Career Planning – Your Model Pt 2

Last year I spent some time learning about business modeling after reading Business Model Generation. When I spotted Business Model You by the same author on the shelves over the holidays I immediately grabbed it, it promised to be the answer to my planning problem. Business Model You takes the exact same approach used in Business Model Generation but with a very key twist, all of the exercises involve discovering yourself, your abilities and your passions. You can read about the why and see the results of the first part of the book in Part One.

Part Two is all about reflection and has an astonishing array of exercises to get you deep into your own head which is not something I have a problem with so it was all really enjoyable. You start with a wheel of life exercise covering the different aspects of your life, where you gain that sense of satisfaction, you choose eight of these creating a pie chart, with each aspect as a segment, which you then you then fill in to the extent to which you feel you are fulfilled – full segment equals complete fulfillment (Mine is the photo above).  Any area that’s really low indicates an aspect where you should put more focus. You then move on to brainstorming activities about what you loved to do when you’re younger, the roles that you play in life and what you love about them, and delve deeper into your history with the events that represents high and low points and tie these all together with those aspects you identified earlier.

My favorite exercises in the entire book by far were the next series on identifying your skills and delving into your personality traits. You start with six different columns of skills, choosing from these your common activities, your favorite activities and what you can and want to do, which is then tallied into six categories to give you a little bit of insight into your personality and help you discover your talents. I ended up scoring highest in social which I find hysterical because, if you read part one of this series, four of the careers mentioned are majors that I had in college that I wasn’t terribly effective at (medical, social work, teaching, counseling). My second highest was a tie between enterprising (what I do now), artistic (my hobbies) and investigative (my interests), which just makes my brain hurt pondering choosing one over the other. Conventional came in as a low third which does surprise me since it covers what I used to do for a living and still dabble in occasionally for fun (programming). And finally realistic covering jobs like electricians came in dead last; anyone who knows me would agree that I’m not exactly the handiest of people.

The rest of the section has exercises on how much time you spend in different activities, to help you create your career purpose. The exercise called Your Brand New Life is fun, based on what would you do if you had all the money, talent and time in the world which is normally too big of a question for me to grapple with but with all this pre-thought ended up being a breeze. Finally you take all this information and build it into a purpose statement or more accurately many purpose statements; taking three or four activities, customers and how you could help them, trying out different combinations until you have a statement or two you feel good about. For instance I had discovering as an activity, developers as a customer and coaching a way I could help which you could turn into “Coaching developers to discover better methods of building products” a statement I absolutely agree with.

This entire section was a lot of fun to do; I really enjoyed all the different exercises around personality and purpose and was pretty shocked to have, at the end, so many purpose statements that felt right to me. Now, not all of them are ones that I’d feel comfortable in sharing and (nice of them to note) the instructions state clearly that you are to keep working on them until you do.

The next step section is on reinventing yourself and looks to be far more challenging. I’ll write more on that next month.

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