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I Have 8 Ideas to Spot Your Ideal Career Path. Do You Have 5 Minutes?

I Have 8 Ideas to Spot Your Ideal Career Path. Do You Have 5 Minutes?

Some grow up knowing exactly which career path they want to take while others just can’t seem to figure it out. Maybe you’ve been in the same profession for years and you’re looking to get into something else, but you’re just not sure what. We’d all love to find our calling early on in life and live happily ever after. Unfortunately, that is rarely what happens. If you’re struggling to decide which career path is right for you, here are some ideas to help ease the stress.

Take the Tests to Find Out What Excites You

Whatever you decide to do, make sure it’s something that you’re going to enjoy. Make sure you won’t dread getting out of bed every day. It’s not as difficult as it seems. Sit down, think about the things that you genuinely enjoy doing and write them down. Having a passion for something isn’t the only thing required when discovering a career path, but it’s certainly an essential part. When you thoroughly enjoy something, it’ll definitely help you power through the bad days.

If you need some help, try taking the free personality test below. It requires you to really think about what you enjoy and to evaluate yourself. When completed, you’ll be given a list of different professions based on your answers:

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Big Five Personality Test

The next test asks a series of 60 questions about different things you could see yourself doing. Such as working with people or working with spreadsheets on a computer. At the end of the test you’ll be given a list of professions that you may enjoy just like the test above:

My Next Move Career Test

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Use the G+P+V Formula for Perfect Match

  • G-Gifts
  • P-Passions
  • V-Values

“Gifts” means to consider your strengths. Start by thinking about what you’re good at and writing it down. “Passions” means to think about what excites you. Do you enjoy helping other people, working alone, solving problems? Lastly, “values” is really all about your personality and lifestyle. What about the way you work is nonnegotiable? When you use your strengths towards what you’re invested in, a path that supports your values will lead you to a career that you genuinely enjoy.

Find a Mentor to Clear All Your Confusion

Having a mentor is extremely beneficial when figuring out which career path is best for you. They could really help you take your career to new heights. It’s like having an insider to talk with about the career and make sure you’re on the right path. If you’re unsure how to ask someone to be your mentor, try this: when you find a career that you’re interested in, explore different companies and people to see if you’re able to shadow for a few days. This will give you a better idea of what you’ll be doing in that line of work.

Take a Look at the Options You Have Never Considered

There are popular careers that we all know about such as being a teacher, doctor, lawyer, etc. For some, those typical choices may not peak your interest in the slightest. There are thousands upon thousands of jobs out there. Many you probably have not heard about. Take a look at these unusual jobs from Business Insider.

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You Don’t Have to Hop Between Full-Time Jobs, Internships Can Be Your Choice

If you have some flexibility, an internship is an awesome way to get first-hand experience in the field of work you’re looking to get into. As the internship comes to a close, you may be able to score a full-time job. It may help you discover that you’re on the wrong career path which is okay. Something positive comes from both outcomes. Either way, it’ll help build your network and introduce you to people who you can get career and job advice from.

Prepare a Clear Career Plan to Stop Yourself from Distracted

As with a lot of things in life, it will be more beneficial if you have some plans made and goals set for yourself. Maybe you’ve thought about becoming a writer, but after writing comes editing and you’re not sure that’s what you want to do. Maybe you’ve been a nurse for years, and you’d like to become a florist. It’s important to think about how you’re going to get there.

Make a map planning out where you want to go with steps, possible obstacles, and goals.

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Take Aptitude Tests to Understand Your Interest and Strengths

You may be sitting there thinking that you don’t know what interests you or what your strong suits are. Personality and career assessment tests help narrow down careers that you may enjoy, and are at least worth looking into. You may have taken them in high school so you could start thinking about what you’d like to do. Maybe you took one in college when you started to rethink whether or not the major you chose was a good fit. This one from Oprah’s website includes 5 aptitude tests on the first page. You can download and complete each one. When finished, head over to page two to see your results and what they mean.

Make Use of the Resources You Have

There’s no harm in reaching out to people. One of the best ways to find a career path is to talk with and ask people questions about their field of work. It will give you a little insight when you’re unsure what the job entails. Another great outlet to look into and take advantage of is LinkedIn. It has tons of information about a laundry list of professions, and you have the option to message people when you have some questions. Take a look at this site which lists many different careers and what they entail. It’s a great resource to use when researching.

Look at You career As a Stepping Stone

A career isn’t about racing to the top. Look at your career as if it were a marathon. Instead of a sprint, learn to enjoy all the twists and turns, all the ups and the downs that you encounter along the way. When you put all of your experiences together, you will find a career worth having.

Figuring out and deciding what career path you want to take may be long, frustrating, and difficult. It’s impossible to know if you’re going to enjoy what you choose to do twenty years down the line, but it’s important to think about the here and now. What do YOU enjoy? Choosing a particular career does not mean you have to spend the rest of your life in that profession. Explore all of your options and have fun doing your research. Knowledge is power!

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Erica Wagner

Erica is a passionate writer who shares inspiring ideas and lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

But what does being productive actually entail?

Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

1. Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

2. Turn off Notifications

According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

3. Manage Interruptions

There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

4. Eat the Frog

Mark Twain once famously said that:

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“if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

5. Cut Down on Meetings

Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

6. Utilize Tools

Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

Some examples of tools that could be used:

Communication
  • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
  • Samepage for video conference software.
  • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
Task Management
  • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
  • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
  • Wekan for an open source option.
Database Management
Time Tracking
  • Clockify for a free tracker.
  • TMetric for workspace integrations.
  • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

7. Declutter and Organize

Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

8. Take Breaks

Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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9. Drink Water

Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

The Bottom Line

The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

More About Boosting Productivity

Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

Reference

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