Your head is spinning round and round asking continuously those same questions:
Should I begin searching for another job? Is this the right time? Where should I start? Am I good enough? What if.. ?
This year has surprised us all. We have faced a new world, a new normal, one filled with uncertainty in every aspect of our lives; it has been a roller coaster ride with unexpected twists and turns. The reality has been challenging. Some of us lost our jobs, some of us would like to change the one we have. Others are too afraid to make any move. Even though we might face the difficulties of a pandemic year, we shouldn’t stay passive. It can always be the right time to take things into our hands and move forward. We have control over a great part of our life after all, more than we think. So, let’s start from ourselves!
Every one of us is like a very unique 3D art installation, similar to those shown in great art exhibitions. Your 3D installation has been created and shaped throughout your whole life. You were born with certain abilities, you gained skills through experiences and practice. You gathered lots of emotions and patterns of behaviour. Many people put their fingerprints on your installation. Once you have a look on it, you’ll see many colours and undefined shapes overlapping one another. It’s an interactive piece of art, vast and very complex, one that continuously evolves. To spot everything that is there just by having a quick glance is impossible. A quick peek will only reveal you as a very flat piece of an undeniably bigger picture. To get to know your own 3D installation, you need to spend much more time on it. You need to walk around it, search for angles that open your eyes on something unexpected, analyse it and think what the artist meant.
You might ask a question: Why should I even try to explore my 3D installation?
Obviously, you have two options here, you either stay passive or decide to move forward.
Staying passive might feel comfortable and if you need it to at that very moment, that’s fine. But if you stay like this for a longer time there’s a risk, you’ll become an artist who is a victim of own art – you’ll have a fascinating 3D installation, but you won’t have a clue what it is all about. It will seem as if it was created by random circumstances or events. Maybe you have already experienced this? How many times have you had trouble answering fairly simple questions in your job interviews, like: What are your strengths and weaknesses? What’s your passion in life? Who would you like to become in five years time? Have you wondered what the reason was why you haven’t been getting a job in a field you are well qualified for? Was there a visible lack of authenticity during the interview. Without reflection you may miss the realisation that you already know people doing your dream job, people you could ask about the job requirements and standards you need to meet to get it.
If you are up to the challenge of getting to know yourself better, you are already taking that first step forward toward checking that art installation of yours.
What you need for this experience is first of all the right mindset. You need to be open minded, stay away from judging yourself, and be ready give yourself compassion when needed. Only then will you have a chance of getting some great results. For the exploration mode you need to stay determined and curious with a touch of bravery. These elements will keep you moving forward. It might be a confusing experience full of overcoming your own boundaries. To really get a deeper sense of your 3D installation, you’ll need to spend a lot of time on it and search for sometimes very uncomfortable or unconventional angles, which might reveal some new shapes or shades. After some discoveries it will be necessary to analyse what you saw, how it made you feel and what it says about you? For this process you’ll need a lot of reflection time. This will eventually provide you with answers to your questions.
You most probably ask a question: How I can do it?
You can start right away by using widely available free resources like different personality tests e.g.: Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which introduces you to 16 personalities, one of these will be yours: https://www.16personalities.com You might have a look at your strengths using the VIA character report: https://www.viacharacter.org Or just have a closer look at how well your life is balanced, and for this you can use the ‘Wheel of Life’, which is easily accessible on the internet: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_93.htm
Those tests will help you find out many hidden aspects of your personality. You’ll be more aware of your strengths and weaknesses and what are the areas of your life that need to be better balanced. You’ll gain clarity of who you are as a person, what are your values, abilities and skills. Once your awareness increases, your job search will be more purposeful. It will be easier for you to pinpoint what you actually would like to do for a living and what kind of resources you already have to get it.
You can get a great deal of help from practitioners like coaches, mentors or psychologists. They might be thinking partners for you, giving you a helping hand in challenging moments, helping you to search for those different angles to explore your installation art even more.
The more time you spend on researching yourself, the better the results you’ll get. The whole process will become much easier to handle because you will be more aware of yourself and what’s going on around you. With time you’ll explore around your 3D art installation with ease. You will be able to play with it joyfully. The more time you spend admiring your art, the more trust you’ll gain in the things you’ll notice. You’ll realise that you no longer need to ask a stranger about the art exhibition, what did the author mean by that? You will have the answer yourself, a very meaningful one, because it will be yours.
Once you spend some time out getting to know yourself better, you’ll trust yourself more. It’s exactly the same with general approach to how we view strangers and friends. We don’t trust strangers, but we tend to trust friends much more. Invest in a friendship with yourself. The trust comes naturally after some time and effort. As you are looking at trust you might like to read this Brené Brown (a University of Houston Researcher) post on Braving Trust: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/braving-trust-bren%25C3%25A9-brown/?trackingId=3OIrgBcKJ23XM3CBnUsX%2FQ%3D%3D
By getting to know yourself better you don’t only gain trust in yourself, there are far more benefits than that. You become more aware of yourself and others. You’ll gain clarity about what you really want, why you want it and how you can get it. It enables you to bridge the gap between where you are now and where you would like to be. You will eventually reach your goals faster. You’ll gain higher self-confidence. As a result, some insecurities and obstacles will be much easier to overcome. You’ll grow as a person.
All of this will enable your job-hunt to be more successful. You will be more in control of the process as you will know exactly what kind of job you would like to have and where to search for it. You will not struggle with some insecurities and self-limiting beliefs such as I am not enough for this job. The job interview itself will not be as stressful as you’ll know and trust yourself. You won’t have doubts whether you have all the answer to the questions they ask you. You’ll stop searching for the answers from others as you’ll have gained the skill to find out the right answer by yourself.
Photo source: unsplash.com, author: Alina Grubnyak
Aga! I am so pleased to see your article posted today (in the early hours, no doubt ;-). I really love this article and appreciate how you have tied common themes of today’s job-search/redundancy/new horizon search to start with first, gaining wider and deeper self-knowledge.
My favourite lines are: ‘You become more aware of yourself and others. You’ll gain clarity about what you really want, why you want it and how you can get it.’ and ‘You will be more in control of the process as you will know exactly what kind of job you would like to have and where to search for it.’
Well done – and thank you for this. I can immediately think of a few folks in my circle who will benefit from reading it.
Thank you Mika! I’m happy you liked it 🙂 and of course feel free to share this article with others who might find it insightful.