Career Transition

Help! I Hate My Job! (Part 2)

Welcome to part two of the article! Read part one.​

In part one, I shared three steps to help identify career options if you are in a role mis-match. In part two, we’ll look at a decision-making process I call a feasibility/desirability matrix.

We’ll continue to use Mary to create an example. You’ll recall Mary identified financial planner, public tax accountant, and personal banker as top career choices from the 3-step exercise. Upon further reflection, and input from others, she adds lawyer to her list. How should she choose between these options?

First, she creates a simple table with three columns:

In the first column, Mary lists each job. In the second column, she writes the gap in qualifications she’ll need to close based on internet research (e.g. a particular degree, certification, exam, work experience, etc.) In the third column, Mary lists her feasibility of pursuing the qualification.

Things to consider when assessing feasibility are resources at your disposal, such as finances and time, and possessing needed prerequisites. You’ll also want to research if your choices are growing or retracting professions, since you’ll want to find employment when all is said and done. is a good resource to research future outlook on jobs (hint: occupation quick search in the upper right corner of the site).

Lastly, Mary ranks her choices by highest to lowest feasibility, and selects a feasible option that has the highest desirability for her. In this example, she chooses Financial Planner, because it has Medium-High feasibility, and is her number one career interest.

I hope you find this a helpful tool in simplifying potentially daunting decisions.

All the best to you!

Discover Your Best

The better you understand yourself, the better you can maximize your career. To understand what you do best for people who need it most, you can explore five factors to help you discover and develop your strengths:​

Experiences – Your background – Personal, educational, vocational

Abilities – What you do best – Talents, knowledge, skills

Personality – How you do what you do best – Natural behavior traits

Interests – What you like best – People, places, things, and activities you enjoy

Values – What is important to you – Work and life purpose, principles or points of pain
There is a sample table at the bottom of this post you can create to capture information from self-assessment, asking others, and leveraging any professional assessments you’ve taken.

Self Assessment

  • Inventory your experience – List places you’ve worked and work you’ve done. Make sure to include work for which you were paid and major volunteer work, educational projects, internships and extracurricular activities. Circle the places and work you did best and liked most.
  • Write keywords to describe your:
    • Abilities – What you do best; talents, knowledge, skills
    • Values – What is important to you; purpose, principles, burdens
    • Interests – What you like most: people, places, things, activities
    • Personality – Natural behavior traits

Ask Others Assessment

Get input from people who know you well: work associates, supervisors, customers, friends, and family. Have them answer the following questions, encouraging them to be completely honest. Be gracious when receiving their feedback, and thank them!

  • How would you describe my biggest accomplishments?
  • What do I do well? What are my talents, knowledge and skills?
  • What do I seem to like best? What people, places, things and activities do I enjoy most?
  • What positive personality traits come to mind when you think of me?
  • What positive values and character strengths do I possess?
  • What improvements could I make?
  • What job or career do you think would be perfect for me?

Professional Assessments

  • Leverage information from any assessments you may have taken such as: StrengthsFinder, DISC, WorkPlace Big Five, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), Insights, etc.

Summarize Your Best

This sample table can house the data you’ve collected. Review all your data (self, others, and professional assessments). Look for common themes and key words to help identify your potential. This will provide you will an inventory of data when it comes time to write cover letters, update your resume, LinkedIn profile, and prep for interviews.

discover your best

Identifying Your Transferable Skills

According to a poll in the Huffington Post, almost 80% of workers in their 20’s said they want to change careers, followed by 64% of those in their 30’s, and 54% in their 40’s. Despite most workers having career plans in earlier years, 73% said they did not land in the job they expected.

With so many people desiring a change, the ability to identify your transferable skills is crucial. Regardless of what role you currently have, there are key skills most employers want:

  • ​Meeting deadlines​
  • Solving problems
  • Organizing and managing projects
  • Managing people
  • Negotiation skills
  • Computer skills
  • Speaking in public
  • Effective writing
  • Managing budgets
  • Customer Focus
In addition to these key skills, there are other core categories that most skills fall into, such as:
  • Working with things (assembling, operating tools, repairing, driving/operating vehicles).
  • Dealing with data (analyzing, investigating, auditing, budgeting, recording, calculating, classifying, inspecting, evaluating, counting, research, detail orientation, compiling, synthesizing).
  • Working with people (instructing, demonstrating, helping, counseling, listening, persuading, supervising, coaching, understanding, interviewing, being patient, giving insight, diplomacy).
  • Working with words and ideas (public speaking, writing clearly, designing, inventing, editing).
  • Leadership skills (motivating, negotiation, decision-making, planning, delegating, directing, explaining, getting results, solving problems, taking risks, mediating problems, running meetings, having self-confidence, being competitive).
  • Artistic/Creative skills (drawing, self-expression, presenting, performing, dancing, playing instruments).
When looking at a career transition, instead of focusing on what experience you don’t have, identify the skill categories/themes the employer is looking for. Does the role require working with people and data? What skills do you have working with people and data? List them. Write out stories to prove it by presenting concrete examples. Quantify the examples where possible, include the results you experienced, and link it to the new opportunity to make the connection clear to the employer.
You may be pleasantly surprised that you have more to offer than you first thought. Take time to inventory your transferable skills and it will prepare you to create a more compelling connection to employers in both your resume and your interview performance!

