Tapping into the work that’s right for you

Many of us have been there. Being in a job or field of work that just doesn’t gel with who we are, or what we do best. It might seem like something we ‘have’ to endure; after all, how many of us get to work with what we truly love?

If your philosophy around work is that playing to your strengths at work is reserved for a select few, think again. The price to pay for being in a job that doesn’t suit you is high: when we are in a role that forces us to do things that don’t come naturally to us, we will never do as well as we would in a position that taps into our strengths. Doing poorly at work, making unnecessary mistakes and feeling out of place can have substantial negative effects on your well being, not least your self esteem. And when your self esteem starts to suffer, it’s time to make a change.  

We all receive knocks in life, go through challenges and face situations that ask from us that we rise, step up to the plate and up our game. A healthy challenge is a great way to learn and to grow, but when the challenge isn’t healthy but downright wrong for us, we might be better off accepting that we are fighting the wrong battle, a battle that we might never have a chance of winning. Being in a role and that forces you to be X when what you are is really Y is never going to make you feel good. The accountant who in reality would make a great counsellor, the primary school teacher who is secretly a fantastic writer – you get the picture. The signs will all be there, if only you listen within. Start paying attention to the little signals, the whispers that are guiding you in the right direction – your direction.

Having low self esteem because of work is not a situation anyone should have to find themselves in, and even when it feels as if we are stuck, there are often more options available to us than we think. Starting to work on a plan, allowing yourself to dream about what you would like your job to be like and more importantly, feel like, can be the beginning and the catalyst for the change that you crave deep down inside. Feel your way forward. So much more is possible than we think, and starting to explore what your likes and dislikes are and thinking how these could be applied in your everyday life is a great way to start thinking of ways to make your work life, and your esteem, flourish.

Knowing your strengths is the first step. There are some real finds in the online jungle of information of today, and below there’s one to discover your core assets that make you you who you are. Start exploring, start writing down what your ideal day would feel and look like, and be ready to take some action – your great job is out there, waiting for you. Be prepared to be surprised, and be open to paths and solutions that may or may not fit our traditional ideas of what work means. It’s about finding a solution that all of your boxes.

Be kind to yourself. No one is good at everything. Everyone has a unique combination of gifts and talents that make them invaluable. Be you and enjoy who you are without the guilt of what you think you should be, and all the rest will follow.

Free online strengths test (you have to register, but it’s all free and fuss free after that).