be lost without a calculator (and sometimes lost even with a calculator), so they would have a weak Mathematical ability. Other people are clumsy and awkward in their body, not having a strong connection or identification with having a physical body or understanding its natural wisdom, so they would have a weak Bodily-Kinesthetic ability. I fall into this latter group, often forgetting where my body is in relation to immovable objects - table corners, furniture, door jambs - frequently amassing bruises on my hips and shoulders from bumping into stuff.

Being weak in a given intelligence only means that that intelligence was not part of your birth gifts or that you have chosen not to pursue that aspect of life. No one person is strong in all aspects of life. Some people are a "jack of all intelligences" and master of none. Some people are strong in one intelligence and are focused on fully exploring the potential of that intelligence (Stephen Hawkins, the famous modern-day theorist and physicist, comes to mind here: With a body that is weak, it has freed him to explore his mental capacities in tremendous ways). Others have a few intelligences in which they are strong and a few in which they are weak. And there are infinite variations in between.

If you are not strong or weak, but somewhere in between, then note that you are neutral. This means that while you do not have a strong inclination toward that intelligence, you are not without some abilities to apply it successfully to your life. For example, while you may not have a "head for numbers," you may still be able to easily balance your checkbook or perform other basic numerical calculations or counting operations.

Here are 12 intelligences. Ponder on each intelligence and decide whether you are strong, weak or neutral.

  • Emotional Intelligence. Has an awareness of and can label the moods, feelings and emotions of self as they happen and of others.
  • Intrapersonal Intelligence. Having an ability to deal with inner states of being, self-inquiry, self-reflection, thinking strategies, emotional processing, focusing and concentration skills, etc.
  • Interpersonal Intelligence. Having an ability to effectively deal with person-to-person relationships and communications.
  • Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence. Having an ability to communicate with written and spoken words.
  • Logical-Mental Intelligence. Having an ability to deal with deductive thinking and reasoning, and the recognition of abstract patterns.
  • Mathematical Intelligence. Having the ability to deal effectively with numbers.
  • Visual-Spatial Intelligence. Having the ability to deal with the sense of sight and being able to visualize an object and create internal mental images or pictures.
  • Intuitive-Imaginative Intelligence. Having the ability to imagine options and outcomes and to predict consequences.
  • Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence. Having the ability to deal with physical movement and the wisdom of the body.
  • Life-Beingness Intelligence. Having the ability to understand the nature of beingness and how life works.
  • Rhythmic Intelligence. Having the ability to recognize tonal patterns, including various environmental sounds, and sensitivity to rhythm and beats.
  • Musical Intelligence. Having the ability to recognize different kinds of musical styles, tunes, genres, cultural variations and instruments.

Natural Intelligences In Action

In the above activity, you identified intelligences with which you have a natural propensity. If you look at your life, you can probably see plenty of examples of things that you do, as hobbies or interests, in which you use your strongest natural intelligences. For example, I have a strong Visual-Spatial Intelligence. As I result, I find myself loving to decorate my house. In fact, I even love decorating others' homes, especially when I get to spend their money. Another way I used this talent was when I designed my web pages. I thoroughly enjoyed figuring out how to layout information on each page, working out a consistent theme, designing images and logos, etc. The visual appeal of my pages is as important to me as the content. Plus, I always remember what someone looks like before I remember their name. Yet another way I express this intelligence is in my appearance: my clothing and accessories are always coordinated, my hair always neatly coifed and my shoes shined.

Experiential Activity

Take your strong intelligences and describe the ways you express those intelligences.

Enhancing Your Intelligences

While a propensity for some intelligences is naturally inherent - you are either born with it or not, for instance, having a head for numbers - you can enhance your aptitude for various intelligences. One factor which influences the strength with which you embody a given intelligence is the attention and focus you place on its development. For instance, I could say that my Emotional Intelligence was weak for most of my life. But that was because I never sought out understanding the emotional state. Now that I've spent a great many years exploring the emotional world and coming to understand what it is and how it functions, I could say that my Emotional Intelligence has grown to become a strength. My former weakness was due more in part to my lack of awareness and understanding than to lacking the inherent intelligence. Because I had a strong desire to expand my Emotional intelligence, and took the time and effort to expand it, my Emotional intelligence has been expanded considerably.

