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6 Steps to Finding the Perfect Career

6 Steps to Finding the Perfect Career

Getting a job is not the goal.  Finding the perfect career is.

Millions of people in the world are unhappy in their jobs.  Why?  They have limited options.  They are afraid to change.  They have chosen careers that are not a good fit for their talents, or careers about which they are not passionate.  But you can avoid those pitfalls and take charge of your work life.  Here are 6 steps to finding the perfect career.

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Step 1: Create options

If you want the perfect career, you have to know what you want, and what you don’t want.  This requires options.  Luckily, many ways to create options exist: gain expertise through online classes or seminars, grow your connections by joining networking groups, update your resume and post it to several job boards, hire a career coach.  Any or all of these will increase your visibility and expertise, and therefore the number of potential options for your perfect career.

Step 2: Don’t be afraid to change

Most people start out with an idea about what their perfect career might be, and most people end up in a career that is different than the one they considered first.  That’s OK.  College majors are not life sentences.  If you didn’t find the perfect career the first time around, you can still create it.  Consider ways to use your major differently.  An education major might be useful because of its emphasis on planning; an accounting major might save you the expense of hiring someone else to balance the books for your entrepreneurial venture.  It’s all about reframing.

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Step 3: Know what you’re made of

It is impossible to find your perfect career without understanding yourself.  Take assessments.  Know your strengths and weaknesses.  Discover your passions.  Understand your motivations.  Your perfect career is not the same as someone else’s perfect career, and the more you know about what you’re made of, the easier it will be to determine the right fit.

Step 4: Define your non-negotiables

Does your perfect career require work/life balance?  Does it require a certain income level?  Does it have a high degree of autonomy?  Do you want to manage others?  Make a wish list for your perfect career, and decide what is absolutely essential versus what would be nice to have.  Refuse to compromise on the essentials.  Your perfect career is not just good enough; it’s perfect.

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Step 5: Interview jobs; don’t let jobs interview you

When you know what you’re made of, and you’ve defined your non-negotiables, use them to decide whether or not a role is right for you.  Interview prospective employers and screen potential jobs.  Will this job fuel your passion in 6 months?  6 years?  60 years?  How will it allow you to contribute in a meaningful way?  Do most of the responsibilities line up well with your strengths?  Will you have help in areas of weakness?  If not, it might be better to look elsewhere.  Have the confidence to say, “My perfect career is out there, and this is not it.”  Employers look for people who know themselves well and carry themselves with confidence.  If the fit for one role is not ideal, they might approach you with another that would be better for you.

Step 6: Be patient

Sometimes the perfect career is developed, not found.  Most people don’t start their careers with a very high income or an opportunity to manage others.  Often, specific experiences are necessary prerequisites for the perfect career.  If you have a job that affords you these experiences, it might be worth remaining patient in order to have more options later.  Also, never take a job just to have one.  It’s true that sometimes beggars can’t be choosers, but this is about finding the perfect career, not just finding a job.

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The perfect career is out there.  Have the courage and patience to find it.

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Last Updated on June 19, 2019

8 Life-Changing Skills You Can Learn in Less Than 6 Months

8 Life-Changing Skills You Can Learn in Less Than 6 Months

Everyone has the ability to learn a life-changing skill not just this year, but in the next 6 months.

By life-changing, I mean something that can have a positive impact in your life moving forward, even if it’s something you can’t envision today. Certain skills we can immediately reap the benefits of, while others will be life-changing when we least expect it.

In this article, we’ll share 8 life-changing skills you can learn in 6 months, where you can learn them, and how you can get started today.

1. Speed reading

Bill Gates has been known to state that if he had one superpower, it would be the ability to read faster. What Bill and the rest of the mega-successful understand is that knowledge is power. The ability to process information faster from books, articles, and reports is what will help us learn faster, and therefore improve each aspect of our life faster as well.

Where you can start learning: Speed reading courses are becoming more popular, as more people realize how important it is with the limited time we have. You can check out free courses like Read Speeder or you can start learning how to use Spritzlet, which allows you to speed read articles online with a browser extension.

2. Public speaking

Research shows that people fear public speaking more than death itself. There’s something terrifying about being in front of dozens or hundreds of people, and exposing yourself completely. It’s when you’re most vulnerable, but learning how to public speak is a life-changer.

