Some people are totally charged up about what they do and where they are going, whilst others feel that each day is something of a trial and growth and development is a burden. Where are you in this? Do you love what you do each day?
For many people their personal strengths, knowledge and expertise may have been programmed into them. They end up in a particular career path, working for a particular type of organisation because, from an early age, other people (parents, teachers, mentors) influenced their choices.
Some people are in a particular career because this is what they studied to do. Sadly, this does not necessarily mean that they enjoy doing it. Of course, every career has some elements that we enjoy less than others but what is the right balance for you?
We can assess our strengths and weaknesses further by rating out of 10 for each activity within a job against two questions:
- How much long-term benefit or meaning did I experience from this activity?
- How much short-term happiness or satisfaction did I experience from this activity?
There are no “right” answers to these questions and your rating score is entirely down to you (by all means keep changing it until you work out what is really a 10, and what is really a 1)
Consider your current job (or whatever you are doing now) and take a typical day (a week if you change what you do each day) and record what you do, for how long and what score out of ten you give that activity against the two questions.
For example, you may spend 3 hours in meetings, 1 hour traveling to and from work, 90 minutes on emails, 30 minutes surfing the net searching for information, 30 minutes in the coffee-room, an hour for lunch, 2 hours preparing a presentation, 30 minutes on phone calls to clients. This might look something like this:
View a full-sized version of the example here.
Remember, this is just an example, you can break it down further and of course, you will have more distinct activities in your day.
The benefit of doing this is that you quickly identify the activities that you enjoy doing the most and those that bring you the most benefit. Searching the Internet for example, can be very satisfactory in the short-term, especially if you are searching for something in your area of interest. But half an hour can disappear with little to show in actual useful long-term results.
- Where is your personal growth and development time?