In this period of uncertainty (regarding both our career and personal lives), I thought I’d share with you some of the tools I use when in need of introspection
I’ll update it as I go
DOES FULFILMENT EVEN MATTER?
The way we conceive orientation today is not based on exploring our aspirations. Choosing a career path is often objective, based on data (our grades) and the social perception we have of some jobs. If you’re a straight A student, you’ll be encouraged to pursue scientific studies in high school. If you score high here as well, you’ll be advised to aim for a prestigious school and degree “because you can”. But capacity doesn’t rime with desire.
On the same note, we relate success – and at times, happiness – to scoring high in terms of earnings & social status. I’ve even watched some talks recommending us to throw off balance in our 20s for work, identify what we’ve good at to become the best in our pool to eventually see this talent transform into a passion. But what about purpose-finding and fulfilment?
Today’s narratives are still linked to yesterday’s codes: fulfilment lies into work. But I feel like our generations are trying to shift it, one change at a time.
For some of us, it’s only after 5, 10, 20 years of working that we realise we’re not in phase with our job, take a pause and switch. Some are even able to compose with this without asking themselves the question… until they are to leave the workplace and reinvent themselves. This can also come with a strong self-questioning period. But we shouldn’t have to switch so late in our lives. What if we could explore our aspirations from a younger age?
TAKE THE TIME TO STEPBACK
Pauline Laigneau, founder of Gemmyo and producer of the french podcast “Le Gratin” describes the time she finds the most precious as:
“Taking time to stepback is essential. My academic background is very classic, I went through high school without any problem, I have a masters degree… and I didn’t ask myself any questions. I didn’t take time to sit and stepback until I was 25. That’s why it’s so precious to do this.”
VOCATIONAL IS LIKE DESIGN
I know I tend to compare everything to design but hear me out. Have you ever seen the Design Squiggle?
This illustration represents the creative process that is design. Most precisely, it aims to represent the feelings we go through during the creative process. The first phases are exploratory, hence the apparent chaos we experience. Then comes the first solution drafts, allowing us to test & learn about our creations (and ourselves in the case of vocational orientation). It’s the combination between those constant tests & research which makes the final solution emerge and consolidate.
Feels familiar yet?
« The journey of researching, uncovering insights, generating creative concepts, iteration of prototypes and eventually concluding in one single designed solution. It is intended to convey the feeling of the journey.
Beginning on the left with mess and uncertainty and ending on the right in a single point of focus: the design. » The Design Squiggle
Very much like life transitions, there are certain steps to undergo before creating the perfect solution. Takes time.
This toolbox aims to help you do just that: take a step-back on your orientation. Maybe it won’t change your path for now, but at least you’ll have some material to initiate the reflection process.
“Personality test” are quite common. Even though they exist in a billion different form, their objective is similar: helping you understand the way you function.
Personality tests are in no way a tool to categorise yourself (and they shouldn’t be used as such). I like to think of them as our astral themes: everything isn’t right but there are some points that are interesting to take into account.
- for students: welcome to the jungle 30 day challenge
- for a quick (and free) MBTI-like assessment: 16 personalities, 123 test,
- for a personality radar: Talent today, Boussole by Wake Up (in french)
- to know how emotionally intelligent you are: Institute of health and human potential
- the only one that matters: the Hogwarts sorting ceremony
COACHING / SWITCHING
- for a quick step-back / life review : So many ways (offers a 7 days trial to reflect on your professional desires), Switch collective, book a career date on My Job Affair, 15 exercises to reflect on your life path on ah-accompagnement
- to become a changemaker: MOOC Devenir entrepreneur du changement by HEC and Ticket for change
- to find your why: have a watch at Simon Sinek
- to finally be at peace with imperfection: a month with Les Joyeux Audacieux full of empowerment
- to talk to people who went through the same process: Linkedin career advice or shapr
- for a reassuring time: the classic Wait But Why on career picking and thinking, the highly soothing What advice do you wish you’d gotten when you graduated from college? article compiling TED speakers’ thoughts
- for inspiration: TED and its infinite source of speeches,
- to find like-minded people lost in transition : the Paumé·e·s community (french only) by makesense
- The bee and the fly: an orientation modern tale, Patch & Works, 2018
- for guidance : Why we need to talk about post-university depression The Independent (2013), Coping with graduate blues: there is a life after university, Study International (2018), Here’s how to deal with the Graduation Blues, Huffington post Canada (2018)
- to have a glimpse at how schools envision orientation: an interview of Nathalie Hector (emlyon business school)
- Looking for a job? Highlight your ability, not your experience, Jason Shen for TED, 2018
- What baby boomers can learn from millennials at work — and vice versa, Chip Conley for TED, 2018
- Why are Millennials so stressed? Is it quarter-life crisis?, Allison Osborn for TEDxOxbridge (2017)
- Why 30 is not the new 20, Meg Jay for TED (2013)
TO CLEAR YOUR MIND
Feel free to add your own resources in the comments!