The best career advice hack to help you work out what direction to take when faced still with unrewarding work on a daily basis in your mid twenties is to use a card sort. This was the best advice I ever received from a career development professional. Card sorts are super useful for working out what your best skills are to start developing to the career capital that provides work you find meaningful and financially satisfying. This tip came from Rick, a 25 year career counselling veteran.
Motivated skills and Career values Card sorts
If you are evaluating the tasks confronting you, there are two especially card sorts: the Knowdell Motivated Skills and the Knowdell Career values card sort. The career values deck is also great for checking whether there are parts of building your business you will simply have to outsource. It helps you sort your work values into 5 groups from things that you always value down to those things you never value.
A card sort is just what it sounds like. You take a pack of cards marked with various values, skills or careers depending on the purpose of the sort. Then you quickly sort them into piles. For the Knowdell motivated skills sort, cards are sorted along 2 axis. The first are headed ‘Totally delight in using,’ ‘enjoy using very much,’ like using,’ ‘prefer not to use,’ and ‘strongly dislike using.’ The second axis is highly proficient, competent and lack desired skill level.
One example of how this can help in task selection was a person about to start a cooking course to become a chef. Their always valued group included the terms work life balance, independence and time freedom. In their never valued group were fast paced, work under pressure. Anyone with an understanding of restaurant kitchens knows that this person needs to find a new line of work asap, and only cook as their hobby.
Working out what you really value at work is useful for evaluating the tasks taht you can do well and not take too much paint off, and those you have to do but will be like pulling teeth. Even if you decide for other reasons – like your skills and strengths – to take on particular tasks that will conflict with your values, you are at least informed about the otherwise unseen challenges you will face to complete those tasks.
Card sorts and bus dev
Card sorts and other career coaching strategies are just as useful when evaluating and developing a personal business to complement your job. If you want to be a solopreneur you can put ideas through the matrix of your key values. For most people to succeed in something that is in addition to the demands of what you are already doing, it needs to align closely with your values. Again, if there is no alignment this isn’t necessarily a no go. It just means you need to be aware and monitor for the unseen pressures that can drain you in a short time as you get it off the ground and prepare to delegate it to someone else to do it for you.
If you actively plan to use your motivated skills every week your productivity and resilience will be greatly enhanced. This can guide you in how to apply your limited resources of energy, time and money, and build on your strengths using those skills. In solopreneur terms it helps you pick exactly the right training you need right now to progress your career and a lay the foundation for a business sooner or later.
It’s not just about you
Like all self-knowledge of any worth gained from career coaching, understanding the importance of your values and skills makes you a better member of your current teams. A conscious grasp your skills and values points you in the direction where you can develop the most and become more valuable to your customers, and colleagues. It also brings you face to face with your limitations. By honestly embracing your limitations you free yourself to acknowledge and accept the limitations of everyone. That enhances your impact with customers and contractors. To say nothing of freeing yourself of a belief that can easily fuel the draining of your precious time and energy through pointless and indeed groundless frustration with others.