One could argue that any of the intelligences could be developed into a strength simply by giving it enough attention and focus to develop it. While that is true to an extent - one could become proficient in an intelligence for which there is no God-given talent for it - the extent to which one can master it lies in the extent of one's natural propensity for it. In others words, there are degrees to which one can master anything. For example, Beethoven had a natural gift for music - he lived, breathed and slept music - but everyone need not be a Beethoven before they can become highly skilled and enjoy the joys and rewards of composing music.

The extent to which someone can develop a given intelligence or reap financial rewards through use of it lies more in their own belief about the success they can achieve than the extent of their talent. For instance, in high school Michael Jordan had problems making the basketball team, and he didn't blossom until his coach helped him to gain confidence. Einstein was kicked out of school and was told he was stupid, yet he went on to be considered a genius by many. Haven't we all heard about someone who was told by a "so called" expert that they would never be successful in a given pursuit, then went on to buck all odds to be an overwhelming success?

The importance of this discussion is that if you are going to create a foundation for your dream career, base it on what you already have a knack for, then that career will reap more joyous and fulfilling rewards, because you will be spending more time expressing the aspect of you that you love the most. This goes back to what I said earlier: That which one does well and easily is often that which one loves doing the most. So, in looking at your own intelligences, which ones you have is far less important than how you feel about the ones you have and how you desire to apply them to your career and life. In considering which intelligences you want to build upon for your dream career, focus on the ones that you enjoy expressing the most, the ones you love the most and the ones which you desire to explore more fully.

Pause & Ponder

Take another look at the intelligences for which you have a strong propensity and decide which ones you would like to carry forward in building the foundation for your dream career.

Roles and Perspectives

People tend to wear different hats at different times; these hats are what we call playing "roles." Playing roles comes naturally, for the roles we play are a natural extension of who we are and how we express ourselves. For example, a person may play the role of Nurturer while tending to his/her children (being sympathetic and kind and a good listener), yet switch to play the role of Achiever while working on job details (striving to accomplish tasks), then switch again to play the role of Organizer in his/her social life (organizing a fund-raiser).

The dominant role you play tends to color the perspective with which you view the world. Your perspective is the particular way in which you perceive experiences, relate to life and your approach to problem solving. It is the lens through which you make meaning of all that you experience. For example, if a friend of yours just experienced an emotional upheaval in his/her life, then how you respond will depend on your dominate perspective (role that you play). If that is a Helper, then you would tend to be sensitive to your friend's needs and feel compelled to respond to those needs. If, however, you are playing the Caretaker role, you might immediately jump in to try and fix the problem. But if your dominate perspective was an Analyst, then you would most likely try to figure out what went wrong.

There are dozens of different ways to categorize the different roles that people play. The categories used in this section have been influenced by many methods of typecasting people, but are ultimately a creation of the authors. We've built this section from our own personal study, exploration and observations into the different ways people perceive their world.

Perspectives tend to be changeable, depending on the circumstances in which we find ourselves.  For example, I mostly play the role of Creator, because whenever I hear about or see a problem I automatically start thinking of solutions. I am always operating in high gear, bursting with energy, and my mind is in perpetual motion, fitting life's pieces together in myriad ways. Yet often that is overshadowed by my Teacher eyes when I am mentoring someone, because my focus then switches to guiding them to find their own solutions. And then, when I am focused on running my business, I jump into the Leader role and become a confident, competent director. But then my Individualist perspective often underlies everything as I strive to carve out the life of my dreams.

There are two points that we are making here. First, roles are fluid and the roles we tend to play are mostly determined by the circumstances we find ourselves in. We can switch roles as easily as we can change the clothes we wear. The second point is that most people usually have one or two dominant roles that they play, roles that they tend to find themselves playing most of the time, and a few secondary roles which pop up when the circumstances warrant it.

Now to throw a monkey wrench in all this, we've also noticed that the roles we express can change and evolve as we change and evolve as beings. For example, if you had been privy to observing me as a child, you would never have guessed that I had the wherewithal to play the role of Leader. Yep, I was a wimp who always followed the pack. I, too, was surprised when my leadership capabilities emerged. Oftentimes our environment influences which roles come out to play, and by changing our environment we can change who we emerge to play as.

Experiential Activity

Here are 12 roles that people play. Think about each word, about how it would play out, and decide which ones best fit the roles you most frequently play.

