Discover Your Brain Strengths to Navigate Life
Are you unhappy, despondent or fearful about your career situation? Perhaps you are employed and dislike going to work because of a deteriorating relationship or maybe your work is no longer fun and rewarding. You may be asking yourself: “What went wrong?” “Is something wrong with me?” “What are the lessons learned?” “How can I get out of this mess and move my life forward?”
The major reasons why most people are unhappy in their career situation are:
The common themes for the first three reasons involve “misalignment” with people, work activities and the work environment. If you can relate to one or more of these alignment issues, there are practical neuroscience solutions for you to put to work almost immediately. The reason for termination or being at risk for it may be misalignment as well.
Checklist for Discovering Your Perfect Work
Once you complete the following homework, you can align how your brain is wired and what makes you tick with the career, job, people and work environment that will naturally support your passions, strengths and values. You are only 48 hours away from getting your internal GPS calibrated for career and life success.
√ Where does your passion lie? This is a “free association” exercise to identify the subjects that interest you and what you really enjoy doing. A trusted friend who knows you well and has a spontaneous and fun loving nature may be the catalyst to get you through this exercise quickly. Ask your friend to guide the discussion and take notes. Place two categories on the top of your flip chart or white board: SUBJECTS and ACTIVITIES. Use colored markers and work toward identifying single key words to describe your passions in each column. Go as fast as you can and feel free to jump around. When you reach the point where new ideas come slowly, usually within 10-20 minutes, STOP. Take a short break and come back to look for trends and themes. Summarize and record your work for additional homework and future reference.
Subjects you are passionate about represent potential career categories. List the careers that align with your passions. Think about and record potential organizations that may be your future employer. Being self-employed or a “contract employee” may emerge as an option along with traditional employment. Then, identify the associated knowledge and experience you possess in the potential career fields.
Activities you enjoy doing are your skill sets and competencies. They will align with specific job descriptions. Now take each activity and decide which sensory (Visual, Kinesthetic and Auditory) and cognitive (Sequential and Global) “signatures” they contain. These are your neuroscience brain strengths that accompany knowledge and passion. They describe how you like to learn, think, work, communicate, solve problems and make decisions. Brainpower is the strength category most neglected by employees and employers alike. Use your brainpower strengths as a competitive differentiator. Most importantly, using your brain strengths on a daily basis is the key to fun, engagement and productivity. This may be why you have been unhappy in past jobs.
√ What are your highest and most important values? This is a second-round free association exercise with your friend who helped you previously. Do it as soon as possible to keep the momentum going. Use the same protocol as the first exercise except the two categories at the top of your flip chart or white board are VALUES and ENVIRONMENT. Make this a lively, fun and interactive conversation. Start naming key words of important values that come to mind, like “friendship,” “collaboration,” “service”, “learning,” “excitement, “money,” “competition.” There are no rules or right or wrong answers. You can go back and forth naming “values” and “environment” in any order you want. Examples of ENVIRONMENT key words are “friendly,” “structured,” “casual,” “competitive,” ‘non-competitive,” “kind,” “communicative,” “caring,” “demanding” and so forth. As a quality control check, match up your list of key words for VALUES with key words for ENVIRONMENT. There should be one or more congruent “environments” for each “value.” This exercise is an “insurance policy” to select the right organizational environment in which you can thrive and grow.
Organize your list of “values” and “environments” as a guide to assess future employment opportunities. Review your list occasionally to see if your values have changed and if your job environment is holding up to your expectations.
Do research to determine if the companies you are considering embrace your values and have consistent supporting environments. You will ultimately experience problems if your values are substantially higher or lower than the organizations.
√ Who are the people with whom you most enjoy interacting? Do you prefer communicating with people who learn and pay attention to Auditory input (listening and asking questions), Visual input (seeing and observing to understand) or Kinesthetic input (moving, touching and hand-on activities). Do you relate best to people who strongly prefer to process information in Sequential ways (logical, orderly, realistic, data, accurate), Global ways (big picture, open-ended, possibilities, and options), or a near equal combination of both? Reflection on your preferences will reveal why you have rapport with some people and challenging relationships with others. All successful communications involve aligning “transmitting styles” with “receiving styles.”
In summary, practical neuroscience provides the break-through insights and solutions that finally give you a straight and direct pathway to the career and job you can be excited about each workday morning. It’s all about aligning your brain strengths, passions, knowledge and values with your work and the people with whom you interact.
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Are you feeling lost and stressed about work? Doesn’t it make sense that when your work matches your strengths, you excel? Knowing how your brain is wired for success and what makes you tick is the foundation to put in the driver’s seat and gain control of your career success. Now you have the insights and tools to “align” and “leverage” your strengths. Your Brain PathWays report identifies your unique brain strengths and delivers personalized career guidance. Click to purchase your Brain PathWays online self-assessment and download your report today.