Two years ago Jeff was a discontented software developer. His work left him frustrated and mentally drained each day. His performance reviews were generally positive, but always noted a lack of genuine interest or motivation. He agreed completely with these reviews. Following a specific aptitude test and some coaching, Jeff understood reason and set his sights on becoming a systems administrator…and he’s never looked back.
Jeff’s feeling that there was something missing in his career is all too common. Despite money, telecommuting—and even sandals—a growing number of IT professionals are complaining that their work lives seem to have no meaning. And on surface, this doesn’t seem to make sense. These folks seem to have necessary interest in technology, even basic aptitudes for it. But they are frustrated by their work, find it tedious and rarely spend their free time reading trade magazines about their profession.
In nature, plants and animals flourish when environment matches their needs. That’s why you don’t find frogs in desert. But this is a lesson too many people ignore.
According to one recent study, 80% of corporate employees were in jobs that did not make use of their talents. So is it any wonder that up to 60% of polled workforce plans to switch jobs in next 12 months?
Most people—including IT professionals—spend more time researching a home computer purchase than they do deciding on their life’s work. They simply assume because they’re fascinated with computers that IT is career for them. Besides, it pays well. But this kind of thinking is all-too-often a direct route to a “toxic job”.
What to do?
We all know how to figure out which computer is best for us. We make a chart. We gather information. We assign values. We find right match between our needs, our desires and pocketbooks. The same kind of evaluation can help us find right career match. We just need to evaluate a different set of parameters: our interests, values, personality style, temperament and life goals.
If you’re going to find a career you truly love, a profession in which you will thrive, you have to align your innate aptitudes/talents with requirements of profession. For decades medical students have used certain types of aptitude testing to determine what field of medicine will they be successful in and, consequently, enjoy. It has equally beneficial applications in IT arena.