___
Individualist
___
Achiever
___
Improver
___
Helper
___
Caretaker
___
Nurturer
___
Organizer
___
Analyst
___
Leader
___
Creator
___
Teacher
___
Socializer
___
Researcher
___
Doer

Remember, the roles we play are not necessarily static, but tend to change as we change. Some people will find that they have many dominant roles that they play. In that case, you have two choices: pick the ones that you enjoy the most or find a career that allows you to express them all. For example, even though you may be dominant as a Teacher and a Leader, which one would you prefer doing: managing people or teaching people? In the latter option, do not assume that it is impossible to have a career that combines all your dominant roles, especially if you start your own business and design what you do based on what you love (which is exactly what we have done).

If you will take the time to observe who you are being in any given circumstances (what role you are playing), then you will notice how your dominant perspective affects your response to that circumstance. For example, you may notice that you naturally gravitate toward wanting to soothe someone who is hurt, which is an extension of playing the role of Nurturer. Or you may notice that you are always coming up with solutions to everyone's problems, which is an expression of your Creator role.

When thinking about the career of your dreams, it is important to consider the dominant roles that you naturally gravitate toward. For example, you wouldn't want to consider a career in teaching if your dominant role is an Analyst, because teaching others is not about analyzing problems.

Pause & Ponder

Were you surprised at what you learned about the roles you play? What have you learned about yourself that wasn't apparent before? Have you noticed a particular pattern in your own life about which circumstances evoke a particular role that you play? Can you see the connection between the roles you play and the perspectives you have?

Special Areas Of Interest

This next section covers any special areas of interest you may have, subjects you gravitate toward, topics that peak your interest and hobbies that you enjoy doing. Your preferences are an important area to consider when building the career of your dreams, and can play a significant role in the satisfaction that you will derive.  For example, I am fascinated by the nature of reality, life and beingness, spending most of my free time exploring these subjects. So it's no coincidence that my career focuses on personal development and life enhancement.

Listed below are a variety of topics. Indicate all that you are interested in, feeling free to add topics not already listed.

The Arts - Music, Singing, Dance, Theatre, Stage Comedy, Film Making, Digital Art, Illustration, Design, Drawing, Painting, Printing, Photography, Composing, Creative Writing, Public Speaking, Architecture, Sculpture, Handicraft, Cooking/Food Prep, Fashion Design, etc.

Humanities - Linguistics, Language, Literature, Philosophy, Religion, Theology, etc.

History - General study, Archeology, Genealogy, Biography, etc.

Social Sciences - Statistics, Economics, Family Science, Sociology, Social Service, Criminology, Anthropology, Political Science, Geography, Psychology, Education, Law, Parapsychology, Occult Sciences, etc.

Physical Sciences - Mathematics, Computer Science, Astronomy, Physics, Chemistry, Geology, Biology, Engineering, etc.

Business - Management, Finance, Business Planning, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Real Estate, Public Relations, Import/Export, Retail/Wholesale, etc.

Trades - Mechanics, Carpentry, Plumbing, Electrical, Electronic, Painting, Roofing, Carpet Laying, Plastering, Masonry, Sheet Metal, Machinery, etc.

Health - Food Science, Physical Education, Fitness, Medicine, Alternative Medicine, Holistic Medicine, etc.

Recreation - Sports, Games, Collecting, Sailing, Racing, Travel, Entertainment, Reading, Crafts, etc.

Pause & Ponder

Looking at the special areas of interest that you have noted above, can you see any that you would like to include in a full time career? This is an important question, because while you may enjoy learning about or doing something part-time or as a hobby, that doesn't necessarily mean that you would want it to be the dominant focus in your life. Looking at those items you indicated above, list any that you might like to include in a full-time profession.

Now looking at those you might consider including in a full-time job, what specifically about each one appeals to you? What particular elements of that item are you drawn to? For example, I had a friend who kept changing majors in college because he couldn't decide between Law, Architecture, Business, Philosophy and Education. So he decided to think about each profession as a whole, then listed the individual elements that appealed to him. Here's what he came up with:

Law - Public speaking, being able to argue cases, being able to influence and persuade others, and if I ever decided to enter politics, I knew the law background would be a benefit.

Architecture - Being able to visualize an end product, then watch it materialize into something that I created, being able to create useful and beautiful things.

Business - Being my own boss, having freedom and having an unlimited earning potential.

Philosophy - Exploring spirituality and coming to understand what life is really about.

Education - Being able to teach others.

What Others Say I Am Good At

Rarely do we have the objectivity to see ourselves as others see us. Others can often see talents and abilities that we would never have thought of. Can you remember people making comments about skills that you have? For example, you may know that your red pepper jelly is a winner because everyone has told you so, but have you ever thought that it may be the ticket to a whole new career as a caterer or chef? Or perhaps everyone brings you their broken appliances because you have a knack for fixing things, but you may never have dreamed that it could give you the freedom of a home-based business opportunity. List the things that others say you do well.

