Allison Cheston, Career Connector

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To Be Happy in Life, Find the Right Career

 
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I just read an excellent book called Wellbeing, by the authors of StrengthsFinder 2.0 and the Gallup Poll. These guys have written great books about identifying your strengths so you can figure out how to use them in your career and other areas of your life.

Wellbeing assesses the impact of five key elements on a person’s life: Career Wellbeing, Social Wellbeing, Financial Wellbeing, Physical Wellbeing and Community Wellbeing. Among the five elements, Career Wellbeing was found to have the most far-reaching effects; your career influences your enjoyment, or lack thereof, of everything else in your life. If your work life isn’t going well, it’s likely that other areas of your life will suffer. So that’s a great reason to figure out what you want to do and where you want to do it as early as you can, to enhance your quality of life for the long term.

The first step to discovering what you should do for work is to think about what your strengths are—usually when you’re good at something, you also like doing it. Think about what you choose to spend your time doing—whatever it is. There is a business attached to anything you can think of, so even if what you like seems unlikely as a career path, with some research and creative thinking you may find it leads somewhere positive.

The second step is to turn theory into reality through focused experimentation: internships, interviews with professionals in the field, shadowing, volunteering. Try looking at your prospective career path from every possible angle—not just the obvious ones.

Although things may look fuzzy initially, eventually patterns will begin to emerge and you will be able to draw a more specific picture of what you might want to do—as well as what you don’t want to do. Career choice is too important for your long-term happiness, so don’t wait—do the hard work now!