We’re undergoing a period of disruptive change. Jobs are changing; the economy is changing. Some companies are suffering while others are booming.
In shifting times, it’s tempting to hunker down and wait out the storm, but for those thinking of moving jobs, this is an opportunity. If you’re looking to change your career in 2023 there are three actions you should take: Explore yourself, widen your horizons, and understand your options.
1. Explore yourself.When exploring a new job or career, it’s important to understand your motivations. What gets you out of bed in the morning? What do you enjoy, and what do you hate?
You may have already completed a personality questionnaire like the MBTI assessment at some point in your professional life, which can help you understand the type of work that suits you. If you’ve never completed a questionnaire like this, try it; it increases your self-awareness.
If you’ve previously taken the MBTI assessment, revisit your results. You should have gone through a thorough feedback process to help you determine the personality type that matches you best—which may not be identical to the raw results of the assessment. Think about how your verified type aligns with where you are now.
Our underlying personality type doesn’t change throughout our lives, but our circumstances do. If you’re in a very different personal and psychological place from when you first tested, it may be worthwhile to complete the assessment again. But what’s likely more useful is to take what you already know about your MBTI type and apply it to where you are now.
When you lean into self-awareness, you understand your personality preferences, how to best apply these, what you need to perform at your best, and what your areas for development are. When you work on these aspects, you learn how to flex your preferences to each situation, making change easier to navigate. For example, it’s likely that if you’re introverted, you probably won’t be satisfied in a position that requires constant involvement with a noisy environment and a great deal of socialization. If you don’t have the time and space to recharge when your batteries are drained, you can’t perform at your best.
To further explore possibilities, try making lists of:
- Everything You Like About Your Current Job and Everything You Don’t—In addition to the formal content of the job, think about the culture of your company and factors such as on-site work versus remote or the aspects of the physical and psychological environment that are important to you. You may find that knowing your personality type gives you a language to put some of these feelings into words.
- Your Abilities, Skills, and Interests—What do you do well? What do you find difficult? What are you interested in or passionate about? Start with what you do well in your current job. But don’t stop there, and don’t worry at this stage about whether these ideas are practical.
- Your Values—Deep down, what is important to you about work? For example, do you want to be rich or to have plenty of quality time with your family? How important are environmental issues for you? This may be the most difficult list to compile, so don’t rush it.
Use your lists to create a career mission statement to give you a clear understanding of who you are, what matters to you, and what satisfies you. Authenticity at work has a direct impact on our well-being, productivity, energy levels, and satisfaction.
2. Widen your horizons.It’s often tempting to look for a similar role to the one you already have, especially if you’ve been on a particular career path for a long time. But it’s worthwhile to think more expansively.
Start by looking at your current job and identify the triggers that are making you want to leave. This will help you understand whether you’re looking for something totally different, for a similar job but in a different organization, or even whether—with some specific changes—you could remain at your current organization.
If you’re thinking of changing your career entirely, it can be difficult to know where to start. You might consider completing an interest questionnaire such as the strong interest inventory. These assessments can surface career ideas that you may never have thought of otherwise.
3. Understand your options.Finally, the difficult but rewarding part. Understand your options and figure out what to do next. Use the knowledge you gain in the first two steps to help navigate the change.
First, work out the general career direction that you want to head in. Second, narrow this down to viable options. Third, see how your preferences, personality, abilities, skills, interests, and values stack up against each of these.
If you’ve revisited your MBTI results or completed the assessment for the first time and it hasn’t offered you the insight you were looking for, you can take the MBTI Step II assessment, offers personalized insight based on your unique responses to the questionnaire. This tool helps you develop an even more detailed understanding of personality preferences and unpacks why people with the same four-letter preferences can be so different.
If you know yourself, you stand a much better chance of finding a career that suits you—and a much better chance of landing those jobs, too.