There are women out there that have always known what they wanted to do with their lives in terms of their job and career. But for most of us out there, the path to finding a job that we love can be a rocky one. And sometimes, we don’t have the luxury pursuing that path because we just need an income.
The tools below apply to women how are ready and able to try to find their true career abundance. You may have been out of the traditional workforce for years or are currently in a successful job but are ready for more.
Through this process, we will help you navigate your path to finding a fulfilling job or career. It will still be challenging but think of it as your walking stick that makes the trail a bit easier. The path will take time and effort but if you do the work you will walk away with a better sense of your skills, your passions, your needs and how you can pull them together to discover meaningful career opportunities.
As our special offer to you, if you send your completed worksheet to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we will schedule a free 15-minute consult to get you moving forward on your path to a career of fulfillment and abundance.
Your journey begins with an understanding and honesty about yourself. This process is all about knowing yourself, thinking creatively and putting yourself out there. It can be a little uncomfortable at times but the Colibri Life Community is here to support you!
Feel free to use this worksheet to guide you through the process and let’s start the adventure!
First Step: Connecting with Your Values
Understanding your values and what drives you is a key step in finding a job you love. How can you get excited about a job if it doesn’t provide you the things you need? In this section, we figure out where your values lie and what you need to be happy!
Your Value Activity:
- Brainstorm all of the things you value. Values can include things like money, time, flexibility, praise/kudos/recognition, relationships, giving back/social impact.
- Circle your top 5 or 6.
- Rank your list of 5 or 6 in priority order.
- Give them a percentage of how much that value means to you. For example, your list may be Money, Flexibility, Relationships, and Social Impact but Money may be the most important so you give it a percentage of 60% while Flexibility gets 30% and Relationships and Social Impact each get 15%. Your total should always be 100%.
The Connecting with your Values exercise helps you understand not only the things that motivate you but how much of an impact they have on your life at this point in time.
Colibri Life Pro Tip:
Your values may change based on your current situation so this is a good list to check in on every 6 months or so to make sure you still feel the same way.
Second Step: Uncovering Your Strengths
Once you have a good handle on what makes work worthwhile, you need to get very clear on what you are good at. Accomplishments can be hard for women to think of as we often don’t acknowledge all of the amazing things we do on a daily basis. The fact that you are juggling the search for an amazing career with everything else going on in your life is an accomplishment in itself! Accomplishments don’t have to be work related. It could be about helping a friend or about a project you did at your child’s school or even just managing the schedule so you (and your kids if you have them) actually get to where you need to go on time with everything you need.
Your Strengths Activity:
- Think about your top ten greatest accomplishments (Don’t worry – when we do this in a group setting everyone gets that look on their face that says, “Ten? I can barely think of one!” But everyone gets there).
- Narrow your ten down to the 3 to 5 that you are most proud of.
- Answer the following questions on each accomplishment on your short list
- Why was this accomplishment one of the most important to me? What about it did I enjoy most?
- What was my involvement? Was I tasked with it, did I initiate it, was I on a team, working alone?
- What was my motivation? Was it personal or social recognition, company recognition?
- What was the environment like? Was it entrepreneurial and fast paced? Slower & controlled?
- What was the focus of the activity?
- What core values drove my work? Collaboration, empowerment, accountability, innovation, efficiency, diversity, service excellence, etc.
Really spend some time reflecting on the ‘why?’ as that will help you focus in on key patterns later on in the process.
- Circle any key words in your accomplishments or description of the ‘why?’ that really speak to you.
Colibri Life Pro Tip:
If you are struggling with this exercise, there are additional tools you can leverage to determine your strengths. In our Life Line on Rocking Your Strengths Statement, we discuss a several ways to get feedback from others as well as online tools that can help you identify your strengths.
Third Step: Identifying your Interests
The final piece of this puzzle is to figure out what makes you spark. What are the activities, ideas, topics where you can lose time?
Your Interests Activity:
- Answer the following questions.
- What comes naturally to me?
- On what topics do people seek my input?
- What would I do for free?
- What am I doing when I lose track of time (in a good way)?
- What did I love to do as a child?
- Where do I look if you have time to go to a bookstore? Or online?
- What gets my blood boiling that I would love to fix?
If these questions aren’t sparking anything, we have included a few additional questions on the worksheet.
- Write down the top 3-5 activities, ideas, topics that most appeal to you right now.
Fourth Step: Putting it all Together
Now that you know your values, strengths and interests, you can start to put them together to see if there are any common themes. This is where the creativity comes in so if you’re not in a creative mood, put the worksheet aside until you are. A great way to get some additional insight is to get a few friends together and show them your work to see what themes or ideas they may see. This step takes a little work and digging in to your responses but once you start to find those themes, you are well on your path to finding career abundance.
Pulling It Together Activity:
- Draw a Venn diagram (essentially just 3 connecting circles – see sample on the worksheet).
- In one circle, list out your top values from the first step. In the second circle, write the key words you circled from your accomplishments. In the third circle write your top 3-5 activities, ideas, or topics from the “Identifying your Interests” activity.
- Look at the work you have completed and the summary in your three circles and try to figure out what some of the common themes are that touch all three areas – your values, your strengths, your interests.
As an example, one of our Colibri Women had a senior level job where she ran large projects but she wasn’t fully satisfied with her role and she wasn’t sure why. As her top interest she loved to cook, but while she enjoyed starting with a recipe she very much liked to go ‘off cook’ and add her own creative flair to the dish. Most of all, she liked to see the end product and the reaction it brought to her family when they tasted it. With some discussion, we realized that in her job, she did not have the creative freedom to add her expertise and she always moved on to another project before the first one was complete so she never really got to see the results. All of her values were lined up with what her job gave her but she was missing these two elements so we gave her some tips on speaking to her boss about working projects end to end and having some creative freedom in how things were handled. Her boss was ecstatic and she went from being miserable most days to loving her job again.
Fifth Step: Finding the Right Match
Once you have identified the aspects of work that you truly love, your reaction will likely be, “But there isn’t a job out there that will let me do those things.” You might be surprised!
The Right Match Activity:
- Take your ‘themes’ and start talking to people. Start with friends and family. Tell them about the themes you have identified and ask if they know of any jobs that may pull those areas together.
- Once you have a few ideas, start doing a few informational interviews in those areas to see if that might be something you are interested in.
Colibri Life Pro Tip:
To find people in different jobs that would be willing to have a discussion with you, leverage our Colibri Community. We realize that this can be a challenging process on your own. Join us at one of our Colibri Life ‘Finding Your Career You’ Classes for additional support.