Personal Profile Summary

We've completed the section on building your Personal Profile, which included your natural intelligences, the roles you tend to play, special interests that you may have and things which other people say you are good at. But before we move on to building your Professional Profile in the next issue, let's take a moment to capture the essence of your Personal Profile.

It is your choice about how you express yourself, so we encourage you to limit your profile to only those items that bring you great satisfaction, fulfillment and life-enhancing energy. That's not to say that you should ignore things you do well and easily, for you will always find opportunities to express those talents, but you want to base the core of your career on that which you love the most.

Remember, this is your dream career, so just because you may have a talent in a given area doesn't mean that you have to use it, especially if it doesn't particularly excite you.  For instance, I rated fairly high on Logical-Mental Intelligence, and while I frequently enjoy using that talent (doing puzzles, understanding how things work and solving problems), I would never want a career based on being mental and logical all the time. If I had to solve problems for a living, I would shrivel up and die because it wouldn't nourish my stronger propensities for being a creator, teacher, speaker and writer.

To create a summary of your unique Personal Profile, carry forward your responses to these questions:

I've always dreamed of being/doing:

Natural intelligences upon which to build my career are:

The roles I tend to play the most are:

Special interests or hobbies that I want to turn into a career are:

Things others say I am good at are:

Building a Professional Profile

One way to insure success is to align your career with your natural talents and abilities, which were discussed in the previous issue. Additionally, you have acquired education, experiences and skills that you have picked up along the way. For some of you, the education you've gained, the work experiences you've had or the skills you've worked to acquire are not serving you, because once you started working in your chosen field you might have found out that you didn't like it. There are thousands of stories about people who spent up to 10 years becoming educated in a particular field - doctor, lawyer, engineer - only to find out that it didn't excite them or reward them or give them the job satisfaction that they craved. Or what about those people discussed in the Dream Recovery section who chucked a successful career (and years of education and training) in order to do what they loved, and have never regretted it one moment?

The fact that you may have spent many years to develop yourself for a given career and are not satisfied with that choice does not mean that there is anything wrong with you. Perhaps you were pressured into that field by well-meaning people and felt unable to buck the system. Perhaps you just didn't have someone to encourage you to find the career of your dreams. Or perhaps at the time it seemed like the right thing to do, but now you have different values and goals. Whatever the reason is that you are not happy in your present situation, it is okay to make a change. You aren't still wearing the same wardrobe that you bought 15 or 20 years ago, are you? And most likely you aren't still eating the same foods that you did as a child. The more people are exposed to broader options in life, the more they discover a desire for change. And the days of staying at the same job for one's entire career are long gone.

Think of this section as building your professional profile, which represents your toolkit of what you already know, can do and have enjoyed. Most likely you will find many aspects of past school and work experiences that you found appealing - industries that excited you, special projects or tasks that really brought out the best in you, product or service focuses that caused you to feel like a contributor, etc. Plus, by building this profile, you will be better able to uncover gaps in your education, skills or professional experiences that will need to be filled once you discover your niche.

Yet, be discriminating in how you respond to the experiential activities in this section. If you have experience in a given area, but hated the experience, then don't list it. If you have acquired a skill, but hate using that skill, then don't list it. If you have been educated in a particular field, but hate that field, then don't list it. Are you getting the idea here? This is about building a profile of the things you enjoyed doing, of the experiences you enjoyed having and of the things you enjoyed learning. If you can't say, "Yumm! I'd like to have more of that." Then omit it.

One last comment, this section deals mostly with capturing experiences from your professional life, but if you've never worked before, then think about the experiences you've had in general - as a volunteer, as a homemaker, as a parent, as a student. Just because you've never worked outside of the home or for an income or professionally does not mean that you haven't acquired valuable experiences, skills or education.

Note: use a separate sheet of paper to respond to the following segments:

What Are My Company, Job or Volunteer Experiences?

List the organizations or situations that you have had in the past and the jobs that you did for them. Include volunteer activities and make special note of those things that made your heart sing, where you experienced a natural flow; a sense of well-being and satisfaction. Rate the experience on a scale from 1- 5:

5. Full steam ahead. Do it again, baby!!

4. Flowed easily with this one.

3. Percolated right along.

2. I enjoyed this.

1. Ho..hum

Repeat the following 3 questions for each organization that you have worked with or volunteer activity that you participated in:

  1. The name of the organization is:
  2. What I did for them:
  3. How I'd rate the experience:

In Which Industries Do I Have Experience?

