6 Career Ingredients

We often describe ourselves primarily by the title of our profession or the name of our degree. These descriptions communicate one aspect of our lives at a particular point in time. But there are infinite other parts to each of us that add competence, distinction, emotional depth, strength, and meaning to the way we live each and every day. I call these other parts our ingredients. How do you determine your ingredients? Your ingredients can be grouped into six main categories.

  1. Roles: Which job roles have you fulfilled? (Examples: salesperson, parent, martial artist.)
  2. Skills: Which measurable skills do you have? (Examples: Ruby on Rails programming, Spanish, customer service, accounting.) Where did you learn them?
  3. Strengths: Which strengths come naturally to you? (Examples: writing, selling, baking.)
  4. Experience: What kinds of work situations (academic, corporate, nonprofit, entrepreneurial) have you been in? What kinds of life experiences have you had? (Examples: study abroad, travel, wealthy parents, abusive relationships, health challenges.)
  5. Values: What do you believe in? (Examples: mastery, justice, Second Amendment rights) Why?
  6. Scars: Which life situations have brought you to your knees? What did you learn from those situations?

You are going to use different ingredients at different times of your career.

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