Discovering the Work You Love, Part Two: Find Activities that Fit your Best Self

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This is the second of a two-part post about discovering the work you love. I hope that this post will help you figure out what type of activities are right for you; activities that allow you to bring your best self to your work. Now that you have answered the six questions to help you find your best self in your work, it is time to reflect upon your answers.

Discovering the Work You Love

Materials you will need for this activity:

• Pen or pencil
• Pink highlighter
• Yellow highlighter
• Green highlighter

Take a look at all the activities you listed as answers to the six questions found in Discovering the Work You Love Part One. Write down verbs that must be enacted to complete each activity. It might be helpful to think of the verb in the present participle form (verbs ending in –ing). For example, one of the activities I listed as an answer to the question “ What activities do you enjoy doing at work?” was facilitate meetings. The verbs I associate with this activity include: organizing, planning, writing, facilitating, communicating, listening, and encouraging others.

Once you have a complete set of verbs, look for patterns. Take a look at the verbs that have been repeatedly listed next to each activity. If it is repeated at least once, even if the verb is repeated as an answer to a different question, underline it.

After underlining your repeat verbs, it’s time to figure out what these verbs mean for your best self. Go back to your list of questions, activities, and verbs. Now, take out your green, yellow, and pink highlighters and follow the next three steps:

1. If your underlined verbs are listed as an answer to ONLY the following questions, highlight those verbs with your green highlighter:
a. When you were a child, what did you like to play?
b. As an adult, what activities do you like to do in your free time?
c. What activities do you enjoy doing at work? What chores do you like doing at home?
d. List activities that produce your best results.

2. If your underlined verbs are listed as an answer to ONLY the following questions, highlight those verbs with your pink highlighter:
a. What activities do you LEAST enjoy doing?
b. List activities that produce mediocre or unsatisfactory results?

3. Highlight the rest of your underlined verbs with a yellow highlighter

The verbs I highlighted in green were:
• Creating
• Planning
• Learning
• Organizing
• Listening
• Writing
• Strategizing
• Teaching

Green verbs are those activities that you are good at, and like to do. Pink verbs are those activities that you do not like to do, and are not particularly skilled at doing. Yellow verbs are interesting–they are either activities that you like to do, but are not skilled at doing; or they are activities that you are skilled at doing, but don’t like to do. So, you might want to take a look at your yellows–would you like to develop your skills with these activities? If so, then start thinking about professional development opportunities.

Now that you know more about your best self, take this information and create an action profile for yourself. It will help you both at work and at home to identify not only your strengths and opportunities, but it might also encourage you to find work that satisfies and fulfills you.

And, perhaps the next time you are job searching, take a minute to reflect. Highlight the verbs in the job description. Your “Action Profile” of green, yellow, and pink verbs can help you find a job with a description that fits your needs. Ultimately, your goal should be to find a job description that emphasizes the verbs you highlighted in green, and deemphasize the verbs you highlighted in pink. The verbs highlighted in yellow are those that you might want to consider, depending on the circumstances of the activity.

Which verbs did you highlight in green? Let us know by commenting below! © 2017 Caitlin W Howe, LLC
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