The Art of Strengths Coaching

P is for Clarifying Your Perfect Role

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There are many ways to do positive work. One approach is to clarify your perfect role.

We are all self-employed now. There are no jobs anymore, there are only projects. So how can you find or create your perfect niche and get paid a salary?

One approach is to start by clarifying the characteristics of the project, people and place you find stimulating. You can then explore how to get an employer to pay you for delivering these results. After all, people will only hire you if you help them to be successful.

Let’s consider these steps towards finding your perfect role.

Project

What are the characteristics of the kinds of project you find stimulating?

You may enjoy launching prototypes, doing turnarounds, leading superb teams, fixing particular problems, selling to certain kinds of customers or whatever. One person said:

“Looking back on my satisfying projects, I can identify several patterns. For example, I love doing work that contributes to improving the quality of people’s lives.

“At university I organised the first ever sponsored Fun Run, raising £10k for charity. Early in my IT career I launched software that enabled students to take charge of their own learning.

“The projects I enjoy normally have a deadline. This forces me to get my act together and make sure I deliver on time.”

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. Describe the characteristics of the kinds of projects that you find stimulating.

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People

What are the characteristics of the people – both customers and colleagues – that you find stimulating? The person mentioned above said:

“If I am working for a company, I must have a boss I respect.

“It’s best if we agree on the ‘What’ – the goals to achieve. But then I need to have lots of freedom regarding the ‘How’.

“When leading a team, I must have positive team members who are prepared to work hard.

“The customers I like are those who are at the forefront of their field. They may be demanding, but they can also make quick decisions.”

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to describe the characteristics of the colleagues and customers you find stimulating.

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Place

What are the characteristics of the place – culture and environment – you find stimulating? One person said:

“I like working in pioneering businesses. They are professional and yet informal.

“They are also results focused and fast paced, which suits my style. It also feels like we are creating the rules for the future.”

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to describe the characteristics of the kinds of work places you find stimulating.

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Making it Happen

Move onto making your action plan. Bearing in mind the answers you have already given, the following exercise invites you to do several things.

Describe your perfect project.

Describe the specific results you could deliver for a customer or employer by doing this kind of project.

Describe the specific things you can do to find or create such a project.

You can then do your best to craft your perfect role.

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