Should You Work for Yourself?

Self-employment isn’t for everyone. Some personalities enjoy the routine, structure, and perceived stability of being someone’s employee. Others feel like a caged animal.

Those that dream of working for themselves but won’t take the leap generally fear they won’t be able to generate enough income to live, and that’s a reasonable concern. Here’s something interesting to consider:

A team of researchers once followed a group of 1,500 people over a period of 20 years. At the beginning of the study, the participants were placed in two groups.

Group A, 83% of the sample, were people who chose a career path based solely on the prospect of making money now in order to do what they wanted later in life.

Group B, the remaining 17%, were people who selected a career path to do what they wanted now, and would worry about money later.

At the end of 20 years, 101 of the 1,500 people became millionaires. Of the millionaires, 100 out of 101 were from Group B — the group that pursued what they loved.

Ask yourself the question, What would I do if money was no object? and check out this thought-provoking video about pursuing work you love.

Maybe passion isn’t enough motivation for you. Perhaps you’re a person who needs some convincing data to decide if you should take the plunge into your own business.

The Gallup organization has identified the top 10 talents of highly successful entrepreneurs. It’s unlikely you will possess all 10 strongly, but you can find out your dominant talents, and where you’d likely need some support to ensure success. The 10 talents are:

Creative Thinker
Definition: People who are especially talented in the Creative Thinker talent have a curious intellect that helps them constantly imagine new products, services, and solutions. They are quick learners who explore various options and consider novel solutions as they anticipate the future needs of their customers.

Definition: People who are especially talented in the Determination talent pursue their goals with tenacity. They are intensely committed to success and are eager to take quick action. They rely on high motivation to turn adversity into opportunity. They can see beyond roadblocks and visualize a better future.

Definition: People who are especially talented in the Confidence talent are keenly aware of their abilities. They harness this awareness to take quick and decisive action. They seize opportunities knowing they will succeed and use their talents to persist in the face of uncertainty and failure.

Definition: People who are especially talented in the Independent talent can single-handedly start and operate a business. They rely on high energy and extreme commitment to succeed in the grueling grind of business creation. They firmly believe their actions decide the fate of their business and are motivated to make things happen.

Definition: People who are especially talented in the Promoter talent speak boldly on behalf of their company. They consistently communicate a clear vision of their business to customers and employees. They are great salespeople with an ability to form deep relationships and convince others to follow their well-defined business growth strategy.

Business Focus
Definition: People who are especially talented in the Business Focus talent couple sharp business instincts and a fascination with making money. They have an uncanny ability to look at data from which they can form unique insights. Ultimately, they evaluate decisions through the prism of profitability.

Definition: People who are especially talented in the Risk-Taker talent embrace challenges with enthusiasm. They have a strong, charismatic, and confident personality. They naturally focus on the rewards of success instead of potential failure. They emotionally connect with customers and exceed their expectations.

Definition: People who are especially talented in the Knowledge-Seeker talent understand that information is a valuable asset. They have a deep desire to acquire knowledge about all aspects of their business. They search for new information to solve problems and succeed in complex business environments.

Definition: People who are especially talented in the Delegator talent can trust and empower others to help grow their business. They know what their employees do best and position them to take responsibility for tasks at which they are most likely to excel. They can relinquish control and focus on growing the business.

Definition: People who are especially talented in the Relationship-Builder talent have strong interpersonal skills that allow them to build a robust and diverse personal network. They rely on relationships to access resources and information essential to the success of their business.

If you’d like to take the EP 10 assessment to discover your entrepreneurial aptitude, you can find it here (scroll down to the very bottom of the page).

I’ve coached a number of people who just can’t seem to fall in line with being an employee and it’s usually because they have a strong entrepreneurial bent, so instead of helping them find a job, I helped them identify steps toward self-employment.

To some, the thought of starting a business can be exciting, scary, daunting, and thrilling all at the same time. If you’ve found limited satisfaction in your career, and feel a strong pull to go your own way, maybe it’s time to spread your wings and fly!

All the best to you!

A Job Exploration and Job Analysis Tool

O*NET Online is a great tool for career exploration. You can perform key word searches to identify jobs and careers matching your skills, interests, and strengths. For example, enter “analytical”, “strategic planning”, “process improvement”, “operations management”, “risk management”, “customer experience”, “creative”, “innovation”, etc. and see what returns in a search result.

Clicking the hyperlinked job title in the results provides a wealth of information such as salary, education requirements, outlook for the field (growing or shrinking), competencies used in the role, details about the work environment, and more. There’s also a link at the bottom to review job postings in your desired area.

Here are my results for searching the term Creative:

ONET 1.png

​I selected Video Game Designers, since it has a bright outlook. The detailed information returned for Video Game Designer jobs includes:

  • Sample job titles, typical tasks performed, tools and technologies used in these roles
  • Required knowledge, skills, and abilities for these types of role
  • Details of the work activities performed, and other work environmental variables, such as working with email, indoors, typical work hours, etc.
  • Education and credentials needed
  • The interests, work styles, and values these types of jobs appeal to
  • Wage and employment trends (salary and growth)
  • A find jobs link to view job postings in your desired area

Go to to start your career exploration or job analysis!