No experience is ever wasted if you choose to learn from it. Every job you’ve ever had has given you unique experiences, some of the great and some of them pretty horrible. For example, a job including horseback riding (yes, that’s me in the photo!) is something that teaches trust, balance and certainly falling off once in a while. 🙂
So let’s get into it! When starting to position yourself for a new job it’s important to know what these past learnings are and use these to your advantage. Every person I’ve ever worked with will have a level of fear of having to start over again, wether it’s in a job or a new country (check out my previous video on this if you’re curios to find out more).
In every new job opportunity and career change you’ll have a few choices and I want to flag these with you now so you can prepare accordingly. You see, there are 2 ways to learn from a job.
- Reflect after you left/quit what you learned. Maybe it was a learning about people, your own likes and dislikes, leadership, a specific skill or something entirely different.
- Decide before you start what the theme/learning is that you’re seeking.
In his brilliant book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” Robert Kiyosaki talks a lot about how to create wealth and success, but one of my favourite chapters is the one about choosing career steps based on what you’re looking to learn. This is all about being strategic on decisions forming YOUR path, not the path the school system, your parents or anyone else thinks you should take.
The short exercise below helps you get really clear on the skills each job taught you:
Sit down in a quiet space for about 30 minutes (feel free to pour yourself a glass of wine too if that helps) with pen and paper/your laptop and answer these questions for each job you’ve had (yes, the summer vacation job when you were 12 years old counts too!)
- What did I think about this job before I started? What were my expectations?
- How would I rate my manager on a scale from 1-10 (10 = amazing)?
- What did I like/love about this job (about 5 things)?
- What did I not like about this job (about 5 things)?
- Looking back now, what were at least 3 valuable skills/learnings this job taught me?
- What is one key thing from this job that I need to be aware of as I am looking for my next opportunity?
If you go through this for every job you’ve had, you’ll probably start to see some interesting patterns emerge, and here lies some amazing information to help you moving forward. Feel free to get in touch with me here and let me know how you found this exercise!