List the industries in which you have working experience, for example, insurance, legal, financial, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, retail, wholesale, aerospace, personal growth, mail order, entertainment, etc.

Repeat the following 2 questions for each industry that you have in:

  1. The industries I have experience in are:
  2. What I enjoyed most about that industry was:

Is there an industry that you have no experience in, but that you want to explore more fully? If you want to step into an industry for which you have no experience, do not be discouraged. Some industries do have common traits. For instance, how would the transition from a lawyer to an actor translate? Lawyers research cases; actors research roles. Lawyers act in front of a judge and jury; actors act in front of camera or audience. By doing a little research, you can discover how much of what you already know can port over into the new industry and what your learning curve would be to change industries.

What Projects Have I Worked on that I Enjoyed?

What projects have you worked on that have provided you with experience that you can apply toward the career of your dreams? What role did you play in bringing that project to completion? What about those projects brought such enjoyment? List only those projects that rang your bell, challenged you, gave you a sense of accomplishment or felt rewarding and satisfying.

For example, one of my favorite projects was to facilitate the set up and implementation of a Skills Management system across 20 departments for a company in northern Canada. What I enjoyed about this project was that I was working with a large group of diverse people, that it was a challenge to coordinate the coding systems and implementation procedures for all 20 departments and to see how far I could stretch the software program to accommodate their diverse needs and I had to think creatively when teaching them how to use the software.

Repeat the following 3 questions for each project you have worked on:

  1. A description of the project was:
  2. The role I played in that project was:
  3. What I enjoyed most about the project was:

What Tasks Can I Competently Perform?

A task is a unit of work that has a definite beginning and end, is performed by one or more individuals and produces a product or service. Take a closer look at the projects listed above. What specific tasks were you involved with that brought fulfillment and satisfaction to you? And what about the task stimulated you?

For example, one task I love doing is writing, because it gives me a creative outlet, it stimulates my mind to think in ways beyond my own experiences and it allows me to communicate with others in unique and interesting ways. When I am writing I am highly focused, my creative juices flow and I am in a state of pure joy. However, when it comes time to edit what I have written, I find it to be a tedious process that bogs down my creative flow. I can usually manage a first editing pass, but anything beyond that and I completely lose interest and focus.

Take the time to think about how you feel about each task that you know how to do. Do you enjoy doing it? Or do you do it because you feel you "have to"? Is it something that you would rather not do? Or is it something you don't mind doing once in a while, but would rather spend your time focusing on something else? Just because you know how to do something doesn't mean that you have to spend your time doing it, especially if you don't really enjoy doing it.

First, brainstorm the tasks you know how to do well, and note what about that task you enjoyed the most, then go back and rate each task using this rating system:

5 = Love it and want more, more, more.

4 = Enjoy it and don't mind having lots of it.

3 = It's okay, but I'd only want a small amount of it.

2 = I'd rather not do it, but every now and then is okay.

1 = Yuck! I hate it and if I never do it again, that's okay by me.

Repeat the following 3 questions for each task that you are proficient in doing:

  1. The task description is:
  2. What I enjoyed most about doing that task was:
  3. How I'd rate that task is:

What Skills Have I Acquired?

A skill is what you must know or be able to do to perform a task. It is distinct from training because it is the ability to apply knowledge, not just hold it. There are many different classifications of skills, for instance:

Behavior: Relationship - Being approachable, communicating accurately and succinctly, having composure, being patience, listening, resolving conflicts, having political savvy, knowing telephone etiquette, negotiating, dealing with angry people, facilitating, coaching, mentoring, teaching, instructing, advising, tutoring, motivating, encouraging, inspiring, matching, networking, translating, interpreting, marketing, selling, speaking, enabling, empowering, mediating, persuading, etc.

Behavior: Self-directed - Managing time, being strategically agile, making decisions, setting goals, knowing own talents, abilities and short-comings, having determination, having perseverance, being creative, expressing humor, thinking and reasoning abstractly, dealing with pressure, memorizing, keeping track of details, adapting, conforming, accommodating, observing details, etc.

Technical - Programming, debugging, designing, modeling, installing, repairing, servicing, cleaning, restoring, fixing, analyzing, appraising, evaluating, assessing, quantifying, calculating, diagnosing, troubleshooting, researching, molding, shaping, sculpting, woodworking, cutting, chiseling, carving, constructing, engineering, drawing, wiring, inspecting, auditing, dissecting, synthesizing, operating computers, merchandising, etc.

