This might seem like a bit of an odd question, but it actually happens all the time. The point at which people realise it though, is usually mid-career, when changing career is much harder.
It starts at the very beginning. Yes, the very beginning when we are just babies, we just don’t know it then!
As babies, our parents are always on the look for those things that make us special. They are always on the look-out to find what we are good at; how do we compare to all the other babies?
We also learn a lot of our skills during childhood through both our parents, family and social circles.
Once we start going to school, our Teachers help to educate us and we learn more about the world and develop new skills. We are praised and encouraged to further develop them, so that as we get older, we are streamed in to classes and subjects aligned to those skills. The more we excel at them the more our school Teachers, Careers Advisers, family and friends use them as the basis to help guide us in our future career choices.
Some of us will then make further choices to decide on options for College and perhaps even University.
During most of this time, the conversations we have are based on skills and strengths we have developed. It’s only later that we start to address the importance of doing things that we’re actually really interested in! Too often young people are leaving University realising they don’t want to follow their initial chosen career path; because it’s no longer what they are interested in or passionate about.
Whilst skills are still really important in our careers, they don’t always drive our careers in the right direction. Our interests and passions do!
How different might peoples’ careers be, if their education had been more focused on their values, interests and passions in order to drive their skills, strengths and ultimately their career decisions?
We can all learn new skills, but we can’t learn to be more interested in something we are not.
What does this look like in reality? It looks like those clients I meet who are working in careers they’re really skilled at which just don’t make them happy. In mid-life they’re lost, stuck and trapped by their salaries and adult responsibilities and therefore feel unable to change.
Helping these clients is not about asking them more about their skills and strengths and what they’re good at; it’s about finding what their passions are; what gives them purpose, what are their values and ultimately, what really lights them up!
What lights you up?
If you’re interested in finding out more, contact me for a free 30 minute ‘careers conversation’.