The Three Keys
To discover meaningful work in which you are best suited to be successful, it is essential to examine and honor yourself in relation to the following categories:
abilities– what intangible abilities do you have (i.e. communicating, abstract thinking, making people laugh, etc.).
interests– what specialized knowledge or skills do you have and are passionate about (i.e. criminal law, molecular biology, baking cakes, drawing animals, etc.).
values– what values do you find most important (honesty, privacy, loyalty, etc.).
You are unique. You have unique abilities that no one else has. You also have a unique life story that has given you a distinct perspective. So, you are uniquely qualified to excel at work in a way that no other person is. If you want to make a difference, to be fulfilled, and to support yourself financially, it will be quite rewarding to discover what unique work it is that you are most qualified for.
Where do you really shine?
As an example of how this may be applied:
If a person excels at communicating, has a burning fascination with the law, and highly value honesty, they could give workshops to law firms about ethical business practices. If a person excels at abstract thinking, has a deep love of baking, and highly regards privacy, they could become a successful blogger that specializes in sharing the therapeutic effects of baking.
Invest some time creating a thorough list. It may be wise to seek the input of family and friends as their responses can bring certainty to your own when they coincide. We all have a significant number of abilities, interests, and values. Therefore, the point of this exercise is to identify those that might stand out among the rest and apply them in a uniquely you way.
Remember to employ your emotions in this exercise. What inspires the feeling of passion inside? What values inspire the strongest feeling of appreciation.
Personality assessments can also be a valuable tool to aid in your search [1, 2, 3]. They are meant to provide insight into your natural tendencies and unique abilities. Once gleaned, try to merge these insights with areas of interest you have specialized knowledge in as is recommended above. This will also give you a worthy direction based on your uniqueness and preferences.
Just remember, these assessments are constructs that are more rigid than your living personality. Use them merely as a reference.