Business Skills - Planning meetings or events, writing (technical, business, documentation, proposals, grants, creative, etc.), cost justifying, collecting data, solving problems, assessing risks, studying feasibility, researching, probing, compiling, assembling, editing, proofreading, presenting information, bookkeeping, managing records, scheduling appointments or meetings, balancing a checkbook, filing, typing, diagramming, prioritizing, organizing,

Management - Recruiting, screening, interviewing, selecting, coaching, counseling, assessing performance, career pathing, career planning, building teams, allocating resources, delegating, making decisions, projecting, estimating, planning, budgeting, forecasting, managing, supervising, directing, leading, etc.

Miscellaneous - Starting new things, initiating, establishing, formulating new ideas, inventing, creating, multi-tasking, clerking, playing games, performing, entertaining, amusing, acting, miming, singing, playing an instrument, painting, drawing, operating equipment, operating machinery, massaging, healing, soothing, knitting, sewing, cooking, serving, helping, etc

What skills have you acquired as a result of your work, volunteer or life experiences? In responding to this question, list only those skills that you either thoroughly enjoy doing or that you don't mind doing. If there are skills that you have acquired, but that you loathe doing, then don't list them.

Note: Doing what you love is not about doing only the things you love, for it would be nearly impossible to eliminate many of the day-to-day tasks (and skills needed to perform those tasks) that are inherent in working and living. But you do want to exclude doing tasks (and using skills) that you don't like to do or that you don't do well.

First, brainstorm all the skills that you have acquired, noting the reason you enjoy using that skill, then rate each skill using this scale:

5 = Love it and want more, more, more.

4 = Enjoy it and don't mind having lots of it.

3 = It's okay, but I'd only want a small amount of it.

2 = I'd rather not do it, but every now and then is okay.

1 = Yuck! I hate it and if I never do it again, that's okay by me.

Repeat the following 3 questions for each skill that you have acquired:

  1. A skill that I've acquired is:
  2. The reason I enjoy using that skill is:
  3. How I would rate my enjoyment of doing that skill is:

What Organizations or Societies Do I Now or Have I Belonged To?

Often our involvement with civic or social organizations or societies says a lot about who we think we are or who we want to be. List all organizations or societies in which you participate, especially those which reflect who you are in your community or social group. Also think about what attracted you to these organizations and what you're getting from your involvement. Plus, these groups could be a source of future business leads, and should be considered as part of your experience profile.

Repeat the following 3 questions for each organization or society:

  1. The name of the organization or society is:
  2. I was attracted to it because:
  3. What I'm getting (or got) from my involvement is:

What Is My Work Experience Wish List?

What industries, projects or tasks have you always wanted to experience? If you have dreams and ambitions to work in a given sector, consider them now and see if there is an opportunity to incorporate them into your career plan.

What Credentials Do I Have?

List degrees, honors, licenses, certificates, memberships or professional designations that you feel enhance who you are or support the career of your dreams.

  1. Degrees I have acquired are:
  2. Honors I have received are:
  3. Licenses that I hold are:
  4. Certificates that I have acquired are:
  5. Professional designations that I have are:
  6. Memberships that I hold are:
  7. Other credentials that I have acquired are:

Professional Profile Summary

Create a summary of your Professional Profile, highlighting all the things that you listed above that rang your bell, excited you and that you enjoyed doing. These would be those items that got a 3, 4 or 5 rating. If you are undecided about whether or not to list something, just ask yourself this question, "Is this something I want to include in my new career?"

Company, job or volunteer experiences I enjoyed:

Industries I enjoyed:

Projects that stimulated me:

Tasks that I do well:

Skills that I am proficient in:

Organizations or societies that I enjoy belonging to:

Work experiences that I would love to have:

Credentials I have that will support my dream career:

(Click here for part 1 of 5)   (Click here for part 3 of 5)

1998-2012 Carol A James All rights reserved.

Return to Career Table of Contents

FREE Monthly Newsletters

We publish four FREE monthly email newsletters: Click Here to Subscribe to One or More Newsletters

  • Inspired Lifestyles News - Inspiring, motivating and empowering quotes, stories and articles
  • Healthy Lifestyles News - Articles, resources and products for living a healthier, more vibrant life
  • Inspired Biz News - Articles and resources for a more spiritual, whole-living work environment
  • InspiredLiving.com News & Sale Announcements - Sales events, new products and specials