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Warren Buffett has given advice to recent graduates that the number one skill you can have to succeed is public speaking skills. Everything from communication, confidence, and sales is developed when you develop your public speaking skills.

Where you can start learning: Luckily, there are great communities out there like Toastmasters that organize local meetups all around the world. You’ll find amazing public speakers that are looking to get to the next level to beginners that are just getting started. Check out Toastmasters’ website here.

3. Spanish

As the third most spoken language in the world, the ability to speak Spanish will allow you to reach over 500M people around the world. No matter where you live, knowing how to speak Spanish is becoming increasingly more important, with the Hispanic population and economy spreading quickly worldwide. If you’re living in the US, this is even more important, with over 30% of the population being Hispanic.

Spanish is also on this list, because it’s one of the easiest languages to learn. Sure, Mandarin is an important language to learn, but it’s an incredibly difficult one to learn. If we were to measure the level of importance and the time to learn for all the languages available, Spanish would make it to the top of the list.

One of the biggest reasons why people never reach fluency in any foreign language is: using the wrong method, and lack of time.

It turns out that humans retain only 5% of what we learn from lectures, 20% of what we learn from apps (visual cues), and 90% of what we learn from immediate immersion. Yet, how do 90% of learn a new foreign language? Language schools (lectures), books, Duolingo (apps), etc that don’t provide the real-life immersion required for our brains to learn faster.

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Where to get started: If you want the most effective way to learn a language, learning from real-life interactions is the best way to do it. There are great websites like Rype, which offers Spanish coaching for busy people, solving the issue of lack of time and bringing real-life immersion to your screen. With Rype, you can book as many lessons as you want, at any time of the day, any day of the week, allowing you to fit it into your schedule, no matter how busy you are.

4. Accounting

If you’re looking to get into business, accounting is one of the core fundamentals you’ll need to succeed. While you don’t need to be an expert, you definitely should understand the basics.

This skill can also be used to manage your personal finances, to meet your financial goals, and having more control over your life.

Where to get started learning: If you didn’t learn accounting in school, no worries. You can either teach yourself using books, or check out free accounting courses online.

5. Microsoft Excel

Most people reading this probably have a basic understanding of Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet. While this is a good start, there are so many powerful functionalities that are hidden, which could make your life a lot easier.

Excel is also a great asset to have whenever you’re looking for a job, as many corporations rely on Excel to organize and manage multiple parts of the business.

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Where to get started learning: With the popularity of Excel, you can find tons of free resources and videos online to learn. Check out Excel Exposure, Lynda, and Excel with Business.

6. Blogging/Vlogging

Blogging is a powerful tool if you want to spread your ideas, build your brand, or grow your business. Since it was introduced, blogging has taken on a life of its own, and today there are ~2M blog posts being written on a daily basis.

Where to get started learning: Anyone can start blogging today. All you need is a content-management system like WordPress, which is completely free. Personally, I think the best way to start learning how to blog is to just start writing. There are techniques you can learn on how to promote your blog, but the best way to grow your blog is to write great content.

7. Weight training

Yes, weight training is a skill. It’s not as advanced as learning how to code, nor will it take as long as learning a new language, if you just want to learn the basics.

We’re not promising that you’ll get a body like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but you will see much faster results for whatever goal you have, just by understanding how to workout properly. And of course, when you’re dealing with an activity that involves physical strain, you’ll always want to caution yourself.

Where to get started learning: There are amazing body builders that are sharing all of their secrets for free on Youtube. You can check out Bodybuilding.com’s Youtube channel to get started.

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8. Photo and video editing

In the digital world that we live in, from Youtube, Instagram, and Facebook, there is no avoiding photos and videos. In fact, social media has increasingly gone away from text sharing and almost everything to photo and video editing.

Where to get started learning: For photo editing, you can use Photoshop. For video editing, you can use iMovie or Final Cut Pro. Keep in mind, there are dozens of editing software tools for video and photo editing, but what’s more important are your editing skills, not the tool itself.

Check out education websites like CreativeLIVE or Skillshare, where you can learn from experts themselves on how to best use design and software tools.

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