Before we start can you please go grab a piece of A4 paper or writing pad, a pen and highlighter.
Now draw a line down the middle of the page and write on the top left hand side “Enjoyment” and on the right hand side “Dislike”.
Moving forward, I want you think about every hobby that you have ever tried, had an interest in or tried and disliked since childhood (let’s start from 6 years of age inclusive) and write the corresponding hobby in the Enjoyment or Dislike column. It is important that you do not stop, think and analyse every entry just let it flow.
Upon undertaking this exercise, you may find you repeat yourself a few times – this is OK don’t pay too much attention to this yet.
So now you have completed both the Enjoyment and Dislike columns I want you to leave the list alone and go and have a 10-15 minute coffee break and come back to it.
Welcome back, now I want you to take 10 minutes or so to review and analyse the lists.
- What are the common themes that seem to be repeating themselves?
- Can you group the common themes together for example Sports, Animals, Collections, Home-making, Art etc.
You may wish to use your highlighter to highlight the areas that keep repeating themselves.
So what did you find? What are your top 3 groups?
Your top 3 key groups (both Enjoyment and Dislike) are strong indicators of your personal preference.
Finally, upon review and analysis of your top 3 key groups can you identify any key sub-themes for example. If you loved playing sports common themes may include: –
- Outdoor Activity
- Team Work
- Social Interaction
- Commitment & Discipline
- Communication Skills
So how does this apply to my Career? Think about it – do you really want to sit in an office all day by yourself with minimal contact with clients or colleagues or would you prefer a job that saw you out and about for example a sales representative, outdoor motivational trainer, personal trainer, trades professional etc.
Finally, remember to analyse your disinterest side also as the common themes here will give you a clear picture of what you do not like and subsequently what to stay away from. This is particularly helpful if you are going to review job advertisements, job guides and descriptions as it allows you to analyse what percentage of the role incorporates these areas of disinterest and allows you to question yourself for example can you really cope with this area as a part of the position or is this area a non-negotiable aspect for you? Only you can answer this. Remember to be truthful with yourself for you are only fooling yourself if you are not.